Amanda Groves

Amanda GrovesShare

Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam
Hey there - I’m Amanda, but my friends call me Groves. I’m a marketing leader, athlete, military spouse, and mom. My journey has led me to hold roles across healthcare tech, experiential learning, ...more
Content
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

I really like the story brand framework by Donald Miller. The narrative structure puts the customer as the hero of the story and your solution as the guide to their problem. The book also talks about picking a fight for your product with a focus on vilifying the issues your customers are having. This framework can be applied across stakeholders and performs very well from pitch decks to landing page copy. 

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

It certainly depends on the launch tier along with other market factors/customer dimensions, but typically I am looking at the data to inform next steps. Did we hit our product usage target? Is the narrative landing in sales calls (listening to gong recordings)? Is the pitch deck working (checking deal velocity in SFDC)? I am continually tweaking to ensure we are landing in a place of impact and not stagnation. Aside from this, the mission critical post-launch activity should be - the RETROSPECTIVE! Get your GTM teams together to chat about what you should "start, stop, continue" so you're even better next time. It's important to look in the rearview to inform where you're headed. 

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

When launching new features in products, you can influence activation by reaching your customers where they are in their journey. Whether that's in-app with embedded posts, product tours, explainer videos - or reactivate sleepy customers with targeted email messages. Best resources to learn from: your peers! Join a community like product marketing alliance and try to find mentors (I am always open to chat and coach!). Books: Story brand by Donald Miller, Obviously Awesome by April Dunford, On Writing Well by Willian Zinsser. Podcasts: The Product Marketing Insider, The Product Marketing Experts, Women in Product Marketing. Happy trails!

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

I have, a few times! To establish a Beta program, I would work closely with customer success and product as both stakeholders are needed to keep a beta program running smoothly. Define what good looks like between your stakeholders along with ownership areas and key responsibilities. CS should help determine best fit customers/beta participants, product should validate product efficacy/capture feedback to inform performance, and PMM should orchestrate it all - connect the dots and grab authentic messaging/use cases to inform larger launch moments. Establish non-negotiables for launch with product like: beta participants must verify the feature solves the scoped use case(s). If bugs are surfaced, do they block the launch or can they be prioritized as a fast follow post launch? Also, the best way to get feedback in my opinion is live via customer insight sessions. Your product team likely has these scheduled, so I suggest riding along and asking questions. If not, work with CS to grab time with customers and if you can't get the time - use surveys as a plan b. But nothing can substitute the value of an authenticate conversation!

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

Telltale signs of success: customer buy in. If you have customers that have tested the new feature (in alpha or beta phases), informed the roadmap, and have provided use cases that the feature has solved for - you know your launch train is headed in the right direction. Even better, get commitment from your customers to use their authentic testmonials in launch assets to bring your narrative to life and bring value to similar customer profiles. This helps customers get activated quickly while building trust. Without customer participation and validation, I'd be concered about launch performance as you're relying on guesswork instead of customer hearts and minds.

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerSeptember 7

It depends on seniority level of hire, but typically I look for experience in a customer-centric role: marketing or customer success in SaaS (B2B a plus). Key attributes for me are: detail oriented/technical prowess, storytelling/written abilities, empathy, collaborative, curious, systems mindset and high level of owernship/autonomy. 

You can suss out traits like these by choosing a short take home assignment upfront as a screening assessment. Ask the candidate to "teach you something" (anything, not necessary tech-specific). The process of teaching will tease out most of the above and also show (v. tell) their skill level + fit for your business. Other questions could be:

  • Tell me about a complex solution you marketed - how did you ensure the internal team and customers understood the value and got excitement from the offering?
  • How do you prioritize competing projects across teams?
  • How do you measure success of your programs?
  • How do you stay up to date on industry trends?
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

I track product usage out of the gate and usually shoot for 30% attach rate (adoption) within the target audience I'm serving. 

From there I look to our company North Stars: win rate, deal velocity, pipe gen, expansion rev to inform PMM peformance. 

But product activation and engagement/reactivation is super critical to initial launch measurement and performance.

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerJune 21

Define your why:

  • Why does this feature/product matter? (value)
  • What use cases does it solve for? (messaging) 
  • How does it compare to the "old way" of doing things? (solution statement)
  • How does it compare to the competition? (competitive differentiator)
  • What does good look like for launch? (KPIs)

Define your audience:

  • What personas will benefit from this feature? (audience targeting) 
  • What market segment/industry is it for? (ideal customer profile) 
  • How can my target audience get started? (activation) 
  • What does success look like for them? (implementation)

Product owns the feature up to development complete, while Product Marketing owns market readiness. Use these questions to inform market readiness and intentional, successful launch planning. 

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerSeptember 6

Revenue is the tippy top north star metric. But you can slice and dice how PMM influences revenue based on revenue stage. I like to think about measuring PMM using the 4 A framework:

Awareness - demand gen/PQLs

Activation - registered users/engagement

Adoption - land and expand/utilization

Advocacy - NPS/CSAT/net retention

The PMM function is then split/specalized to inform the above majors and minors, which ultimately influences revenue.

Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Senior Director Product Marketing, Crossbeam | Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, AppsemblerSeptember 6

How do you define product marketing? How do you measure success?

What is your superpower?

What do you wish I asked that I didn't?

What's a brand you think is marketed poorly. Why? What would you do to improve it?

Tell me about your favorite campaign, career win, or highlight. Why does that spark joy for you?

What inspires you? What brings you energy?

Why product marketing?

Credentials & Highlights
Senior Director Product Marketing at Crossbeam
Formerly 6sense, JazzHR, Imagine Learning, Appsembler
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Top 10 Product Marketing Contributor
Studied at University of Pittsburgh. Dual Major: English Writing and Communications
Lives In Allison Park
Hobbies include Running, Painting, Writing, Reading
Knows About Brand Strategy, Building a Product Marketing Team, Category Creation, Competitive Sal...more