Profile
Yvonne Chow

Yvonne Chow

Director of Product Marketing, Zennify
About
Hello from your friendly global PMM expert! I have over 15 years of product marketing experience across the Asia Pacific and North American regions, spanning B2C and B2B start-ups and companies in tech, fintech, and SaaS. I've honed my skills at a...more

Content

Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 17
Successful multi-channel marketing strategies require careful planning and coordination - here are some thoughts from my experience: During my time at Hootsuite and LinkedIn, I had incredibly talented global marketing colleagues and we often coordinated product, brand messaging, and event launches together. So the first step is building relationships with these global teams. I had recurring meetings with regional leads at least once a month where we would discuss work and sometimes share some personal anecdotes. Building and sustaining these relationships make it easier to collaborate because all parties would be aware of each other's regional plans, calendars, and KPIs. * On a related note, make sure your product launches are part of the enterprise marketing strategy. I advocated for our tier 1 product launches to be visible on the enterprise marketing calendar, and used that information to identify content and campaigns that I could collaborate on with other teams.+ * Global positioning: Consider the cultural and regional differences. Tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with each specific market. This may involve translating content, understanding local preferences, and adapting your marketing strategy to fit each market's unique characteristics. Secondly, most product launches should have some contextual grounding: * Understand your target audience in each region. Identify preferences, pain points, and demographics that differentiate your target audiences so that you can understand which benefit/feature/outcome is more meaningful to them. * Understand the channels your target audiences use. Not everyone will be using the same social channels. Identify the most effective marketing channels to reach your audience. This can include a mix of digital channels like social media, email marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, and traditional channels like PR, print, and TV advertising. Set clear objectives and define what you want to achieve with your product launch. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or both? Your objectives will shape your multi-channel strategy. Your messaging must be consistent across all channels. The core value proposition and key messages about your product should be the same whether you're posting on social media, sending emails, or creating print ads. * Remember to update this messaging in your website and have it optimized for SEO. If you can, develop cross-functional marketing relationships to build your content strategy. Your teammates from the content, media, paid, brand, and email team will understand your audience behaviors in those channels. Work with them directly to build up your product launch.
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Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
A GTM (go-to-market) plan is imperative for both PMMs and stakeholders, for several reasons: * Provides clarity & alignment on target audiences, customer personas, value prop, and messaging * Helps with resource optimization - ensuring that the right budget, tech, and talent are available * Mitigates risk * Ensures that you always take a customer-centric approach (what's in it for me as the customer, not "why is my company great for you"). * Sets clear, measurable KPIs and objectives. My personal GTM plan that I used back at Hootsuite includes: * A launch dashboard - typically this view is for execs who want a quick snapshot of the GTM plan. This is an overview of the solution/product/release with: * The 5Ws * Current project phase, risk status, launch tier, and budget * Objectives, KPIs (outcomes), key deliverables, and dependencies & risks. * Launch workstreams that identify which team, key partners/stakeholders are for each launch. This includes a RACI. * High-level timeline for each workstream's main efforts - if I'm leading the marketing workstream, I would include the marketing & promotion plan here. * Assets & collaterals checklist, which includes: * Bill of materials * Sales play * Internal & external communications * Enablement (partner, technical, internal sales) * Messaging framework, which includes: * Value proposition, messaging & positioning * Market research & segmentation, which includes: * Buyer influencer personas - their needs, pain points * Competitors in the space (this can be a tabled summary or a perceptual map) * Pricing strategy * Product/solution features, benefits, use cases * Product screenshots & demos * Launch plan * Metrics A well-structured GTM blueprint should be a comprehensive document that guides PMMs and the entire cross-functional team in successfully bringing a product to market and achieving business objectives. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to changes and feedback as the product evolves in the market.
