Manav Khurana

Manav KhuranaShare

GM & SVP Product Growth, New Relic
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Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

First the failure mode (for contrast):

PMM does a kick ass job with product decks and slicks. There is a training session where some people seem to be paying attention, but most people are distracted by their day-to-day job of sales. Then when a sales person gets an opportunity, they ask the PMM or PM to come in and help. Or worse, the sales lead complains at the company QBR that her team is not enabled properly. 

 

What I think is better:

Start with what's in it for the sales person... Is it higher deal value to satisfy quota? Higher win rate?

Then, think through how your sales people will sell the new product... will the SE go and do a demo during the next customer QBR? Will they be able to talk about a broader company story during the next renewal or new customer negotiation? How will they price the new deal with the new product in there?

 

Then work backwards from there to figure out what assets are required. Often I find that pricing proposals, an updated company/platform story, demos are critical.

 

Regardless, the key is to have your best sales person (someone everyone in Sales considers to be the best amongst them), to get up on stage and talk about how she will sell the new product. That means, your job is to work with that person and prep her with the right information and assets. 

 

You never want a marketing or product person to tell how a sales person should do their job. Instant credibility loss and guards come up. Just like you hate a Sales or Product person telling you how to do Marketing. 

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

I am a big fan of drumbeats. People are busy and it's easy to miss one large product announcement and even if your audience sees the announcement, it's easy to forget about it. 

 

My favorite packaging approach is to have a broad theme ([your service] keeps getting better, a commitment to security or performance, helping your audience do something better, faster, cheaper...) and then announce each small enhancement as it comes.

 

Say you have 5 small enhancements over 12-15 weeks. Start with announcing the first enhancement on your blog/email/social channels as part of a broader theme. For the next enhancement, reinforce the theme and call back the previous one... and so on for the next 2. Then for the final one, you could consider doing a bigger announcement via press/event to show constant progress. 

 

This way, you get to tell your story multiple times, gain credibility for your theme, and improve your SEO juice for each enhancement... no one feature or subfeature gets burried in one bulky announcement. 

 

Think of this as an "Agile Product Marketing" concept.

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

I always like to have a product adoption goal Day-of, 1-months, 3-months, 6-months, and 1-year out. Having this clarity is critical to figure out what we need for launch and in the weeks, months after launch. 

 

The next step is to back into the awareness, lead (if sales led) and conversion goals from that adoption goal. 

 

I see PMMs as the CMO of their product. They are the QB for product adoption goals. Looking at the product adoption metrics on a weekly basis is good cadence to keep an eye on what's happening and what should be done. 

 

To operationalize these activities with the rest of the org, suggest sharing the traction on a weekly/monthly basis with the product & executive team. 

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

Ultimately, it's about product adoption measured by MAU and product revenue over different time intervals. 

 

To get there, I'd suggest looking at the following metrics with your marketing team:

- Unique visitors to your product page (on the marketing site and in your product) day of launch and in the subsequent weeks/months

- Conversions to hand raisers (number of people who want sales engagement), demo requests, free trials. 

 

Your launch plan ideally has a model of awareness (via ads, PR, emails, social) to page visits. Tracking those is important for the individual channel owners. 

 

Hope this helps.

Manav.

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

First, let me say that no one in Eng/Product likes product delays. The timing gets screwed up because of poor planning or unpredictable events. So, you have two options:

 

1. Avoid the coordination tax for smaller launches - so that a delay doesn't affect your launch timeline.

2. Give extra incentive for the Product/Eng team to plan better/meet their committed deadlines. 

 

To avoid the coordination tax on small features/enhancements,  I am a big fan of announcing the product after it's shipped. Say with a 2-week SLA, where product/eng fill the PMM backlog with small ships. It's the job of the PMM team to go through that backlog and announce shipped products. 

 

For bigger products/announcements, make it a company goal. Go talk about the launch plan at the company all-hands. Tie your launch plan to company events and revenue outcomes. That way, your product/eng teams will do everything they can to keep with the launch timeline. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

At the highest level, I love announcing the same product multiple times (shhh: don't tell my PR person). The frequency of message makes it easier for your story to stick. Plus, depending on your customer purchasing cycle in B2B, they often need several months to go through their testing and budgeting cycles to adopt new products. 

 

The best launches I've done have been by:

 

- announcing that the product is coming - opening up selected preview by request 

- announcing that the product is in beta - maybe add pricing info or some new detail

- announcing that the product is generally available - adding customer stories

 

Having said that, it's critical to manage the reputation & competitive risk. You can't say that the product is coming and then it takes 3+ months for the product to go in beta. So, only use the drumbeat approach when you have good confidence and an understanding with your product team. If you don't have that confidence, then stick to announcing at Beta.

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

Existing customers are the best source for new product adoption and should be the primary target audience. With new customers, you need them to buy into your company, and then buy into your new product. That's hoping for two miracles, vs. one with existing customers. 

 

Plus, it's so much easier to get your new product info to existing customers. You know who they are and conceivably, you have a standard way of contacting your existing customers. 

 

I'd suggest paying extra attention to in-product messaging about new products and features. Emails, social, PR are very important... but your customer has to be paying attention. Events are captive, but your customer has to come to the event. Your best chance of conveying new product info is inside your product - say when folks log in or use a related product/feature. You'll get the captive attention many more customers. 

Manav Khurana
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New RelicOctober 10

I've always liked having one core audience & many supporting audiences for a product story... think about it. Movies with multiple heroes are confusing. 

 

Pick your core audience and tell the product story for them. If you have multiple supporting audiences, then describe how everyone can work better (using your product) with related audiences.

 

As an example, at Twilio we launched the Enterprise Plan. It provided capabilities for Finance, Security, DevOps, IT, etc. We messaged the product for developers because they were our primary audience. We talked about how the Enterprise Plan helped developers pick the tools they want, while satisfying concerns from the procurement, security and operational teams. It worked well. Developers sold the product for us :).

 

 

Credentials & Highlights
GM & SVP Product Growth at New Relic
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Product Launches, Product Marketing Career Path, Sales Enablement, Stakeholder Manage...more