Natala Menezes

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Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly
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Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsFebruary 9

When I started at Grammarly, I did an audit of how PMM mapped to the product organization, our consumer acquisition and growth teams, and our B2B sales teams. The audit revealed that we were significantly understaffed (did I mention we are hiring?) And as a result, PMM was focused on launches more than product strategy and messaging. My first cut of the org chart focused on coverage – ensuring that our product partners had identified partners and that we aligned to the sales org. I also developed different PMM roles within our organization to deliver lateral growth. Our PMM team has 4 flavors of PMM: 

  • Segment. Consumer PMMs focused acquisition, retention, and growth of a specific segment of users. 
  • GTM. B2B PMMs focused on a segment (enterprise, mid-market, or self-serve/smb) and aligned to a sales org. 
  • Core. PMMs focused on a specific product or set of features. For example, mobile or desktop experiences or our core writing experience. Features that are cross segment and cross line of business. 
  • Specialists. Specialist PMMs are unique in that they provide expertise across the PMM org. For example, competitive intelligence or monetization/pricing&packaging. 

These specialist roles have helped me bring unique skills into the team as we grow and invest in our relationships with product and sales.

I also reorganized my leadership team to map to product and built out an 18-month growth plan. It was straightforward to identify significant gaps in current coverage – but going through and understanding the roadmap and growth of partner organizations helped develop a long-term growth plan. It also allows us to be a bit opportunistic in hiring. We know which roles are critical today and which ones will be important soon. So, suppose we meet a fantastic candidate that meets the criteria for a position we might hire in the next quarter. In that case, we have some flexibility to pull that headcount forward. 

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 21
  • Not having clear entry/exit criteria to hit milestones ahead of launch → typically results in a launch delay.
  • Collaborating as a cross-functional team → Team has tension and low trust, slowing the process down and making it less fun!
  • Messaging that is generic → product won’t resonate with customers and typically reduces traction. Crisp messaging that inspires is essential!
  • Lack of alignment across org → Slows down the launch process because approvals don’t stick
  • Product readiness → Delays launch because the product isn’t ready or the product is announced but not available.
Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 22

Pricing is both a science and art -- which means in many cases, it is hard to predict if you have hit the right price (high enough to capture maximum value but low enough that you can scale it to a broad customer base). Because of that, it can sometimes feel like pricing is based on the wind, but in reality, it is a careful process!

Here’s a step-by-step that has worked for us:

  1. Research - Dig into competitive pricing (how are similar products priced, what would the alternatives cost?) and identify pricing models that might work (consumption-based or per-license?). Make a recommendation on a set price and discounting model based on your data.
  2. Validation - does the pricing resonate with customers (will they buy it at that price? What are their objections?) Also, validate with your Sales teams. Can they sell it at this price? Will they sell it or is the ASP not high enough for the effort? Would bundling help
  3. Alignment - In a larger company, this might involve a presentation and review with a pricing council, in a smaller company this might be sign-off from key execs and alignment with key leaders. Regardless, alignment with your leadership and with sellers is critical prior to launch.
  4. Training - It's important to not only share the logistics of new pricing (how it will be rolled out to the website for self-serve or the process to purchase in a sales assisted process) but also the why. Training internal teams on the reasoning beyond price targets and the mechanism for discounts is key. I like to create 2 slides: why (reasons for the pricing and details on how it was derived), use cases & objections (essentially the talk track and key messages for sellers). 
  5. Launch! Going live on your website and with sellers is exciting. Now get the gong ready for your first sale!
Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsFebruary 9

I have always loved this quote by Robert Johnson (notably a musician, not a product marketer!): 

“Leadership is the ability to influence people and motivate them to do what needs to be done to accomplish a goal, vision or mission.”

Those last three parts: goal, vision, and mission, are the keys to influence. Know what you are trying to accomplish (the goal), the vision of where that accomplishment will take you, and the why (the mission). 