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447 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
The first 30/60/90 day goals as the new Head of Product Marketing for a start-up without a product marketing function can be broken down into these 3 parts: 1. First 30 days: Listen & learn. Set expectations. * The goal is to understand the business and cultural context, without any judgment. Set up internal meetings with teams and cross-functional leaders, and the exec leadership team to: * Understand existing processes and identify potential opportunities/gaps by asking people what they need; what they know of Product Marketing; how do they see their function collaborating with and getting value from Product Marketing. This is a chance to start building relationships. * Understand the immediate, mid-term, and long-term business goals. * Shadow Sales calls if possible, to understand existing sales narratives, customer excite/pain points/ and existing customer personas. 2. Second 30 days: Active contributor. * Kickstart/participate in one key initiative, based on the information gathered in the first 30 days. * Deepdive into roadmaps: * Product * Marketing campaigns * Sales activities * Planning cycles * This is a great opportunity to also start introducing structure where there is none. 3. Final 30 days: Reflect & lead with confidence. * Start planning for the next Q together. I've found this structure useful for a team size of 1 - which I've been before in a start-up - to a larger team size.
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345 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
Great question. The decision to delay a product release announcement should be based on a combination of factors, including product readiness, market conditions, competition, regulatory requirements, and overall business strategy. I've listed them below: * How important is this release? This is a broad question that answers things like: * What is the impact of not announcing this launch? Is there a revenue impact or a customer satisfaction impact? * Is this a tier 1 release that may require a corresponding tier 1 marketing plan? * Competitive timing: You might want your announcement to coincide with a specific event or market opportunity. For example, you may want to avoid announcing your product at the same time as a major competitor to avoid being overshadowed. * Can we bucket this feature or product release into themes? I did this at LinkedIn several years ago where we launched features as part of a "Quarterly Product Release", but we did ensure that several key collaterals were updated in case customers discovered the feature. The assets include updating FAQs on the website and informing key customer-facing teams. * Market research & testing: Additional time can be beneficial to refine your messaging and marketing strategy to better resonate with your audience and address any unforeseen concerns or objections. * Compliance & regulatory concerns: We delayed our launch at an AI start-up because we were in a heavily regulated industry - healthcare. Certain products, especially in regulated industries may require additional time for compliance with legal and regulatory standards. It also ensured that we were meeting our customers' needs, as they also needed to be compliant with the tools used. * Availability & scalability: If your product relies on external resources or technologies, delaying the announcement can give you time to secure those resources
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318 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
Product marketing in a product-led growth company plays a pivotal role in aligning the product with market needs. This means encouraging product adoption, stickiness, and expansion with compelling user experiences and driving growth through seamless buyer experiences. This means that PMMs: * Still need to be deeply familiar with the market and users - ensure that the product aligns with the customer needs and market trends. * Align and develop GTM strategies (e.g. defining target segments, pricing, messaging) with the self-service nature of the product * Contribute to the development of user onboarding flows, by communicating the product's value prop and guiding them to their first 'aha' moment * Create concise and easily digestible messaging - even more so in PLG orgs * Create educational and engaging content that enables users to self-serve * Work on strategies to keep users engaged & drive upsells/cross-sells with customer success programs, targeted offers, and email campaigns * Need to understand user data deeply to measure their efforts Depending on the culture of the org, PMMs may be involved in user advocacy and evangelism - identifying power users and promoting them.
