How would you go about setting up a blueprint for product launches at a start-up when I’m the first PMM hire and product launches have been managed the product team so far (and were pretty chaotic due to a lack of framework and resources)?
I cannot claim expertise in FinTech or in the DACH market, so my best advice here is to research launch plan frameworks and pick one. Pragmatic Institute, Product Marketing Alliance, and Sirius Decisions all have their own frameworks and launch plans, though they’re behind logins. See if you can set up a free account and go from there. There are also plenty of great Medium blogs and posts out there that you should be able to access for free as a starting point.
Once you’ve done some research and chosen a blueprint, your biggest hurdle will likely be in arguing internally to follow that blueprint. Organizational inertia is a real thing. Be ready for some pushback that sounds a lot like “We’ve always done it this way, so why should we change?”
As far as how you make the internal argument, I would say, “Let’s follow this blueprint for our next launch, and then reassess.” You don’t need to institute a big sweeping change as your very first act. Show the team that you’re open to feedback, but that you also have skills and ideas that will help level up their work.
This won’t be the easiest task, but it sounds like the company brought you on to build out the PMM function, which means that at least one person in a position of power already understands the value of PMM on some level. Find that person and enlist them as your advocate. You shouldn’t be alone!
There are probably a few useful frameworks you can implement off the bat:
1. Establish a clear tiering framework - what constitutes a tier 1 launch versus a tier 3 or 4, what is the desiered business outcome of each, audience, associated GTM tactics for each tier, etc. Aligh with your product team on this framework.
2. Create a GTM Strategy template - that outlines how you plan to take the feature to market. It should include details like announcement date, tier, target audience, goal, messaging guide, and more.
3. Create a GTM milestones template - that details all the milestones leading up to a launch, including the DACI for each milestone and the timeline assocaited with each milestone.
These 3 templates/frameworks could take you a long way, and should be created with contribution from your product counterparts.
My number 1 recommendation is documentation.
First, identify your key stakeholders across product, marketing and sales and document what is working and what isn't in recent launches.
Then gather any process or standardization used across the product team for their launches. Ask questions like:
how do they document the value of their launch?
how do they share the status across launches?
how do they determine product readiness (Pilot, Beta, GA)
Then, consolidate your internal research findings into a proposal with definitions for product readiness, sizing, and suggested deliverables for future launches. Share with your key stakeholders for their feedback.
Pilot your new process to test and iterate with your next launch, ensuring that you include a retro post-launch to ensure continuous improvement.
If your startup is like those I've worked at in the past, there may be hesitation about over-engineering your new process, so you may need to prioritize the parts that will impact the biggest pain points from your research.
We put together a framework for product launches that has considerations for every stage of a product launch - I think this will be really helpful given your position as the first PMM hire at a startup! This is from a guest writer who pivoted from PM to PMM, so there might be some insights there as you're taking the reins on product launch comms off of your PM team: https://www.launchnotes.io/blog/the-ultimate-product-launch-plan-for-new-product-marketers