Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 22

First and foremost it is critical to make sure that Sales has plenty of visibility into what product is building, timelines around availability, and how PMM plans to take it to market (what tier/priority is the launch).

For any Tier 1 or Tier 2 launch, PMM should align with Sales Enablement on 

  • What is being built
  • Why it's being built now
  • Who is the audience (existing customers/prospects)
  • What is the persona
  • How does this compare to competition 
  • Value pillars for customers 

From there, Sales Enablement works with PMM to determine what the best ways to enable the Sales teams. Some tactics include: 

  • Live trainings that cover positioning, messaging, competitive landscape, demo, pricing, etc 
  • Recorded training + testing with tools like Workramp 
  • Techinical training for Support or Technical sales reps - usually in partership with Product 
  • Assets: Pitch slides, customer testimonials, business claims, one-pagers, feature comprison sheets, etc

Regardless of the tactics used, the key to success is aligning with Sales (either via sales leaders or the sales enablement team) on the what, why, who, and how - to build a successful enablement plan together. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 24

Any GTM presentation should probably include some variance of the following:
- Intro to the problem you're solving with this feature/product
- Why you're solving it now (the opportunity)
- What you've built
- The target audience
- Messaging: Key value drivers / benefits (for each audience)
- KPI's
- GTM strategy / campaign approach (how will you bring this to market?)
- BONUS: any social proof or claims derived from beta

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 23

Typically when we have long beta's it doesn't significantly change the way we create our GTM strategy. For our largest launches we're usually starting to kick off launch planning about 18-20 weeks ahead of launch, and smaller releases are closer to 8-10 weeks. Long beta's are actually ideal so there is ample time to get customers using the new product/feature and time to see quantifiable results that can be leveraged for marketing assets (testimonials, quotes, etc).

Significant product changes between beta and launch can be difficult to navigate. One technique we've used to mitigate this risk, is to commit to 'product ready dates' where product commits to UI complete with ample time for marketing to create assets. If that date needs to pushed out due to beta feedback, then the launch will risk being delayed as well. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 23

There are probably a few useful frameworks you can implement off the bat:

1. Establish a clear tiering framework - what constitutes a tier 1 launch versus a tier 3 or 4, what is the desiered business outcome of each, audience, associated GTM tactics for each tier, etc. Aligh with your product team on this framework.

2. Create a GTM Strategy template - that outlines how you plan to take the feature to market. It should include details like announcement date, tier, target audience, goal, messaging guide, and more.

3. Create a GTM milestones template - that details all the milestones leading up to a launch, including the DACI for each milestone and the timeline assocaited with each milestone.

These 3 templates/frameworks could take you a long way, and should be created with contribution from your product counterparts. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 22

Whether we're looking at our high-level product messaging, solution messaging or feature level messaging - we follow a messaging framework that remains consistent. 

  • What is it (short desciprtion & long description) 
  • How does it work? 
  • 3-5 Key benefits 
  • Differentiators 
  • Target audience 
  • Claims & proof points 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeMarch 16

Our product marketing org strucuture is made up of 6 groups. Most of our groups are aligned directly to product, and how product strucutres their org. So each product group that is focused on building customer facing product - has a PMM group aligned to it. We refer to these PMMs as "full stack" PMMs partnering closely with product in defining roadmap and scope and GTM teams in bringing new products and features to market. 

We also have a group focused on enablement - supporting our customer facing teams with industry and segment positioning and messaging, customer facing assets, content and more. 

I will say that our team has evolved many times over the years, and we continue to be flexible and adapt to the needs of the business. PMM orgs need to take into account a companies gtm strategy, product strategy, etc and adapt as those things evolve as well. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 23

This answer may be two-fold.

As for tools we use for launches, we find Coda to be pretty indespensible. We've designed our launch template within it that serves as a master doc for all GTM documentation associated with a launch. It centralizes all our key launch documentation from the GTM strategy, deliverables, DACI, launch activities and more. It's indepsnesible because it truly makes project management extrememly easy, and offers a ton of flexibility.

The reason I say this answer is two-fold is because Coda is only one part of the solution. I think all product marketing teams should have a solid tiering framework that is used to align on how product and features will be brought to market, and a solid launch template that is reusable and flexes depending on the size of a launch.

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 23

On average our PMMs sync with their PM counterparts on a weekly cadence. At Intercom the ratio of PMM to PM is usually 1:4.

Quarterly meetings include roadmap review sessions (2-3), usually a few weeks ahead of the following quarter.

Annually PMMs are feeding into the product's winning strategy which consists of defining the next years overall strategy within a product and/or solution area.

Leading up to a launch calendars will fill up with GTM syncs across the various marketing teams, and an increase in adhoc meetings with product counterparts to review and revise.

And last but not least, product marketing is listening in on sales calls on an ongoing basis an on average spends about 1hour per week there, at minimum. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 23

The most straightforward way to manage this might be to divide the products between the two of you in an even way - where each of you has a clear line of ownership, end-to-end, of your skews. This will be less messy to untangle as you hire new pmms, where you can hand off speficic product areas in a clean way.

As far as there only being 2 of you, and multiple/complex products - once you're clear in what you own, work to prioritize the product areas that are aligned to business impact. Which products are the most healthy for the business and how can you prioritize these areas in the short term? 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, ModeFebruary 24

If there is one thing I've learned in my time at Intercom it is to ALWAYS start with the problem statement. This is ingrained deeply into how we solve problems, and it really stems from how our product team builds product. At the core, never start with the solution - always start by outlining the problem you are trying to solve.

My colleague Robbie does a great job of explaining this philosophy here. The main takeaways are:
1. Define the outcome the customer wants
2. Define why they want that outcome
3. What's wrong with how they are currently solving this problem

It might be helpful to suggest such frameworks to your product team, and this should also help in informing how you build your marketing plan (identifying customer pain points, the audience, etc). This framework could also help in the last point you make as well, around suggestion to NOT do some launches. WIthout clear problems-to-be-solved, it makes it easier to suggest to not do something.

As far as working remotely, don't be afraid to share thoughts in working docs, and allow space for working asynchronously. 

Credentials & Highlights
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing at Mode
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Lives In San Francisco
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