At Product School. we don't have a concrete template (yet) but we do follow a checklist to ensure that everything s iaccomplished prior to launch:
Of course, each Product Manager should have their own checklist in addition to this. But most importantly, the end result of each checklist should encompass all company factors that are necessary for ensuring customer happiness.
You can check out a more detailed description of the list in this article.
I don't think there is one tool that will necessarily make launches "easy", but I certainly agree with Nina that alligment is fundemental towards the success of a launch.
I have found that daily all-hands meetings with the leader of departments can be very successful in keeping everything flowing smoothly. While some may argue that this takes too much time, having the peace of mind on a daily basis that everyone is covering their bases will give you the opportunity to focus on strategy and other components of the launch.
Additionally, I always have been an advocate for transparent accountability. This can be as simple as having a checklist on a whiteboard that is visible to the entire office. Although you never want to put someone on the spot, keeping people aware of where they stand with a product launch puts pressure on them to deliver.
Phenomenal questions and subsequent responses.
To add to this, I would say that there are several major factors that prevent product launches from being successful:
1. Lack of communication across departments : this is often one of the most challenging problems you can face due to conflicting personalities, and individuals being head strong or too proud to come to a common understanding. If departments aren't aligned, serious complications can arise during launch, and the outcome can be disasterous.
2. Not having a clearly defined checklist. I have seen too many times PMs or other department heads launching products with the notion in their head that they have "been there done that", and thus go into the launch completely unprepared. Checklists are crucial for keeping everyone on the same page, ensuring that even the smallest details are met, and being sure that the product is ready for the market.
3. Failing to prepare for failure (pun certainly intended). While we always want to believe that each product launch is going to be successful, it just isn't realitic to think that you'll nail a launch 100% of the time. Having a plan of action for when things don't go according to plan is a great way to bounce back from the poor performance, and to get ready for the next iteration of what you are accomplshing.
Of course, improvement is always viable, and there are always ways to deal with hurdles to ensure that launches can go as planned.
I believe that this question has a two-fold answer. The first being that existing customers should play a large role in product launches. Since they have already bought into the previous models, you want them to remain loyal with new features. Launching something new without considering them in mind could have a hugely adverse effect. Also, as David mentioned above, the refrences from existing products is what will help drive success for the launch and the overall lifespan of the product.
On the other hand, growth is the name of the game, so there obviously should be an element of focus towards new customers. New product ambassadors are critical in spreading the message, just as the base of customers are essential for establishing the reputation of the product.
A Product Marketing Manager’s position varies depending on the company. However, you will find yourself from time to time working very closely together with the PM and count yourselves as part of the team. So depending on the situation, company organization, and phase you are at it will be advisable to report to the PM, the CMO, or Head of Marketing.
The real first question you should be asking yourself is how can you empathize with product. Just as with your role and other PMM roles, Product Managers and members of the product team are swamped with suggestions, demands, and interjections regarding how they should go about improving their processes. This can be draining and frustrating.
Once you are able to level with your PM and their team, this is your foot in the door to communicating ideas more effectively. You should also note that when you are influencing a person, manipulation won't work - rather you will have to communicate in a way that makes sense to everyone.
The best way to do this is providing hard data, numbers, and outcomes that will highlight your input. If you are trying to make your ideas come to life simply because you feel it is the right thing to do, you are far less likely to have your voice heard.
So remember, first you have to be human, and then you have to be a human who has numbers supporting them. Once you have that down, you should be able to at least have a productive conversation.
I would say that most successful growth managers are adept with Data Analytics and Digital Marketing.
Of course there is generally more to it than just two skills, but the combination of these skills has generally been the spearhead of creating sound decisions that are based on numbers and hard evidence.
Interesting question for sure. I feel that most of these answers do a great job of highlighting the distinction, but something I would add is that the product is essentially the vehicle for the solution. You can't have a solution without a product, but you can have a product that doesn't offer a solution.
A feature is merely an additional part of the product that may create a quicker solution, a new type of solution, or just be a meaningless add-on.
Of course, there is a lot of contextual elements that go into this, but I would say that the summation of these answers gives you a clear view of the differences .
I was going to go into a long-winded answer until I saw that Josh Goslinger kind of laid out the core points I was going to mention (like a pro I may add). Regardless, I'll give you my two cents.
Within use cases, you can do some A/B for segmented audiences to gather information on what exactly is needed in these distinct audiences, and what kind of journey they are trying to go on with your product. Since you describe a release that is not necessarily available, these broken down use cases will paint a clearer picture on what will need to be available in the future.
Since the release is somewhat 'vague' and the audience is unique, the release may miss its initial mark. This is fine! It is a beta and you are learning from this.
As the founder of Product School, I know that Product Marketing is difficult to define because it varies from company to company, and it can even vary between different products. However, it should be common knowledge that Product Marketing does much more than just “helping PMs launch things”.
Try to show how your work is essential and how, without marketing, you might have a different favorite brand of coffee, or be working for a completely different company than you are right now. But the most important thing you will want to highlight is that part of your job is gathering and processing customer feedback, which is essential for the PM team to develop a product.
In the end, you must remember that while your role and the PM’s do not always overlap, a PM and PMM will have to work together eventually and must communicate effectively to trust each other.