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284 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
This question is a good reminder that not all product releases are launches. On a related note, I had a team member who constantly worked on product deprecations, which aren't viewed as traditional releases, but equally as important in terms of communicating to end users and sometimes, buyers. Here's what I would prepare: 1. A product release brief. This is an internal master document that contextualizes everything about the product/feature release. It includes: * A description of the release * Target audience * Live date * Why is this release not a Tier 1 release (assuming that Tier 1s are usually big splashes). I usually work with my product manager and occasionally a CSM if necessary on this brief. 2. Prepare for internal comms & enablement: * I share updates with my cross-functional teams in existing meetings. * Depending on the scope of the release, I would consider either: * A separate enablement session * A combined enablement session (several product releases into one enablement session) * A brief update as a guest in the Sales/CSM meetings * I always follow up with an org-wide announcement. This is contextual/cultural - some of my workplaces used tools like FB Workplace, where it was easy to quickly share a small update, or I might ask for some air time during an all hands to speak to the update. 3. Prepare for external comms * Smaller product releases tend to require these tactics. Things to consider - is this product very specific to a target audience, or can it be widely shared? It is up to you, and the product release type, on what you want to use: * In-app message/update (usually through tools like Mixpanel or Interana) * A website banner * A Help article update * 1st targeted email blast to the immediate impacted group of customers (typically the actual users and buyers of the product/feature). You may choose to follow up and put an update in a broader email campaign, if your marketing team has one scheduled. * Don't forget social! Do you need to update your social feeds? * Blog post(s). * Don't forget to update your sales decks if necessary!
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270 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
I think it's a nice idea to have an online portfolio, but not a necessity for a product marketer. When I interview candidates, I find it a better use of everyone's time and efforts to provide a case study that they can work on, within a specific context. Would an online portfolio add weight to my consideration? It won't, but I think it's great for personal and professional branding if that's the route you are going for.
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243 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
Product marketers can make the most impact by deeply understanding the entire buyer-to-user lifecycle. In addition to working very closely with the Product org, I would add that we need to work closely with: * The Sales org: * Presales and Sales: These teams help us understand what makes a prospect a potential buyer. I ask to listen into sales calls or discovery calls to: * Understand what questions they ask * See if the pitch is resonating In return, I use these insights to refine messaging, value prop, and sometimes even the personas if we have too many lost deals. * The Success/Delivery org: * CSMs, Professional Services: These teams help us understand what keeps a user on our platform. I get my success stories from these relationships. I also identify key accounts that I may want as pilot customers for a launch (which typically is a sweetener for some customers as they get first access, and usually free/discounted access, to new products/features). In return, I get feedback on what features or developments need to be prioritized, which may help with some sticky deals.
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237 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
I wish I knew these things when I first started in product marketing in 2008: * Relationships matter. Make connections with different teams, including those that you may not have a direct impact on (or vice versa). Benefits include: * Reduce redundancies. I've managed to streamline different projects & opportunities into one workstream. * Direct customer interaction is important - don't just depend on your internal stakeholders for information. * Take the time to join events and roadshows, and speak with your customers 1:1. * Move out of your comfort zone if your company allows you to, with opportunities like handling a customer query directly or making a sales pitch. * Always begin with the end in mind. As PMMs, it's easy to get sucked into many things because we're always trying to prove our value and show how collaborative we are. When given a task or project, always ask: "What is the end objective? Is it measurable? What can I do to directly impact this end objective?" * With that, a RACI is a good friend. Whether you use a RACI, RAPID, RASCI, or other similar frameworks, starting off any project with this roles & responsibilities framework can help a lot with alignment. * When presenting competitive research or data insights, be brave enough to give recommendations on how to manage the competition or identify opportunities based on the data. This shows strategic value.
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221 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12
Stakeholder management is the most important skill/expertise for a junior PMM, and it will set them apart. Stakeholder management is the umbrella term I use that encompasses: * Cross-functional team communications * Cross-functional team management * Transparent, timely, and concise communication * Timely follow-ups * Getting stakeholder buy-in Ultimately, like in most careers, cultivating relationships and aligning people around a single objective are powerful tools that will help a PMM progress in their career.
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Credentials & Highlights
Director of Product Marketing at Zennify
Formerly Maxis Telecommunications, Singtel (Singapore Telecommunications), LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Certn, BenchSci, Zennify
Studied at B. Comm in Management and Marketing
Lives In British Columbia, Canada
Hobbies include Rock climbing, reading, and being a working mom of 1.
Knows About Analyst Relationships, Brand Strategy, Building a Product Marketing Team, Category Cr...more
Speaks English, Malay, Indonesian, Cantonese