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What tips or best practices do you have for convincing channel teams (or other teams) to fund your projects or initiatives, when Product Marketing commonly doesn't have their own budget to spend.

6 Answers
Mike Polner
Mike Polner
Discord Head of MarketingDecember 12

Budget is earned, not given. 

Align to a top-level business goal or objective that's critical, start small with an experiment, measure it, and prove your value. Make it a no-brainer where if the initiative isn't funded somebody will be coming to the team saying - look at how much impact we're missing out on! 

1348 Views
April Rassa
April Rassa
Aventi Group Product Marketing ConsultantJanuary 18

Once you have a plan, you can assess the data and determine the financial impact, linking it to a strategic company goal. 

The key is to attach to company business objectives and make a business case for why the specific project/or initiatives will drive results and how success will be measured. It may be helpful to organize goals or ideals into three categories: current, near term, and future. This will help the team conceptualize a high-level strategy for each priority item on the list.

268 Views
Rayleen Hsu
Rayleen Hsu
TeamSnap Senior Director Consumer Product Marketing & StrategyMarch 3

I think the same best practices hold true no matter what kind of proposal you're putting out there that you need to secure buy-in for - come to the table with a clear, structured ask and always bring data to the table to support your ask. Specifically:

  • Clearly outline your objectives. Clearly communicate what you're hoping to accomplish by outlining your success metrics and/or learning agenda. No one expects you to have all the answers from the get go but it's essential that you clearly articulate why your initiative matters and what you're hoping to accomplish or learn. Also, if you're asking for budget or resources from other teams, your goals and overarching objective should ladder up to broader company initiatives or objectives these partners are excited about. 
  • Leverage any existing data, performance benchmarks, relevant case studies and consumer insights to support your ask. Help others understand why this initiative is a great opportunity. What have others done in the past that make you believe your project/campaign/initiative will be a success? What is the opportunity size? Are there external organizations that have done something similar and seen success? What are we hearing from customers and seeing within user behavior that tell us this is a great idea or at least an idea worth trying?
  • Start small but think strategically and for the long term. Everyone wants to make a lasting impact so be sure to show how your idea can scale. Start with a small ask and test into your idea but be sure to show that you've thought out the long term plan and how and why your idea can scale. This can be as simple as outlining next steps beyond the initial test or quickly speaking to what an evergreen program would entail. 
  • Bring key partners and stakeholders along for the ride. The earlier you can get feedback and buy in from key partners, the better. Get their feedback early on so you can incorporate their thoughts into your project brief and address any key questions in advance. This also helps communicate to others that you have cross-functional support and that others are also excited about your idea.
628 Views
Savita Kini
Savita Kini
Cisco Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AIFebruary 3

This is an interesting question. I have been a PMM and I have been in channel enablement leader in APAC. Maybe let me offer my perspective of being on the field. My stakeholders were regional sales leadership, not PMMs. But I need PMMs & PMs to support enablment. I am in the middle - responsible to orchestrate demand with supply. The challenge was first of all getting the data from the field (that was a whole another story!!), once I had data, how to address the business and who I needed was step #2. PMMs would have helped me the most if they also spent more time listening to the field sales and channel folks, versus simply dumping content on my team. One of the challenges which any global company will have in todays world is knowing, internalizing that geos are different, consumption models are different or at least how to go-to-market will be different. I know on the recieving end as PMM - I would have really hit my capacity if I were to do this all on my own, sitting in "Silicon valley". Thats what I call the SV bubble. The model some companies are adopting is having a global distributed PMM teams. In one role - I was a global PMM reporting to SJC but being in the Geo, I stepped in to support local events, local customer briefings and such. I learnt a lot from wearing both hats and being able to bring that feedback to the SJC team. Unfortunately, some of them didn't care, but then they didn't last long as the company became more and more tuned into build products as well locally ... thats what will be the future. 

553 Views
Tracy Montour
Tracy Montour
HiredScore Head of Product MarketingAugust 5

As a product marketing leader with no budget, I totally empathize with your concerns but I am here to tell you it is possible. It's all about relationships. You need to work with marketing, product, and sales leaders to align on iniatives and convince them it is a good use of their time, resources, and budget. You can do this by mutually coming to an understanding of the problem at hand, and why the spend is justified. Always come prepared with an ROI analysis/forecast!

253 Views
Elizabeth Brigham
Elizabeth Brigham
Davidson College Director, The Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and EntrepreneurshipJanuary 30

Hmmm...I actually haven't had the experience of PMM not having budget to spend, so not sure I can really speak directly to this. I have worked at a start up where we basically have no budget at all, but that's another story on scrapiness.

In general though, any time I've had to write a business case to get funding for an initiative, I typically follow this format:

  • How will my initiative materially affect the business? Revenue growth? Cost efficiencies/economies of scale? Market expansion?
  • Why am I asking for this now, why is this a priority over other things we want to do?
  • What other options did I consider before arriving at this recommendation? What criteria did I use to arrive at my recommendation?
  • What additional resources (time, money, people) will I need to successfully execute on this initiative?
  • What risks do I foresee with this initiative and how do I plan to mitigate them?
  • Then I'd add a project plan/timeline and when either money will be spent or additional resources will need to come into the project.
1063 Views
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