Whenever you are new to a PMM role, what are the top 3 things you look for in the work that has been done before you arrived? (e.g. personas, messaging templates)
- Personas / Competitors
Always focus on the top 2 first, as this will impact how everyone talks and writes about your company – which ultimately brings in users and wallet share. Good templates for . And these are different, PMMs control positioning through our messaing. Positioning creates an image of our product in the mind of customers. Messaging uses words that help customer understand our value, brand promise and desire for our product.
Then dive deep into your personas and competitors -- use this data to iterate on your positioning and messaging. Sometimes if you are a first mover, you may not have many competitors yet, then look at Personas 3rd. Or, if you are in a crowded space, knowing the competitors become more important, that’s why I put these both as #3. Depends on what you are walking into. Also, you need a base level understanding of these both in order to do your initial positioning and messaging.
Beyond these top 3, knowing your ICP, TAM, SAM is important too and impacts all of the above. Each step here creates more iteration of your top 2.
As I mentioned in the question regarding your first 90 days, the first 30 days are all about establishing a baseline and assessing the current product marketing status. The first 3 things that I look for when onboarding are:
1) Audience strategy and research. Here I want to understand what’s known about the customer and their jobs-to-be-done. Specifically, personas and segmentation as well as any research related to acquisition and why customers purchase the product. This may also include any prior win/loss interviews and doing your own quick interviews with sales.
2) Current messaging. Look at as much of the customer-facing messaging as possible. This includes highly trafficked landing pages, sales collateral, recent campaigns, and messaging hierarchy templates.
3) Funnel and Lifecycle Performance Data. Here I am looking to understand what the major drop-off points are and the shape of the customer lifecycle. This helps identify areas for potential quick wins and gives you an early perspective on the typical sales or conversion cycle.
Outside of the core PMM assets like messaging, or buyer personas, here are a few other things I'd look for:
- Existing sales pitches or sales assets to understand how the product is positioned
- Gong calls (or other recorded sales calls you can get your hands on)
- Competitive analysis work to understand your unique position in the market
Ideal customer profile (ICP), buyer personas, use cases/sales plays (what problems do you solve for customers and how), and customer journey (what path do these folks take through the funnel to buy from your business
Positioning (brand down to features). This includes website copy, pitch decks, one pagers, messaging frameworks, vision/mission, marketecture (platform/product positioning), competitive positioning (battle cards, VS landing pages, one pagers etc)
Partnership with product (is there a tiered product launch strategy? Is there a product release process? How do we enable our internal teams and customers about new products and features? Is PMM part of the product development process or just get things "thrown over the fence" at the end? Is there a customer facing product roadmap? Is there an internal roadmap/kanban or Jira board?
- Retros on strategic projects, especially those with cross-functional teams so you can identify previous learnings and opps for improvement, and quickly get up to speed on legacy experiences
- Centralization of customer feedback; can you do some quick analysis and theming of it to start to form an objective opinion on customer experiences based on data
- Pricing history; what has happened in the world of monetization before you to understand if there's revenue opportunities on the table as early wins