Profile
Suyog Deshpande

Suyog Deshpande

Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner Marketing, Samsara

Content

Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 13
First 100 days in a job quite important. The First 100 days are your opportunity to ask questions, make some bold moves, build trusted relationships, and set the tone. I would focus on the following things: Build a solid understanding of your industry and target market: As a PMM, you need to bring unique perspectives to the table. PMMs are fortunate that they get to interact with customers, sales, analysts, product managers and gain insights about competitors. In the first 30-60 days, I will focus on understanding things like market opportunity, competitive differentiation, why people buy us? or why they don't buy us?, TAM, Your core market, your adjacent markets. Trust me, invest your time in understanding these things better and you will get payoff in the next 12-18 months. So, although this will never be part of your initial projects, make sure you save time to build your own point of view o the market. Think of your lack of knowledge for processes/tools more as a "fresh perspective" you can bring to the team: As a PMM leader, it is important that you invest in building scalable processes and you invest in building some foundational templates. So, while it's important to understand current processes/tools/SLAs, don't be afraid to propose new things that could save hours and hours of your team. People who are already following set processes tend to miss out on improvement opportunities. You can add tremendous value here. One of the best pieces of advice I got was from a PMM leader at Salesforce. When I was moving to a new company, she cautioned me to stay away from saying that the things are really broken (in her words - that the kitchen sink is dirty). Be mindful that the team has been using/working/following their own processes that may not be the best, but they got work done. Focus on building relationships: You have a blank slate. Use it wisely. Build solid relationships with sales, product leaders, CS leaders, your team, your managers, extended marketing org. Try to listen before jumping to conclusions. It's difficult to do it during COVID time but casual coffees and happy hours can forge good relationships with your colleagues.
...Read More
13759 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 12
Product Marketing is about product and sales success so your OKRs should align with company, CMO and product OKRs. However, I think these 3 serve as a good "PMM OKR template" 1. Build a POV and become the hub of market intelligence: Think of this as all PMM programs: Competitive intel, Voice of Customer, Analyst Relations, 2. Bridge the gap between product and sales: Product launches, sales enablement, technical and release marketing, Roadmaps, CABs 3. Win in your core market: Your ranking, Customer advocacy, SOV, Content hubs, Thought leadership, Pipegen, ACV, Website 
...Read More
13272 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 12
A simple answer to this is that as a PMM, you are responsible for product launches and the GTM strategy around those launches. So, you will ultimately own all launch metrics. However, things like Pipegen, ACV/Revenue, Traffic, SOV etc are shared with your demand gen and content stakeholders. In addition, some metrics you could focus on as a PMM are - New product/feature mentions in sales calls: Tools like Gong help you search keywords and add filters. It's not hard to see how many times your sales team talked about your product launch. This is a good indicator of how well the sales team was enabled. This works really well especially for product launches that are either Tier 1 (new market creation launches) or features/products that are competition neutralizers (Track how often your competitor and this new launch was mentioned in the same call). I have also used this when a new corporate pitch is launched. It's a great forcing function for GTM teams to use latest messaging. Adoption: I think this should be a mandatory metric for every product launch. Start to think about a good adoption metric for your launch. It could be - frequency of use from certain types of users? depth of engagement? usage by certain personas in the target company? Purchases made? CLTV? If you are not sure, start with something and keep evolving that metric. Sales success: The straightforward way to measure this is ACV. However, was your launch catered towards a specific industry? If so, how many net new customers did you land with? The ACV might be small but if the goal was new logos, then you should focus on that. Was your win rate with a particular competitor trending down? then, post-launch did the trend change? Also, renewals - was your launch focused on reducing churn? if so, that should be a good way to measure success. So, before you use ACV as the only indicator of sales success, think back about the goal of your product launch. --- I have written a blog on Product Launches titled "5 Truths of Building a Product Launch Strategy". You can find it here: https://sharebird.com/profile/suyog-deshpande
...Read More
7617 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingNovember 18
Salespeople are NOT your customers, they are team members: This will change how you look at your marketing strategy and deliverables. It is fair to say that the content product marketers develop will be consumed, used and delivered by sales. However, the content should resonate with your prospects and customers. Invest resources in thought leadership content: Thought leadership may not yield pipeline right away. However, if you invest in thought leadership consistently, you will see it impacting the pipeline over a longer run. Additionally, it helps you create a set of fans that love to consume and share your content. That’s the beginning of your community marketing. If you are a small company in category creation mode, thought leadership helps you become a hub for the content around that category, boosting your chances to become the category king. Don’t forget, the thought leadership content will be consumed by your customers as well and it will improve renewals and upsell opportunities for you. Learn and try new things: Tech industry has a lot of really smart marketers who are trying new things and are also sharing them with curious minds (Sharebird!). Learn from people outside your company. If you just learn from people within your company, you could easily focus on what worked best in the past. 
