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Savita Kini

Director of Product Management, Speech AI, Cisco
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech AI, Cisco
I consider myself an accidental marketer. I started my computer engineering career building complex products that I can proudly claim are in the backbone of the internet. Being an extrovert, and feeling stifled about not using my creative side, I went back to business school. I have since done roles in Product Management, business incubation, Segment & Vertical Strategies, Product & Solutions GTM & Marketing. I like to solve complex problems at the intersection of business and technology. My hope is that we build technology that helps improve the future of human kind and in the process also includes diverse voices. In the meantime, I continue to hone in my skills of story telling, messaging, to simplify complex technology so it is easier to understand. I love to write and you can find my articles on medium.com/@savitakini.
Video: Adventures in Messaging: E13 with Savita Kini, Director of Product Marketing at Speech A, Cisco
May 26, 2021
Product MarketingFollow Savita
Product Managers can often times be wary when hearing that Product Marketers want to "influence the product roadmap." How do you recommend tackling this common problem?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
This is an interesting topic since I have worn both hats - product manager and product marketing, in case of formal multi-product solutions with SKUs -- I wore all-in-one hat. Most recently at BabbleLabs as well - it was all-in-one. My learnings from these experiences if I had a product marketer ...more
Sales EnablementFollow Savita
How do you make sure your sales enablement is not just a checklist of tactical activities but an actual strategically valuable program?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
Sales enablement requires buy-in from the top sales and marketing leadership. It must have a strategic view of the business -  1. segments  2. regions  3. business and technical sellers  4. partners  5. programs by product  6. Communications  7. Calendar of things that come aligned to the ...more
Product MarketingFollow Savita
How is your team making the transition from “product” marketing to “solution” marketing? Do PMMs share both product and solutions marketing responsibilities? Or do PMM now speak more to the users and solution marketers to the buyers?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
The transition from products to solutions requires a company wide buy-in from the top otherwise PMM's cannot make any impact. The reason we move to solutions in the first place is because the customers prefer a more holistic solution to their problem/pain point versus a point-product. To build a ...more
Product LaunchesProduct MarketingFollow Savita
Has anybody seen any really great examples of how a company handles change management? Or any advice on how to manage change management for B2B customers in a fast-paced agile startup?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
This is a pretty complex question. Internal change management is different from external towards customers. While there is influence from external factors - because of trends in your particular segment, competitive pressures, new technologies that disrupt your existence and so on. How you serve y...more
Product LaunchesFollow Savita
What's your take on how to effectively market to multicultural audiences? As Gusto caters to small businesses, and minority- and women-owned SMBs are the two fastest-growing market segments, how do you strive to engage diverse-owned businesses?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
language, empathy and understanding your customers even communities perspectives is super important. Because people listen to what their peers are saying.   Today authenticity is most important as consumer movement has become stronger thanks to social media and multitude of ways in which ordin...more
MessagingProduct MarketingMarket ResearchFollow Savita
The product marketers job typically revolves around positioning a product. Sometimes, it can be difficult to align sales, marketing, and product teams around your positioning. What do you use or do to get people to buy into your positioning plans and consistently using them? Thanks!
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
Product positioning is really a complex thoughtful approach, requiring perspectives on brand, pricing and packaging coming together. I believe strongly that its starts day-one when you build the product, define product features, who and where you want to compete with especially the type of custom...more
Product MarketingFollow Savita
What are the main functions that the PMM interfaces with and how do you see this changing over the next 2-5 years?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
Great point on Developers. very true. But only "few companies" can claim to be true platform companies. Everyone tries to say they have a platform, but in order to build platform, you have engineer very differently. Complex discussion on data privacy, security, integration management, etc. It's g...more
Product LaunchesFollow Savita
What methods or tools do you use to do in-product marketing (to users while they are in your product's dashboard)?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
This is an interesting question. I usually look at the fundamentals of marketing  3 Cs -- Customer (enterprise, mid-market, consumer, SMB), Competition, Company (aka startup, big company, mid-size)  Strategy on go-to-market differs based on segments, type of company, how competitive the space i...more
MessagingFollow Savita
When your platform does many things, how do you prioritize your messaging hierarchy?
Director of Product Management, Speech AI at Cisco
Thank you for some wonderful frameworks and inputs on messaging and positioning. I have seen a trend especially across many segments - particularly in enterprise - to move from products to solutions to platforms. I had written a blog last year what that means, especially if the goal is to positio...more