What tools should Product Marketing use to relay customer feedback to Product management?
As a rule, I like to work with existing tools the Product team uses to avoid adding overhead to their day.
To communicate and collaborate we use the usual suspects: Slack, Notion, Asana, Google Slides, and live meetings. However a big focus for me was to establish a Research Hub - a centralized and searchable repository for customer insights so that PMs and Marketers could quickly make decisions because they had easy access to this information. Today this lives on Notion, but I could see us moving to a more specialized solution as we grow.
Most of the tools we use in product marketing are focused on collecting and analyzing the insights (customer feedback or otherwise) we need to use to define our strategy and inform our cross-functional teams, but not actually relaying it to Product Management. So this part of the process for us ends up being a lot of slideware, emails, Slack messages or one-on-one meetings (shameless plug here for my company, Lattice, which helps me manage and track all of my one-on-one conversation agendas with my peers in product management and across the organization – it rocks for building these relationships).
Great question and I would be very curious to hear how other companies do this! I mentioned in an earlier question that Square is very collaborative, and that means there is a mix of formal, and informal, ways in which we deliver customer feedback.
Formal research / customer feedback studies:
- PMM often captures customer feedback through conducting surveys, commissioning external research, listening to calls from Sales or Account Management/Customer Success, analyzing dashboards, or conducting interviews ourselves.
- When we conduct these more formal studies, we always produce a Google Doc that summarizes the project objectives, goals and approach, and key findings (in addition to a link to all the raw data & feedback).
- PMMs can provide immense value by taking the time to distill the insights into an executive summary, and articulate the prevalence of a specific piece/theme of feedback, and the impact it could have if addressed (e.g. will more customers adopt the product, vs. will it help with engagement or retention, etc).
- In order to highlight this added strategic perspective, I haven’t found anything more effective than a well-written doc that the product teams can read and comment on.
More informal ways of delivering feedback:
- We host regular meetings with our Sales, Account Management and Customer Success representatives where they can surface individual customer stories and feedback directly to both PMs and PMMs.
- We also utilize slack channels heavily, where PMMs and other functions can share customer feedback directly with our product managers, as we hear it. While many of these ‘one-off’ stories re-inforce feedback that has already been heard before, they provide additional insight into use cases or nuances that may not have been fully understood before.
Top Tools used for delivering customer feedback:
- Google Docs & Sheets - to summarize customer feedback, which can be translated into spreadsheets that Product Managers can use to further assess and prioritize the requests.
- Salesforce is used by our Sales/AM teams to log feature requests, with dashboards we can access to pull top requests.
- Gong - We also utilize Gong to listen to calls from our Sales/AM teams, and will often include links to the recordings in write-ups.
And finally, I’ll mention the importance of repetition in delivering customer feedback. A well-written report may be appreciated and digested, but a PMM will gain even more trust as the voice of the customer if they are also referencing those key insights and speaking knowingly about the customer use cases in live discussions, product design reviews, roadmap planning sessions and more.