Becky Trevino

Becky TrevinoShare

Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software
Becky Trevino is the Executive Vice President of Product at Snow Software. At Snow, Becky leads a 60+ person product organization including Product Management, User Experience, Product Marketing, a...more
Content
Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

My biggest advice is be customer-focused. 

I am a big believer in PMM being a strategic partner to Product Management. 

Beyond this simply being my belief, it is hard to build a strong PMM organization unless the business sees the function as strategic. One of the ways in which I've helped Product Marketing to be viewed as an important and strategic function of the business is by influencing the product roadmap. 

Each PMM on my team - including myself - is involved at Product Discovery. The reason we're involved is that we come into the discussion with a strong understanding of the market, our customer (in particular the buyer persona), the competitive landscape, win-loss data within sales, campaign performance, and with data on how our products are performing (e.g. pipeline/bookings) by region/customer/by channel. 

At Snow, we subscribe to the notion that Product Marketing is measurable. The PM role is simply too large to own all of what I just described in the last paragraph. If you are known as someone who understands the customer and you are in possession of data than can help support product in prioritization, then you can get that set at the Product table that you are seeking.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

I recently had a member of my team leave Product Marketing to become a Product Manager. We spent a few months talking through and planning this transition. During this process, what I learned is that the decision to be a PM or PMM comes down to where you enjoy spending your time.

PM and PMM are both focused on solving customer problems. They just go about it in different ways.

The PM works to build a product that solves the problem whereas the PMM focuses on building the go-to-market strategy required for that customer to know that a product exists in market that can solve their problem.

Both roles are important but different people thrive in the role. 


A good product manager needs to feel comfortable not only understanding a customer but also will need to hold their own when working with engineering and design. While part of a dedicated team, neither design nor engineering report into PM. A good PM works closely with her extended team and this means a lot of time in Jira understanding user stories and understanding the product backlog. If working at the user versus buyer persona feels best to you and you enjoy the idea of partnering closer to design and engineering, then Product Management may be a good next step for you.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

One of the pillars of Product Marketing at Snow Software – where I work – is that we should “Be the glue between Marketing, Product, and Sales Enablement”. 

While this sounds great, it is hard. 

A rock star PMM serves the needs of these three customers equally. However, for most of us it’s really hard to have an A+ relationship with these three groups at the same time. 

For most of us, if we have an A+ with Marketing, then we’re usually managing a B+ with both Product and Enablement. In my view, it’s helpful to focus on getting everything right with one group and understanding that while you’re doing that some gaps may occur in one of the other two. 

My frustration with this is that I want to be an A+ for everyone all the time. It's just not possible and that frankly frustrates me endlessly.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

When looking at the product lifecycle, I typically refer to a framework like Product School’s 7 Phases of Product Development:

• Phase 1 – Discovery
• Phase 2 – Define
• Phase 3 – Design
• Phase 4 – Implementation
• Phase 5 – Marketing
• Phase 6 – Training
• Phase 7 - Launch

The critical points for collaboration occur in phases 5 – 7 described above. In these stages, the PM and PMM work together on messaging & positioning, value proposition, train the sales teams, and build a go-to-market that will lead to the official release of this new product and feature.

While these final 3 phases are the most critical, I would argue that the best run PM and PMM organizations bring PMMs into the product development process much earlier than Phase 5. My preference is that PMMs be brought in at Phase 1 – Discovery. If you are brought in at the onset, you will have a better understanding of the customer and the market enabling you to have an improved perspective on how the narrative may need to adapt.

A clear line that can be drawn in ownership involves groups you support in getting a product to market. PMM teams I have led typically own any part of the launch plan involving Sales, Sales Enablement, Partner Enablement, and Marketing. PM’s often own training Sales Engineers, Technical Support, Professional Services, and ensuring the demo environment has been updated with new features. If PM and PMM have done a good job at collaboration, key deliverables such as value prop, messaging hierarchies, use case updates have been completed before Phase 5 of the product development process.

Link 7 Phases - https://productschool.com/blog/product-management-2/career-path/7-phases-of-product-development/

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

This answer really depends on the partnership between PM and PMM at your organization. Are you the type of company where PM and PMM are partners? Or are you the type of organization where both groups operate in different silos?

