Mandy Schafer

Mandy SchaferShare

Director of Product Marketing, Mastercard
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Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

In general, product marketing OKRs can become quite vague and hard to measure. However, the product marketing OKRs I’ve seen that are easier to measure are:
1) Successful and ontime product launches. This means the product launch was able to happen on time with all cross functional teams trained up prior to the product launch so there were no surprises.
2) Completed messaging maps/documents for a target segment or new feature.
3) Completed research around target customer segments and who to go after next.
4) Updated pricing model or structure for new features.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

I'm going to talk about my experience at really early stage companies, at this point, everyone is doing everything, so the priority is to create some strcuture to help every get aligned on the same goals. When I’ve been the first Product Marketer, or only one establishing the PMM function the first thing I do is meet with sales, product and the rest of marketing to identify the gaps. Generally is there's that piece missing between Product and marketing/sales to message what has been built, and so forth. To solve for this I start building out a a messaging map to help define what our core persona is, the main problems we are solivng for and what are key messages should be. I also use this messaging map to help structure out how we should talk about our features by grouping like features and ideas together 

This map creates the foundation requirements I need to help starting to
1) Build collateral with your marketing and sales teams
2) Create a cohesive narrative across the company to help keep everyone aligned.
3) Set up the foundation of how you want to structure the PMM team as it aligns to the product and features that your company offers. This will help you build out additional PMM roles and define responsibilities as your company grows.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

ABM is near and dear to my heart as I was in the middle of the tornado that spun up the term ABM during my time at Demandbase. As the PMM there at the time, we not only defined what ABM was, but also had to execute on it as well. Based on what we preached, when building out an ABM based strategy, I started by aligning with our sales team to identify the key accounts we are trying to target. From there, start building specific feature related messages to fit that ABM campaign, and also change the marketing language to align to that specific campaign. 

For example, I once worked on an ABM campaign that focused on the financial vertical, and landing new financial accounts to build up our reputation amongst those companies. The PMM team researched the key value props that were important to financial services teams (At that time it was digital transformation, keeping ahead of their competitions, etc, rather than cost savings, increased productivity, etc). So we changed our messaging from our general messaging that we used to target our core target audience to emphasize more to these points.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJuly 14

Similar to most of the other companies I've been at, we do quarterly OKR planning with the Product, Engineering and Design teams. Miro has become more and more Enterprise driven, and as a result, much of what we build is a combination of features that help us become more Enterprise ready (security and compliance ready) and a list of customer requests to manage users. During this OKR planning process is when PMM and PMs work closely together to confirm and finalize the plans on what we want to launch and build for the quarter. However, this is not the only time when we decide on what to build next, throughout the year, we both work with UX designers, get on calls with customers, and brainstorm based on industry standards on what to priortize and how to build it. 

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

Enterprise Product marketers really need to be able to understand the long, and complex sales cycles that Enterprise deals take. In addition, they need to understand all the additional nuances that come with large companies. Larger companies are generally public, and have to adhere to many more regulations and complex company policies to protect themselves, their customers and shareholders, and their own employees. Because of this, they’ll demand more features, and understanding of how your company handles their data, and what happens when your software gets installed at their company. 

Therefore, Enterprise Product marketers not only need to understand the core product features, they need to understand the underlying infrastructure of their product, the admin capabilities of how their software is managed, and how their product adhere to specific regulations and policies that are important to Enterprise companies. There are also concerns around adoption and onboarding, you are probably dealing with many users, and core buyer is going to involve someone in IT, or even the CIO that’ll want to understand how the product will be adopted and their overall investment in your software.

MidMarket Product marketing also needs to worry about these types of admin, governance and management capabilities, but not to the scale that enterprises do. Adoption is not as much of an issue as the company is much smaller, nor is maintenance, but there will definitely be concerns around pricing and they have less budget. Mid Market product marketing should emphasize around core features, ability to scale with the mid market company as they grow, and willingness to provide a price that’s more of a fit for Mid Market budget.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

PMMs are the most important when it comes to being able to simplify what the product has built and clearly describe what it does and why it’s important. Sales teams are constantly being bombarded with new features that product teams have built, you can’t feed every single feature separately for sales teams to sell. 