...Read More
6771 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingNovember 19
Not just product marketing but overall marketing has relatively higher turnover compared to other functions. This is true for CMO vs other CXOs as well. If it is initiated by the candidate, then in most cases, it would be fair to say that the job market is hot and we all should be happy. Of course, I am not considering people who left jobs because they did not like their manager or their company. That problem is hard to generalize and answer. If the move is initiated by the company - then the first suspect is mismatch in expectations. Marketing is not magic and it will not cure the revenue problem overnight. So, if you hear that the company is hiring marketers because sales isn’t doing well, be very cautious. Marketing is only one factor in revenue however, it is a very visible factor and subjective enough to be the scapegoat. Second reason is that the company hired a wrong type of marketer for their needs. Hiring a demand gen person before a content marketer or PMM is bad move in B2B. Make sure that either the company has the required support structure (or willingness to invest immediately) to help you succeed. Third but an important reason is that you deploy a big playbook at one go. As marketers we all have playbooks but if we deploy all plays at one go, marketing investments will spread thin and it will be really hard to show financial outcomes from marketing investments. Pick a couple of plays and invest in them. Replace some of them the next quarter. While answering this, I am not considering company wide layoffs, acquisitions or macroeconomic factors.
...Read More
5762 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingNovember 19
Know your ARR/Pipegen numbers and analytics tools: Get comfortable with building reports and dashboards. Know how to run reports and play around with that data. You will start uncovering interesting things - ex: we are weak in a certain market segment or we tend to have higher win rate for certain industries or deal cycles are longer for certain regions - Each of these insights can lead you to move from being tactical to being strategic. Learn, experiment and gain new skills: So, am I suggesting you to do project management product launches? Yes. It is ok to do that if that is the business need. I will worry when it starts becoming a pattern and you do more project management that product marketing. In that case, have a conversation with your manager. Understand why this is happening? Is it because the company doesn’t have a project manager and you are the best one to do it OR is it because you are seen as a better fit for the project manager role. Both of these are solvable but your course of actions would be very different. Focus on some initiatives that may not be urgent but are very important: You will have unique advantage when these initiatives become urgent. Don’t think only about this quarter, think of the next and the one after that. Don’t compromise your on-going projects but still give some thoughts to the company priorities for the upcoming quarters. I am sure your management would be happy to discuss company priorities for the upcoming quarters. Company priorities are typically set 90 days in advance so that the rest of teams can craft their’s based on the company's priorities. A lot of people say know your customer but it is not easy for a junior PMM to ask to be part of a customer visit or CAB or sales call (been there!). One way to learn about your customers and in fact the most efficient way I found is to do win-loss interviews & analysis. Get your hands on as many win-loss reports as you can. Don't know where to find - go to Salesforce and run report and add loss reason (or something similar) field. Learn why customers buy or don't buy our products. Ask sales, what went well or what went wrong?
