Since Product Marketing touches so many areas of the business, this role is oftentimes in the best position to lead a VOC process.
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All related (46)
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomNovember 9

The product team at Intercom are very invested in understanding our customers so they often themselves talk to customers, interface directly with sales, read customer feedback from conversations in Intercom and so on, and we have a very talented research team who do more in-depth studies for us. This mean that it's not just down to PMM to represent the customer voice (which is a nice place to be!)

That being said, in general the key to getting alignment around priorities is being able to demonstrate impact - for example, how many customers or sales deals have we lost due to not having X feature? What was the total revenue lost? Or, what's the potential revenue opp of building a feature (based on total addressable market, potential expansion, potential new revenue stream etc)? This kind of data helps everyone understand the real business impact and the priorities and trade-offs. It also helps keep the conversation more objective and less prone to 'recency bias' (e.g. based on the most recent deals we lost or last customer convo we had)

Stacey Wang
Director of Product Marketing, IroncladJune 29

Systematizing the capture and dissemination of customer and market feedback is key here. At Ironclad, we spent a lot of time designing and building a system in Coda that brings in customer feedback streams from across the company and disseminates it in real-time to the parts of the business that need it. The real-time aspect of the system allows XFN partners to self-serve asynchronously. We also meet with product and sales several times a quarter to synthesize and discuss areas of concern bubbled up from our Coda system. 

Sunny Manivannan
Vice President & GM, Global SMB, BrazeJune 16

I'm in favor of what I call the 'State of the Union' report - and doing this every quarter. A 'State of the Union' report is created by a product marketer for their main revenue-generating product(s). It covers (within the quarter): 

(i) the number of net-new wins for that product, the overall new revenue, overall win rate, average selling price, and potentially how many customers churned that product.

(ii) feedback from 3-5 customer interviews - what do they like about the product, what do they hate, what do they wish it did that it doesn't do today, and what do they integrate with your product (if applicable) - all of this information is very useful in roadmap planning.

(iii) product adoption metrics - how many of your paying customers are actually using your product? which ones aren't, and why? for the ones that use it a lot, why do they use it so much, and are there any lessons for you to gain as the product marketer that you can use to get your other customers to use it as much?

(iv) what is the product marketer going to do in the coming quarter to help improve (i), (ii), and (iii)?

I find that presenting all this information in one go gives the reader much more information about the 'health' of a product, with a strong customer bent (note that all four areas covered have to do with either new or existing customers, and they include both quantitative and qualitative information, both of which are valuable), which, in turn, leads to a higher chance of action.

Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®September 27

I think the best approach for PMM is to employ a mix of programmatic and opportunity specific approaches to aligning stakeholders around customer priorities.

Programmatic approaches are best for clarifying improvement opportunities for the existing buyer and customer journeys. Tools like win/loss analysis, monitoring key sales pipeline metrics (closed won ratio, time to close, etc.) and investigating where any metric is underperforming, and customer advisory boards are all great ways to keep a finger on the pulse of business performance and where to focus for improvements.

Opportunity specific approaches are often more powerful. Skilled product marketers often can tell you on the spot their personal answer to “what are the top 3 things holding us back from accelerated business growth?” The answers they have will be things like “we’re focused on the wrong target customer,” “we aren’t sufficiently differentiated vs. the competition,” “we haven’t been satisfying a top customer pain point,” etc. To align stakeholders around those customer priorities, you need to develop a specific approach to building the business case that marries resources you have at hand (e.g. budget, time), the type of insights that are most compelling to key stakeholders (e.g. customer interviews vs. testimonials from top sales reps vs. quant analysis etc.), and an understanding of what inertia exists vs. your recommendation. This type of work is much harder to do than the programmatic version, but often is also the key to PMM becoming a truly strategic and essential team within a company.

Evelyn Ju
Head of Marketing, PersonaNovember 16

The key is to first align on the framework for making decisions (e.g. market opportunity, customer retention/expansion goals, revenue impact, etc. and how you prioritize each) and then ensure the teams have the relevant information (e.g. customer research, feedback, metrics, or analysis) to make the actual decision when it comes to customer priorities. In smaller orgs, it’s easier to gather everyone from product, PMM, and customer-facing teams to have frequent meetings to stay aligned. For example, you might host weekly syncs to discuss features requests from customers and review product roadmaps. As teams grow, it’s crucial to have systems in place to organize and disseminate information that’s relevant to the decision framework.