PMM should be able to help package up these new features (or existing ones) into a narrative to better help sales go to market with them. We did this at Dropbox by leveraging Sales Plays. By packaging up features (new and old) into a narrative, it helps the enterprise teams tell a better story, focus on key features that solve a specific problem, and close deals faster.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

Create a quiz or set up role playing for your sales team on their understanding of the product features, capabilities and messaging. When you set aside time to observe how your sales teams are understanding and consuming your sales enablement, you create a better relationship with the team, and know which reps may need more help in what areas. By watching how well the reps could talk through the key messages in a role play, or through their quiz answers, I know what was working and what wasn’t.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

This happens a lot, and a lot of times it’s because PMM wasn’t established when the company started shipping products and became successful without the help of a PMM function. 

The key is to really help the PM’s understand the true value of PMM and that we are able to take a lot of the work they actually don’t enjoy doing (writing documentation, building sales enablement and project managing a launch). PMs have enough on their hands working with their engineers and trying to meet tight deadlines and responding to customer calls. Start to identify work on their plate that should actually belong to PMM and start taking ownership of it. 

This will help build trust as you work with them to help divide up the work and demonstrate this is where PMM starts stepping in to own, so it’s no longer extra work that Product teams need to work on. Once this begins to happen more and more, PMM and PM will be able to fully understand what each other works on and it becomes just a pass over of work as it gets completed, and you become each other's friends, not foe.

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJune 11

Great question! I generally look for folks that have a bit more of a technical background or have worked with products that are a bit more technical in nature. Specifically I’m not looking for them to be technical, but I want them to understand when they need help, and when to turn to a sales engineer or PM rather than struggle through it, or ignore a concept. 

Another key component is experience working with large companies, understanding the nature of how a big company is structured and how deals work through a bigger company is key. Having analyst relation experience is also valuable. When dealing with Enterprise companies, they often turn to Gartner, Forrester and other analyst firms for their opinion. 

Finally I look for the traditional PMM components. Are they a good writer, do they understand how to do positioning and messaging, can they train sales teams on new features and how do they handle a product launch?

I'm currently recruiting for Enterprise PMMs, so if you're interested (and want to make a move to Amsterdam) in joining Miro, reach out!

Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Director of Product Marketing, MastercardJuly 14

I work closely with analytic and strategy experts at our company to perform the market research required. At the end of the day, I'm a PMM, not a trained data scientist, nor a researchers, our jobs as PMMs is to help shape the the research, to ensure we ask the right questions, and leverage the results to help find the answers needed to shape the roadmap. For example, I've done a pricing and packaging project in the past around which new products we should build next, how to package them, and what pricepoint they should be at. In order to do this, I partnered with

1) The competitive analysis team and the analyst research to understand the market landscape and our buyers.

2) The UX design team to help us understand the way our current customers use our product and understand what we are lacking.

3) The market insights team to run survey with external and internal users on willingness to pay, and appetite for specific product features at certain pricing points.

3) Strategy Finance team- to run price analysis and stimulate how much ARR would see in return if we priced new products at certain points, over X amount of years, based on current growth rates.

I then take all this information and formatted in a powerpoint presentation, (now a days- Miro boards ofcourse!) to share the information. Throughout the years of sharing information, I've always been a visual sharer. The best way for me to explain things are through charts, graphics, etc. Too many words results in losing the attention of leadership, no one wants to read! Same with numbers on a spreadsheet. However, a combo of this, in easy to digest, step by step format works the best for me. 

Credentials & Highlights
Director of Product Marketing at Mastercard
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Lives In Concord, California
Knows About Enterprise Product Marketing, Product Marketing / Demand Gen Alignment, Stakeholder M...more