I always like to have a stack-ranked list of requested features/needs from customers for priorities. Stack-ranked by impact. For timeline, I find the best method is to give the team broad awareness of all the moving parts. This way, they see the upstream and downstream implications of missing delivering timelines. 

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsFebruary 9

It’s a bummer situation when product and engineering teams don’t deliver on the timeline planned. My best practice is to make sure that there’s organization-wide agreement and alignment on delivery dates. I’ve seen inconsistent delivery happen most in cases where marketing operates separately from the engineering workstream. A single meeting where all of the deliverables – not just product – are reviewed helps the org have greater context and status. Second, identifying delivery milestones to track progress. For example, “we’ve moved out of development to testing,” and leveraging those milestones to trigger workstreams helps keep the teams in sync and adjust to delays. 

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 22
  1. Create a Leadership Team: - Typically composed of the PMM who will lead the launch, define messaging and positioning and rally the org plus the product manager who owns the product and then key stakeholders from PR, Analyst Relations, and GTM / Sales Readiness.
  2. Set a timeline: Build a detailed timeline with key launch milestones such as when the product will be ready, executive reviews, the deadline for creative requests, and content creation timelines. Getting clarity on dependencies and the time needed to deliver is essential. Having a launch day helps to develop a work back schedule.
  3. Activate and align the x-functional team: Teamwork is the most important aspect of launching products -- a good team can operate quickly, independently, and have fun while delivering business results. A disconnected team without trust will often stall on launches, require oversight -- and generate more meetings than necessary. Key members of the cross-functional team are sales enablement, customer/partner teams, the broader PM org, internal and external comms teams in addition to PR (i.e. social, blogs), content, campaign, and creative teams.
  4. Agree on the Bill of Materials: Once you’ve got the team in place - focus on the Bill of Materials (the essential marketing content needed such as the customer pitch, FAQ (internal/external), press release, product demo, etc.), entry/exit criteria to determine product readiness and the training and roll-out plan for sales.
  5. Brief Executives: Keep execs updated with briefings that also line up to signoff moments.
Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 22

Yes -- primarily because enablement needs to be cognizant of local conditions and selling paths. For example, in a large enterprise company, you might have a dedicated specialist sales team in AMER but in the regions, you have sellers that sell the entire portfolio. Getting a share of mind in that process is different than with your dedicated US-based sellers. Focusing on the seller mindset and process will help with global rollouts.

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsFebruary 9

Outside of the wonderful PMM work we do at Grammarly (we’re hiring btw), I think Salesforce and Google do an exceptional job with product marketing.

Salesforce focuses on the story and the pain they are solving. They are flashy and visionary (particularly in the slow-moving enterprise space). Google differentiates by being product-driven in their narrative, often dialing into the individual product benefits over industry shifts. I think Salesforce stays ahead because of their keen focus on the customer, their 360 narratives, and they do a lot of testing with customers. Google doubles down on technology and speed as a differentiator. I’ve also been impressed with Microsoft; lately. They have brought more energy to their historically developer-centric narratives and elevated their presence as “The Workplace’s BFF.”

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 21

Start with talking to customers to understand how they buy and their decision-making process. If we are working on a quick-turn launch, qualitative research via focus groups is a quick way to get a framework in place and validate product-market fit. With longer timelines, quantitative research can bring depth to user segmentation and buying timelines, and also the competitive landscape.

Additionally, it is ideal when user personas are part of the product development process. Then expanding to buyers is about understanding who in an organization is a user vs influencer vs buyer.

Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsSeptember 22

People with a background in writing tend to excel at PMM. The key additional quality is to be a puzzle solver. Are they also technically curious (they like to know how things work) and interested in changing marketings? Do they love to tell stories? So much of being a great PMM is about bringing to life a product -- and then understanding and building a strategy for market success. Sometimes starting in a cross-functional role in content creation or customer support can lead to a PMM role, but there’s no reason not to apply directly.

Credentials & Highlights
Global Head of Product Marketing at Grammarly
Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startups
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Growth Product Marketing, Product Launches, Enterprise Product Marketing, Go-To-Marke...more