Amey Kanade

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Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), Amazon
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Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

Another great question. Product launches more often than not tend to get chaotic, especially as you approach the launch date. We follow the RACI framework for decision making (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix) and we make sure we appoint only 1 DRI from every team. The teams who need to be part of your communication channel typically depend on your org structure but as a piece of advice make sure that every team is equally represented (and there is no over or under-representation). Typically at organizations, I have worked, we would have Product, Brand & Marketing, Sales PR (and legal, CS if necessary) teams involved all in different capacities.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

Great question. There could be many reasons why a GTM plan is deemed risky. Perhaps because a lot is hinging on a product launch, or a risky marketing campaign and the riskiest of all - you as a PMM are not completely on board with the product. (The later should not happen but it has happened to many us, I assume)

IMO, the key is to 

1. Over-communicate: Define a DRI, make sure every stakeholder is involved, follow a decision-making model such as the one I mentioned above (RACI model). 

2. Plan plan plan: Have a mitigation plan B ready if your original plan fails, or perhaps even a Plan C if Plan B fails. For a recent launch campaign we did on Indiegogo, we had Plan Bs for every major marketing activity. 

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

1. I create custom marketing dashboard daily reports ahead of every product launch. (Google analytics/Periscope/Tableau Daily Reports, don't have a specific preference as long as the right metrics are reported to all stakeholders on a daily basis during the launch period)

2. I hate and love Asana, Slack.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

Great question. I have worked in the consumer electronics/Hardware industry for most of my career so my answer is going to be from a consumer product launch pov. I have seen many launch teams make the mistake of defining "launch" as the initial period usually lasting a day (or perhaps a few days) for e.g. launching a new website/product page, a PR announcement., an ad campaign, a launch event at CES, etc. From my experience, this is just the start of your launch and one should look at launch from a slightly broader perspective. For a recent product my team launched, we had a 6-month strategic and tactical launch plan. This 6-month launch plan listed the cadence of all launch activities (channels, messaging, campaings, plan Bs if something fails, DRIs amongst many other things). At my current company, the product marketing team passes on the baton to the lifecycle marketing team when we think the "launch period" is over. And we don't pass on that baton till we think the product has crossed the chasm. Hope this helps.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

Short answer - Get a good project manager on your team :)

But I understand you don't always have the luxury to get a proj. mgr for a product launch. In some cases, for bigger launches, I have asked for a shared proj. manager from another team (especially the product team). If nothing - you basically have to wear two hats. I find it very hard and time-consuming because it takes me away from my PMM work, but it is a key role and someone has to do it diligently. I also use proj. management tools, don't have a preference here (asana, jira,...whatever rocks your boat)

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

I think measuring success is relatively easy - you have GA, Tableau and similar tools to measure web traffic, purchases, etc. I think the most difficult thing is to define success ahead of a product launch. At my current company, we had large amounts of historical data from previous product launches such as page visits, page visits from the specific channels, paid vs organic traffic, revenue from every channel, etc. So we built a forecasting model that predicted the revenue forecast for Day 1, Day 30 and lifetime (1-year) for every product launch. The model was pretty accurate in predicting this, mainly because we had a large amount of historical data. You could get even more sophisticated in terms of adding external variables to this forecasting model - e.g.seasonaility, marketing events, adding new channels, etc. 

Although it gets a little tricky when you don't have historical data and are launching a completely new product. But you can still come up with a model which predicts some quantifiable goal (revenue, visits, etc), make assumptions based on your research. 

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

I don't use a specific framework. I work at an eCommerce company now and we launch several products on our platform (300+ hardware SKUs each year). It was impossible to come up with GTM plans for each and every product, so we came up with our own framework for product launches. Tactically speaking, our framework categorized product launches in three tiers A - highest revenue forecast, B, C- lowest revenue forecast. And for every tier, we defined specific launch tasks/tactics, budget, etc. I think the framework worked for us really well for us, mainly because it bought discipline around our product launches. At some other companies, where we had 1-2 flagship launches year, I tend to spend a lot more time defining the launch plan, but never really followed a specific framework. I have seen many launches in my lifetime but no 2 launces have been the same. That said I would love to know if anybody here has a favorite framework for product launches.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

A few tips and I would love to hear what y'all do for this. I tend to get a writer's block every time I have launched a product. 

1. Inspiration from other industries: So if you are launching a consumer electronic product, check out a product launch from the say for e.g. fashion industry. 

2. Competition: Not necessarily to draw inspiration, but to avoid making any mistakes your competition might have made at a product launch. A quick tactic I follow - I go back in history on the competition blogs or social handles, there are some browser toolswhich allow you to go in history and show how the website looked like during a certain period.

3. And in general, I keep my eyes and ears open to successful marketing launches and make notes.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonFebruary 17

I always start with defining the customer and then working backwards. 

1. Define the customer: Based on the market data, I come up with a few personnas. Personnas makes is easier to tell a story and it's easier for your audience (in your case your - CMO) to visualize the customer. Use all the data you have to build a semi-fictional charater and the world around her/him. Use images, videos.

2. Define the probelm this charater faces and the current solutions (or lack thereof). Talk about her frustrations, likes, dislikes, usage behavior etc. 

3. How does your product fullfill this customers needs -Your products USPs/KSPs and in order of importance. For e.g. If you are selling a sports camera - A surfer would find the waterproof feature of highest importance whereas a skateboarder would rate it's scratchproof lens as #1 feature.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for personna #2, 3 ....and so on. I try to define at least 5.

Amey Kanade
Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs), AmazonApril 21

I try to follow Google's 80/20 innovation model. Basically I reserve 20% of the effort (in terms of time and budget) to think of new innovative ideas. I hold brainstorming sessions or ask members to come back with at least one whacky idea. Now, this is not possible for every product launch and when you are already stretched, but I try to do this for a big launch. 

Credentials & Highlights
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs) at Amazon
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Studio City, California
Knows About Competitive Positioning, Developer Product Marketing, SMB Product Marketing, Product ...more