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What are some unexpected challenges when it comes to influencing and creating a product marketing strategy with a global team?

7 Answers
Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Meta Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, OculusMay 26

Expected:

  • Working with multiple timezones
  • Language barriers/poor translations
  • Cultural issues
  • Getting individuals to focus on the team dynamics so we can work as a global unit
  • Countries/regional teams coming up with their own narratives and strategies.

Unexpected

  • Distributing the work so each person on your team can shine with a strong project to drive visibility, especially if they're not inherent good ways of working in the region.  
  • Memes are incredibly quick to spring up and hard to squash. A meme will spread faster from one region to another than a global truth, so ensure your team is in the conversation so memes can be uncovered and recitified quickly.
  • Loneliness for individuals who are remote. I try to get adopted by teams around me or set up more purposeful socialization so I don't get too far removed from the culture of the office and the people I work with. Work loneliness can be a thing, and I try to combat it as much as possible.
1700 Views
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Crossbeam Senior Director Product MarketingSeptember 7

The biggest challege (for me) is certainly managing alignment across product and product marketing. As teams grow and scale broadens, working in a distributed manner across the globe makes it hard to stay in touch/row in the same direction. The best way I've found to influence the global product marketing strategy is to make time (early mornings/late evenings) for 1:1s with your global peers. During this time, ensure you have tangible assets for them to review (related to your strategy/philosophies, proof points) to build trust and rapport. 

When 1:1s can't be established, influence via visuals: looms, gif overviews, slide decks etc. Storytelling is powerful and visual assets help to bridge those learning and enablement gaps quickly no matter where your team is located. Above all - care and be kind. That matters and builds trust. And trust = influence.

327 Views
Sina Falaki
Sina Falaki
Motive Head of Global Product MarketingSeptember 20

Let's start with the expectations: 

  1. Properly understanding cultural appropriations and cues 
  2. Working in different timezones 
  3. Evaluating product marketers strengths when hiring for that particular region - depending on the region, you may want to underly the right skills 
  4. Fostering the right work/life balance - especially abroad, truly understanding working styles and the best method of communication 

Unexpected: 

1. Ensuring the product marketers in each region have a best in class way to communicate with one another and share experiences across the board. At times when its just one or two people, it gets lonely. 

2. Organizational processes can often break. Having a strict set of processes across your teams, especially when distributed in different time zones, needs to be honed in on. 

342 Views
John Hurley
John Hurley
Notion Head of Product MarketingMay 3

The biggest thing Ive seen is a Product team that does not have awareness or subject matter expertise in GTM fundamentals, or genuine curiosity coupled with critical thinking / first principles for assessing the market. If PMs think PMMs job is to just release product and don't understand the complexity involved in integrated launches then it's a real struggle. If PMs and EMs dont understand the fundamentals of the business – GTM models and motions, target audiences, and team roles and structures – it is an uphill battle from the start.

Here are a few things I share with my team on building an impactful relationship with product teams.

How to build an impactful relationship with product teams?

  • SME to support and inform product strategy and planning: Buyer, competitive and ecosystem, market research, pipeline and customer data, segmentation, product.

  • Make their products successful: NPI, launches, P&P, goal setting & reporting, release marketing, AR/PR, field support (ex. help sales close deals, sales and PMs will love you).

  • Bridge to GTM: Communicating roadmap and vision, thematic messages quarter/year, CABs, aligning priorities of the business and GTM as an input.

  • Understanding PDLC: Know how PD teams work, processes and how PMM supports/influences/operationalizes the PDLC.

1932 Views
Amy Loh
Amy Loh
Square Head of Product Marketing, Square StaffApril 13

Every market is likely facing different challenges. A more mature market may be tapping into new audiences to drive growth while a newly launched market lacks awareness or feature parity. When creating a global strategy, it's important to recognize the unique challenges of different markets by staying close to in-market experts, such as Customer Success and Sales, and look at all of the GTM challenges to prioritize. 

Another challenge is developing content/campaigns for scale -- for my team, it means taking whatever is in the US and localizing market by market. That's not a very scaleable approach and my advice is to design a scalable global solution first that can easily be adapted/localized. 

Finally, it's important to have on-the-ground experts to capture local nuances. My team doesn't have in-market PMMs to drive efforts, so having local customer-facing teams to ensure that the tone and nuances are culturally acceptable is critical. 

1561 Views
Martin Raygoza
Martin Raygoza
Google Marketing Head for YouTube Shorts Mexico & Spanish LATAMSeptember 28

Any effort that requires a global scope comes with several challenges:

Culture and language differences: This might not seem as unexpected but believe me it is a challenge, especially when your product usage relies deeply on cultural preferences. Make sure to give enough context on why some cultural traits could influence the overall product strategy. 

Regulatory and legal: Aligning global teams on local regulatory requirements also represents a challenge and commonly long legal discussions and meetings. I recommend getting legal teams involved as soon as you can. They could make it or break it for your strategy in some radical cases.


Getting resources for your market: This is probably one of the most difficult ones, since you will have to fight for getting enough resources to achieve your goals while global teams are usually split with the decision on investing in their strongest markets but also leaving enough room for growing in emerging ones.

2341 Views
Eric Bensley
Eric Bensley
Asana Head of Global Product MarketingNovember 21

When it relates to global teams, it's very important to understand the differences between each region. The biggest challenge supporting global teams is usually that they want something very different than what you have available in HQ. And the key question to ask your global team leads is this: do you want content/programs bespoke for your region or do you want to leverage the key programs we're driving from HQ? In my experience, if it's a small team, you have to leverage what's being done in HQ. If you have a larger team, you can start to build out more bespoke regional content.

1016 Views
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