...Read More
5712 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingNovember 19
First, you can not decouple analytical skills from brand marketing skills. They are not mutually exclusive. You are right that there is more emphasis on analytical skills in job description for product marketers. Primarily because analytical skills are easier to evaluate. They are also critical because analytical mindset helps you have a solid foundation for your marketing strategy (including brand marketing). However, these strategies come to life with creativity. You can not undermine creative skills and just focus on analytics skills while hiring. Examples of brand marketing playing a role in product marketing - Brand campaigns - they are planned jointly between demand gen, product marketing and brand marketing Positioning - brand helps reinforce your product positioning. Think of ads that support company positioning. Non technical content marketing - producing interactive and engaging content Customer community - Depends on what your community needs are build if it building creative ways to engage the community, then you could play a vital role. Salesforce did an amazing job with Trailhead. Many B2C and B2B2C companies are seeing that these two marketing streams are coming together. So, if you are planning to switch from brand to product marketing, those comapnies can provide you a good platform for success. 
...Read More
4605 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingNovember 18
There is no one path but let’s unpack what it means to be a director. It isn’t that the directors know exponentially more or they suddenly become better decision makers. When we all start our careers, we search for the right answers. In fact, we are judged by our ability to find the right answers. However, as we grow, we acknowledge that we don’t and won’t know the answers to all the questions asked of us. At that point, the ability to ask the right questions (of yourself and of the team) takes priority over the ability to answer the questions. Additionally, directors+ are able to connect their work with the work of colleagues outside their functional area. They drive joint-outcomes for the company and not just for their function. Finally, you should be ok to let go some things - including the thrill you get from sharing your work. Someone on your team will most likely do that and you should feel proud and happy about it. One more thing, don't work to only please execs within your organization. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't seek feedback but focus on business goals than what would make "X" happy?. I have seen several people who only focus on making execs happy. Execs are smart enough to see through that. You are more likely to fall into this trap as you become director+ as you are going to get more exposure to execs. Stay away from that temptation. 
...Read More
4506 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 12
Adoption. Adoption. Adoption. PMMs think of launches as the big day. In reality, it's just a milestone if your product's lifecycle. Don't settle on traffic/clicks etc as your launch metrics. Think about launch success 3-6 months from the launch date. This is where measuring product adoption helps. It's really easy to miss adoption (mostly because it's hard to track or there aren't any standard processes to track it). So, take the ownership, find a model to define adoption metric and start tracking it. I wrote "5 Truths of Building a Product Launch Strategy" article on this topic. Link: https://sharebird.com/profile/suyog-deshpande
...Read More
4268 Views
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 12
Please add the "why" behind why you chose to take on new initiatives. I often see marketer proposing solutions that are searching for a problem. So, always start with Why and how your work aligned with the company/marketing/PMM north start. Then mention the results. Example: It's great that you wrote an e-book, but why did you do an e-book instead of a webinar? What was the outcome? How it helped the company drive certain goal. Some guidelines on what to include: 1. Include different formats - media, writing, interactive 2. Balance long and short form - 1 pagers or inforgraphics and longer whitepapers 3. If the role asks for a specific thing, make sure that you give more than one sample. Example - for a technical marketing role, the hiring manager is trying to asses how well can you simplify technical jargon to drive sales in low maturity buyer but the hiring manage is also curious about the depth of technical knowledge - so, if you did release notes, add that, 4. Don't be afraid to add samples from your previous roles: No one was born as a PMM. so, you might have some work experience before moving to PMM. If you did something that's relevant, please add that. Hiring managers are looking for fresh ideas and the fresh ideas come from the intersection of different fields. 5. Public speaking examples: Public speaking is a core skill for PMMs. The sample doesn't have to be from a large event. Even if it was a webinar or an internal training, add that. 
...Read More
4234 Views
Credentials & Highlights
Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner Marketing at Samsara
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Lives In Fremont, California
Knows About Messaging, Product Marketing Career Path, Product Marketing Interviews, Product Marke...more