Sharebird
Level Up Your Career
Learn the best practices and latest trends directly from leaders in your field
Madison Leonard 🕶

Madison Leonard 🕶Share

Product Marketing & Growth Advisor
About
Madison is an advisor and coach that helps build, scale, and grow your career and company. Previously, she led PLG product marketing at Vanta, where she built out a new GTM strategy for transitioni...more
Content
Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 4

Personally, I hate mini projects for strategic roles and think they should be abolished altogether. The only exception to this rule is internal transferring, esp if you have no prior experience in that type of role.

I prefer that prospective candidates put together a presentation on a previous strategy they've built. Presentations are a must-have skill for any product marketer, so this is a great test to see how well they tell the story and if the messaging sticks.

Presenting previous experience ensures that you're getting the best from your candidate. They should be experts on that industry, the users, the problem/solution, etc. You should be able to ask them any question, no matter how detailed, and they should be confident in providing a thorough answer.

If you were to ask those same detailed questions about a mini project for a product and industry that is likely foreign to them... you'll get either lies or "I don't know". This isn't an efficient use of anyone's time!

Some basic questions to that any PLG product marketer should have no problem answering:

  • What do you think is the difference between PLG product marketing and traditional product marketing?
  • How do you know if a company is successful at PLG strategy?

If you're looking for some green flags, I'd recommend folks with B2C experience and/or experience with other types of marketing rather than in sales.

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 7

This is such a hard one!

I think it would be getting leadership buy-in.

There are so many conflicting priorities in the workday, especially in a startup environment. Each team is contributing to the overall success of the company in major ways. When you have new initiatives you want to implement or a pivot in strategy, it can sometimes be hard to convince other teams or figure out a way to add it to their workstreams.

And often I find that even if I do get individual teams to buy-in, leadership is a whole different ball game!

Here are my top takeaways to make this process easier:

  • Establish a cadence with your top 5 folks
  • Contribute quick wins to impact their deliverables
  • Plant your idea seed early 
Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 4

Ooof this is a tough one and honestly it depends on how things were structured at your organization from the beginning. 

IMO, product marketing should influence/contribute to webinars, but not own webinar execution. For thought-leadership webinars, I've seen product marketing, content, and comms all own this in the past. 

If you're lucky to have a large marketing team, I usually divide responsibilities for webinars like this: 

  1. Product marketing owns outline and enablement material 
  2. Content owns design and copy refinement 
  3. Ops or Success owns delivery and lead tracking backend 
Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 4

TDLR: self-serve product marketing focuses on the individual user persona and their use cases vs traditional product marketing in a sales-led company focuses on the buyer persona and business results. 

However, the catch is that most PLG organizations have both product-led growth and product-led sales happening simultaneously so you'll need both to have a successful acquisition strategy amongst SMB, Mid Market, and Enterprise alike! 

If you want more detail, check out this talk I did on the difference between PLG PMM and Sales-led PMM: https://youtu.be/Mbd0pUO1HXs

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationFebruary 14

Great question - the short answer is that traditionally Product Marketing has been seen as sales-focused rather than product focused. 

In sales-led organizations, PMM doesn't play a big role (usually) in product experience, road mapping, etc. 

That's soo far from the case with B2C product marketing. PMM is working closely with Product on user personas (different than buyer personas), onboarding, product growth, and adoption. 

A lot of PMMs I know come from sales backgrounds, so it would be hard to transition to a B2C type of role where it's more product-centric. It's just a different type of focus!

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 4

Think of onboarding as a path towards value. Product marketing, growth, and product should all work together to make the time to value as short as possible. The end goal is always to get the user "activated" (also known as the aha moment). So the first question your product team should be able to answer is --> how do we define activation in the platform? Once that north star is identified (and validated), all work you do on onboarding will be guiding that user towards activation.

If we use AirBnB as an example, and assume that activation is defined as booking a stay, then you can trigger an email nurture sequence if someone created an account and browsed listings but never booked. The end goal is to get them to book, so all of your CTAs will be focused on that.

When talking with customers who have gone through your existing onboarding but have not returned, I would ask them the following:

1. When you first heard about [product], what did you assume the value would be to you?

2. Did you receive this value when you created an account with us?

3. Ask them to screen share and point out what the most valuable feature is. If they are unable to point to anything, direct them to click on the activation feature but then fall silent again as they go through the experience themself.

These questions will teach you a few things:

1. Is there a disconnect between how we're messaging the product (perceived value) and the value they actually receive in the product (experienced value)?

2. Does the existing onboarding flow drop the user off at the activation feature? If not, how can we implement in-app tours or pop ups to help them navigate there?

3. When presented with the activation feature, where are the gaps in knowledge? Sometimes if a feature is flexible and not prescription, the user may need help imagining how to apply that feature for their use case/persona.

Once you have clarity on the above, it should become clear which levers to pull (email, in-app messaging, tours, etc), when they should be utilized/triggered, and what messaging and educational resources should be presented along that journey.

I do want to heavily stress that without activation defined and validated with testing, all work you do on onboarding improvement will be a timely trial and error process - so, it's really important to start with that! Best of luck!!

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationFebruary 14

B2C PMM is all about the product itself. You're not having to go through buyers like you do with B2B - so you've got to speak to the product success. 

Don't make the common mistake I see B2C PMMs make today! I see so many people just focus on output (number of blogs, that a launch happened, copy skills, etc). Talk about the impact of your work - did it help the product grow? Did you increase adoption or retention? Did you find product-market-fit? 

And since it's a big company, they're going to also want to have trust that you can manage a political atmosphere with lots of different stakeholders. 

Best of luck! 

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationDecember 6

PLG product marketing is focused on the individual user, whereas sales-led product marketing is focused more on the buyer. 

However, I will say that most PLG companies mature into utilizing both product led growth and sales led growth together. 

For PLG, the messaging is more focused on solving the individual user's pain point, ultimately helping them to do their job better/faster. These users are going to be using your product often and are looking for a specific solution. 

However, sales-led product marketing is focused on thought-leadership positioning about the future state of the business/industry. Usually, buyers are not going to be in the product that often and so they are looking for solutions that save time/money or increase revenue. 

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationJanuary 16

Yes I see them as completely different! UX research is more around the product usage. You're likely guiding the user through a prototype, MVP, or new feature and watching how they figure stuff out on their own. All your findings are around product usage and adoption. 

However, with customer research for product marketing your end goal is usually centered around building personas, crafting GTM strategy, and sharing the voice of the customer with product and sales teams!  

Most Relevant
Madison Leonard 🕶
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor at | Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks AnimationFebruary 15

Some B2B companies, such as PLG, put the product at the front of their GTM strategy. The goal is to be very similar to a B2C company in that you target and market directly to end-users. Transitioning from B2C into a product-led B2B organization should be relatively easy. 

However, the skills gap widens the more up-market the B2B company is. PMMs who focus on end-users will have a steep learning curve for marketing to enterprises and buyer personas. 

Credentials & Highlights
Product Marketing & Growth Advisor
Formerly ClickUp, Vanta, DreamWorks Animation
Top 10 Product Marketing Contributor
Studied at BA in Communications
Lives In Huntington Beach, CA
Knows About Product Marketing Soft Skills, Product Marketing Hard Skills, Vertical Product Market...more
Speaks Conversational ASL