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Who should lead the creation of Customer Advisory Board? PMM with PM and CS or PM and CS with the advisory of PMM?

4 Answers
Sangita Sarkar
Sangita Sarkar
Immutable Head Of MarketingNovember 13

Every organization will structure this differently. I've seen most success when PM and CS take the lead with the advisory of the PMM. Due to the sheer technical aspects of most issues, the majority of issues can be quickly addressed and foreseen with PMs taking the lead; however, it is critical for the PMM to be involved in preventing or mitigating consumer sentiment with adverse effects on product in the long haul.

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Vishal Naik
Vishal Naik
Google Product Marketing LeadDecember 7

As a PMM, I tend to view the RACI as PMM being responsible/accountable and CS being considered and PM being informed/potentially considered. 

But it depends on your org and how you're structured. The reason I say PMM is because I think the value of an advisory board is to help understand new trends, forecast the future, and help guide the product. So its about the intersection of the product and the market. 

CS teams could also lead and advisory board as well. I think the best solution on who should lead the creation of the advisory board being whichever team has the bandwith and available time for the critical thinking to maximize the program. Better to have the "wrong" team lead it if they are giving it real thought than having the "right" team lead it and go through the motions without maximizing its impact. 

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Matt Hodges
Matt Hodges
Equals Head of Product MarketingDecember 15

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule here, so I'd start by asking what you want from a Customer Advisory Board and what types of customers you'd want to participate. In my experience, specifically at Intercom, the creation of the CAB was owned by Sales & Success since they owned the relationships with the customers we wanted to participate. The goal at the time was to help us shape our "enterprise" roadmap.

602 Views
Elizabeth Grossenbacher
Elizabeth Grossenbacher
Cisco Product Marketing LeaderJanuary 19

Anyone can lead a Customer Advisory Board (CAB). But when you put together the goals of the CAB, you’ll see that it’s more efficient for it to sit under PMM. Here are two main reasons for this:

  1. It’s part of our job. 😉 PMMs are uniquley positioned to lead the CAB because we already aim to inform the product roadmap, create the GTM strategy, and influence the way we do business. We acheve these by delivering market and customer insights, which fits so naturally with a CAB.
  2. PMMs are trained to understand the entire buyer team, while PM and CS may only be accustomed to the practitioner personas. This may come in handy when you're establishing the criteria for customers selected to be on the CAB. 

The first time I launched a CAB I, I had two different tracks: one for executives and one for practitioners. This made it easier for us to discuss topics relevant to these groups, while also making personas feel as though they were among peers.

When you put together your CAB, I encourage you to define roles for internal stakeholders. For me, it looked like this:

  • PMM leads the CAB.
  • PM serves as the main partner to help define goals, participants, and topics. PM will also be in the room for live discussions with the CAB.
  • CS will contribute to the topics and provide insights or suggestions for which customers to select for the CAB.

It’s important to note that the key findings of the CAB were shared with the entire company in an executive summary report. A detailed report was shared with the GTM team and PMs.

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