Aaron Brennan

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Product Marketing, Dropbox
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Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

Oh this is fun! Adding new features and or functions to grow into a new market or persona is a great way to grow. The sales team on the other hand may not get excited for it, this is new things to learn, new messaging, new persona when they might have gotten used to the last one. I position this as a new market and new sales goals that will increase their effectiveness and they get to make more money off commissions. So I usually show them the size of the new market or how many of these persona's there are in the industries we are going after. Once they realize how big the growth opportunities are and the impact on their commissions that is when we start doing fun programs like Q & A's with these persona's where the sales team gets to really know this type of users, Trivia with prizes that allow them to compete for amazon gift cards or a dinner out, we also offer first call help where product marketing will jump on their first call with the new persona to help them sell! This all makes sales jobs so much easier and gets them super excited for the opportunities to make more money!

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

So I have done a lot of work with Profit Well, they have some great frameworks and suggestions for building Pricing and packaging. The ideal scenario for me is to find out what I am building towards, what is our goal. Is it a land grab, are we just trying to get as many people as possible or are we building towards revenue and that is the biggest driver. From there you should be able to find the framework that either brings in more registrations or optimizes for revenue in order to make sure you are hitting company goals. But if you haven't checked out profit well, I highly suggest them!

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

So I am actually not sure this should be split, the best companies I have ever worked at Product Management and Product Marketing shared these numbers and it was our goal as a team to impact these. Now not every company looks at it this way, some just want to know the impact YOU as a single person or team are impacting. So I usually talk about owning registration numbers, second week retention numbers and have the product teams focused on the MAU and DAU numbers from there out and work with them to make sure they are retaining. 

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

This is my number one problem that I run into with Product Teams when entering new companies or teams. Product Marketing is part of the Product Team, I had a great Product Manager that used to tell me that I was a capital "P" not a capital "M" meaning Product always comes first. So I have impacted this in a few ways, I started requiring Marketing Requirements documents to be attached to the Product Requirements or Epics my product teams were making. This ensured that the engineering team knew who we were building it for, how big the market was that we were going after with this feature or function and what the high level messaging we were testing with was. This allowed engineers to get a better sense of the impact these releases were going to make and how it was designed and built. I have even had some engineers and product teams require this at other organizations they went to. The other way you can show them the value is to lean into active usage and retention as a metric you care and hold yourself accountable for. These are the metrics product teams care most about, if no one is using and retaining then the product won't survive. Know these numbers, know how launches and messaging and the customer journey impacts these numbers and the Product Team will show you SOOO much respect and start looking at you than more than just a marketer!

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

This is hard, Product Marketers should have even more of a hand in a Product Led Organization. Your team should be the market expert on who this is being built for and why and how do we position what we are building to impact the customers coming in. With that being said, sometimes Product Marketing does not get a seat at the table in these decisions, from here I would use your data to tell your story, your customers journey should be seamless and straight to the point so they know what they are getting. Dig deep into that customer journer, find out the places where they are falling through the cracks and when the journey starts to fail, run either a quantitative or qualitative analysis with these customer and find out what was missing. If you can put this into consumable data that the Product Team can see and this will help you impact their roadmap and they will invite you to the table. So I would suggest here to lean into ownership of the customer journey and ask how can we fix/solve/improve this and work with the Product Team to implement these changes. I encourage and in facg require my product marketers to understand the journey the customer takes through their process. If the messaging or what is being built is not resonating or you are "shipping the org chart" from a messaging or process then our team owns it and works with the necessary teams to fix it. It is hard to argue against data so use it to your advantage.

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

Our team always looks at negative feedback and incorporates it in product roadmap decisions... BUT there is one rule that myself and my teams always use in these feedback sessions. 1 is not a constant, meaning that if it is just one negative feedback we don't use it, as this doesn't mean scale, this could just be an issue with this customer and no one else is feeling it. So we look at critital mass of feedback or reviews around the same topic. As a Product Marketer you need to take the good with the bad and you can find great learnings and growth in negative feedback. My favorite custmers are the ones that are most upset with us, they give me raw and honest feedback that I can take to improve the customer ecxperience for others coming down to our products down the road. So I would make sure the complaints/negative reviews are in groups or segmented by complaint so you can make sure that you are moving things on the roadmap that can scale and have impact. One word of advice, have really hard conversations in the mirror! You can't be good at everything and it is ok if you aren't, if you can't improve there is no growth.

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

This is a fun question! Creating new functions that could have a massive impact but you are unsure of is fun and also can be scary. So the goal here is to look for as much data as possible to evaluate the risk! I always start with what are we trying to build and who are we trying to build this for, once I have the persona's I typically like to go out and find groups of these persona's that I can do a quantitative analysis through surveys asking how much of an impact this will have, I also like to find out the depth of these particular risks is this a "nice to have" or a "MUST HAVE" feature. If it falls into the "MUST HAVE" you can reduce that risk and impact the product roadmap! After I run my quant analysis I will try to get these persona's on the phone calls or panels to talk in depth about the emotional stake that impacts these users. This will help you reduce the risk of building something that may flop in the market and build a better relationship with the product team and they will come to you more often for feedback on the roadmap; what needs to be move forward or back or maybe needs to come off the roadmap all together. We have a rule that it needs to fall into one of our tier releases which means it needs to impact or bring in a certain amount of revenue before it gets built and we have 3 tiers, tier 1 impacts 80% or more of users, tier 2 60-79% of users or tier 3 40-59% if it is below that we don't build it. You can also get great customer quotes that will impact this decision during the quantitative analysis that can impact the risk assessment. 

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, DropboxApril 7

First off, Hey everyone! Nice to be doing this AMA with everyon and we will kick it off here with How do you influence the Product Roadmap and a PMM. So this is a great question and I build and strategically place my teams with the Product Management teams in order to make sure that we have this communcation structure in place to impact the roadmap. In order to influence a product roadmap the best course of action is to build out your initial go to market strategy, build out a TAM so that you know what the total addressable market is. From there as the roadmap is being built certain features and functions should be able to directly address the markets and persona's that you are going to market with. So when a feature is built you can run a quantitative and qualitative analysis with the persona's you created and figure out if this will make a critical impact. Product teams always want to build for scale, building for one offs is difficult and expensive and doesn't scale. So do the research on how big is this market and does this make sense to build from a Profit and Loss and your product teams will start to bring you into the fold more.

Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan
Product Marketing, Dropbox
Credentials & Highlights
Product Marketing at Dropbox
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Newark, New Jersey
Knows About Analyst Relationships, Competitive Positioning, Developer Product Marketing, Pricing ...more