Yes. One of product marketers’ jobs in the process is to continue sounding the alarm for user validation at each phase of the process, but that’s easier said than done. Pressure to ship product work quickly directly conflicts with this. The reality is that some product teams are more user-centric than others. If you have a product org that is not as user-centric in the early stages, it’s an opportunity for you to get more involved at that point.
Develop better relationships with your PDE orgs and bring more value to the table in the form of distilled customer insights and future projections around target markets, market sizing, and expected GTM impact. It’s hard for PMs to ignore clear, concise, and helpful information that could help them make better decisions.
In my career, the launches I’ve been “brought into” at a late stage have almost always been less impactful, and sometimes that’s okay. Not everything needs to be a big splash. Sometimes when these are pure “feature parity” launches that merely bring you up to industry standard or simply provide parity across platforms, you don’t need to be so involved in the product cycles. But if you're making bigger investments in the product than that, you should absolutely have a seat at the table. Try using data to make your case. If there was an example of a disappointing launch that you were brought into last minute, use that business failure as a reason to try something new in the process.
It’s also helpful to define what types of launches you can offer the product org and to clearly articulate what their side of the bargain looks like to get those levels of service from you. For example, “tier 1 and tier 2 launches must involve product marketing in the discovery and/or validation stages of product development.”
However, if you've tried those things and your product team is exploring new features or serious directional changes without your input, I’d recommend finding a better playground. While you can make significant headway in influencing individuals or certain leaders you work with, if you’re in an environment that doesn’t respect PMMs, it’s better for you to take your talent somewhere that does!