Dan Laufer

Dan LauferShare

CEO, PipeDreams Ventures
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Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO,
Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 14

That's a great question. It depends a lot on the product of course. There are some products that lend itself to a soft launch before we put any marketing effort behind it in which case quantifying marketing impact is pretty straightforward.

More generally, I'm a fan of PMM and PM co-owning several metrics. You can't parse which side drove what share of the metric but if you have a good partnership that shouldn't matter. And having that lens means a PMM should care deeply about whether we're bringing the right product to market (or what could we do to make it more successful). And conversely that means the PM should care if we're positioning the product in a way they feel like can make the product long term successful. The end goal is the product generally speaking hits its OKR which should be the north star anyhow.

Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 14

There are a few touchpoints here:

  1. Our sales team posts a report after meeting with a prospective client that gets shared with all revenue stakeholders including marketing and product. So we're all seeing feedback on a per client basis although admittedly that can be a lot to consume. 
  2. We have someone in sales ops who aggregates that feedback and shares trends and that gets shared on a weekly basis. That could also be done in PMM but it works as is.
  3. There's a periodic discussion between sales/marketing/product where we roughly size the impact that certain product changes can make to help evaluate prioritization. Given the tight alignment on the first two points that makes this exercise feel a lot more impartial and more fact driven (e.g., if we do this change we can unlock $XX from these clients but that change unlocks $XXX from a different set of clients and they're similar efforts, ergo...)
Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 14

There are good arguments for either. My team is in the marketing org so I have a bias towards that structure :)

Ultimately it comes down to people and where you think PMM can have the most impact and benefit from a resourcing and influence standpoint. I don't think there's a dogmatic answer or a simple framework to decide though.

Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 13

That can be very tough. Similar to another answer I wrote, I think a lot of this is interpersonal which makes specific feedback tough without more context. A few ideas to hopefully help:

1. Assume best intentions. Presumably product wants the same end outcome as marketing/research. 

2. Given that, meet with the relevant counterparts or leaders in the product org to understand where the disconnect lies. Do they hear you and are not persuaded? Are they not hearing your input or is it synced with their timeline? 

3. Solve for the disconnect product expresses above. For example, do they feel like they need more data? You could offer to run a survey or partner with data science to highlight trends based on the anecdotal feedback you've gotten. Or structure feedback like NPS or app store reviews in a way that feels more data driven which may persuade them while still highlighting the core feedback you've been hearing. 

Feel free to message me directly and I'm happy to brainstorm solutions with more details on the problem. 

Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 13

I think a good PMM should take the stance that "I'm going to know everything about the product, competitive landscape and our customers." If you do that well there are several ways to prove value to PMs, for example: 

1. Provide competitive insights/positioning they may be missing. 

2. Share a perspective or understanding of customers they may be lacking or not have exposure to. 

3. And of course being skilled at bringing products to market and messaging in a way that's differentiated, clear and compelling. 

Let's not sell ourselves short, these are touchpoints/inights that are critical for a product's success and many PMs won't have a robust purview to. 

Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 13

That's tough since a lot of it is interpersonal dynamics. I don't think there's a silver bullet but a couple thoughts that might help: 

1. Bring product into some of the meetings/focus groups where you're hearing the feedback. That may help them crystallize what you're hearing.

2. Set up a 1:1 with your PM counterpart and see what you can do to be helpful in getting feedback to her/him. It could be you're talking past one another. For example she may want data and you're bringing qualatitative feedback which isn't resonating. Not everything can be quantified but even tallying the type of feedback you're hearing can quant lite :) 

Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 13

I think there are three stages to product planning that involve a product marketer:
1. Before the roadmap is set (helping inform what the product should be), 

2. While the product is being built (ensuring it'll make sense to customers),

3. When the product is getting ready to launch (positioning it and GTM). 

I think your question is directed at the third point specifically in which case it probably varies on the type of product launch. We have relatively minor launches where a PMM gets pulled in very last minute (e.g., the product is nearly feature complete and PM is looking for input on positioning/messaging) and we have significant launches where a PMM is pulled in months in advance to manage launch planning and all GTM related activities. So it's hard to say with a broad brush what's "right". 

To zoom out, I'd say the earlier the better and moving up to earlier stages (e.g., before product requirements are even set). That gives you a better opportunity of aligning what you see the market clamoring for to what's being shipped. 

Credentials & Highlights
CEO at PipeDreams Ventures
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, CA
Knows About Building a Product Marketing Team, Sales Enablement, Influencing the Product Roadmap,...more