If there is a strong partnership, then the PMM should be just as valuable a team member to the PM as their Designer or Engineer. Strong PMMs bring the voice of the market – the positioning, messaging, insights from win/loss, voice of the field, and insights from winning/failed marketing plans – into the product development lifecycle.

At the end of the day, “what to build” should always fall to Product Management. However, PMM should be one of the strong inputs (including your take on market opportunity and customer feedback) the PM listens to when making the final decision on what should and should not be prioritized.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

When the transfer of information between PM and PMM occurs via a Project Brief, it is essential that the PM include a good description of the market problem this feature/product is intended to solve, why is this problem worth pursuing, who cares about it, why is our solution different than anything else the target customer could have purchased in market, and key use cases. The use case information should be broken down into feature and benefits.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

The most important business objective for Product Marketing is to help the business achieve its sales targets – for some businesses this will be measured in MRR or ACV. However you measure this number, ensure you understand PMMs role in helping the organization meet it. This is the most important thing PMM can do and everything we prioritize needs to tie back to it. If it does not, then we should not be working on it.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 2

There is no one-size-fits-all response to this answer. At Snow Software, where I lead Product Marketing and Operations, pricing falls under me. Prior to my arrival, pricing fell under Product Management. I had an interest in owning pricing and the Product Management lead did not, so it was a quite simple decision. We recently hired a Pricing Manager who works closely with Sales Operations and partners with PM and PMM on pricing strategy.

When Product Management owns pricing, I would see the role of the PMM as providing feedback on pricing via Win-Loss Analysis. Pricing is one of the 4Ps of Marketing and can be a very important lever in your GTM. It is wise to have a pulse on Average Deal Size, Average Discount, and whether your price is causing you to win/lose deals. Another area where PMM can partner on Pricing if it does not fall under PMM is packaging. Based on your research into win-loss, you may be able to see patterns where a different bundle or package is better suited to solving the customer problem.

Note: Many large organizations have specialized pricing departments that report into a Head of Pricing that reports into Finance, Market Intelligence, or another group. In this case, neither PM nor PMM own the function.

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellMarch 3

I am also a huge fan of Amazon's "working backwards" framework where a press release is written at the onset of development. In organizations that use this methodology, it is a great time to bring in the PMM. It also begs the question, when should a press release be written? We typically write in in Phase 5 or 7. I'd argue we should be using this template or another much sooner in the process.

https://www.product-frameworks.com/Amazon-Product-Management.html

Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Executive Vice President Product, Snow Software | Formerly Rackspace, DellOctober 26

Great question. 

To create a powerful partnership between Product Marketing (PMM) and Product Management (PM) it's essential for you to have a common set of KPIs that help you understand whether your work is generating the intended results. 

Warning: For this to work best, it's great for these KPIs to be established as early as you can in the product lifecycle. PMs who wait until the last-minute (think 1-2 sprints before a feature/product will be released) risk not getting the most from this partnership. 

Here's a process I would follow:

1. Provide the PMM sufficient strategic context of your product (e.g. target customer, intended outcomes product will deliver, business case/written narrative)

2. With the strategic context understood, determine which go-to-market (GTM) metrics matter most in your organization (e.g. Monthly Recurring Revenue, Daily Active Users, etc.) These are the metrics that your leaders would look when gauging whether your product is successful post-launch. Often, this data can be found in #1. 

3. With objectives (e.g. what you want to see happen if you everything went as planned) defined in #2, align with PMM on who owns what. For example, do you co-own Daily Active Users (DAU)? Or is DAU only owned by PMM? If DAU is owned by PMM, what key results (e.g. the actions that need to be taken to get to a favorable objective) need to happen for the output to be true (e.g. # of signups need to be X to get to a DAU of Y). 

4. Now that you've documented the objectives, key results, and ownership then discuss how you progress will be communicated between PM and PMM and the broader organization. Here it's important ot establish cadence and who communicates what.

Credentials & Highlights
Executive Vice President Product at Snow Software
Formerly Rackspace, Dell
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Management AMA Contributor
Studied at MBA: Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, MS Engineering: University of Michigan
Lives In Austin, Texas
Knows About Product Launches, Influencing the Product Roadmap, Messaging, Product Marketing 30/60...more