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Product Marketing in a Global
SaaS Business
Andrew Malcolm
CMO, Evernote
VP Product Marketing HP Inc
Former Head of Marketing Skype
2
Summary
 Becoming a user-focused organization requires greater alignment between innovation
in product management and positioning in the product marketing team.
 In most organizations, commitments are not aligned and Product Managers must
interact with multiple touch-points from the marketing organization, creating confusion
internally and externally
 A set of principles for the operating model between marketing and product management
enables shared accountability for performance and greater value add to product
plans
 Adopting a defined “outside in” process to product planning injects user insights into
product development, provides a vocabulary for communication, and increases the
likelihood of building everyday products that solve future pain points
 Product marketing’s responsibility is to synthesize user insights into commercial
opportunities and put products in the hands of the right users in such a way as to
make them successful
3
Common Issues
Misalignment prevents product marketing from helping the product managers get the best products in
the hands of the right users, quickly
Issue Internal Ramification External Ramification
 Multiple product marketing
teams create different (and
at times confliction) positions
in the market
 Multiple touch points for
product managers
 No single value proposition
for org to rally behind and
deliver
 User confusion regarding
offerings
 User perception of brand in
a general, uncontrolled
fashion
 Lack of defined approach to
product planning leads to
inconsistent backlog
priorities from sprint to sprint
 PMs are confused by PMM
role, resulting in limited
ability for PMMs to influence
PMs
 Products are not evolving to
meet changing user needs
 Competitors are catching up
and passing
 Unclear metrics and
reporting for product teams
prevents focus on “what’s
important” and accountability
for performance
 Product reporting is onerous
and not driving behavior
 Multiple messages in the
market attempting to drive
different metrics
 PMs and PMMs do not
share common commitments
to metrics
 Misalignment around
priorities
 Products and marketing
messages are not consistent
4
User Intelligence
Global SaaS Marketing Operating Model
Product Marketing should be the connection with product management to bring products to market
and provide user insights to assist product direction
Product Marketing
• Customer Insight
• Value proposition definition
• Target customer segment
• Product positioning
• Go To Market
• Price/Monetization approach
• Competitor threats
PR and Communications
• Channel selection
• Campaign development
• Campaign execution
• Price optimization
• Promotion definition
• Contact strategy / CRM
Brand
Brand Strategy Guidelines & System
• Overall definition
• Look & Feel
• Conformance
• Messaging input
Marketing Operations
Programs Infrastructure
• Installed base communications
• Direct response acquisition
• Inbound selling
• Marketing Tools
• Voucher and promo execution
Campaign Briefs and KPIs
Customer responses and
insights
Product
Management
• Product
development
and design
• Technical
direction
• Delivery
timelines and
confidence
Commercial
Strategy
• Web Analytics
• Research
• Business Intelligence
• Brand
5
Guiding Principles for PM/PMM Operating Model
The PM and PMM should be intricately tied so that they only succeed together
 The PMM and PM share common goals, metrics, and commitments related to product
performance
 The PMM organization mirrors the PM organization so that each user-facing product has
a single dedicated product marketing manager
 The PMM and PM jointly present results of performance at product reviews
 Each role has a component of their evaluation which is reviewed by the other side
 The PMM and PM have a weekly meeting to review the performance of the product
 The PMM attends the backlog prioritization to answer questions regarding ROI and
prioritization analysis
6
Role Clarification
If a Product Manager owns the performance of their product, their PMM is similar to a chief
strategy/chief marketing officer who helps the Product Manager succeed
Product Managers Product Marketing
Campaign and Channel
Marketing
 Own the performance of
their products
 Define the technical vision
and direction of the product
 Own the product plan and
backlog prioritization
 Provide input on go-to-
market plans
 Conduct and inform key
research to help develop the
product plan and backlog
 Define target customer
 Create differentiated value
prop … early
 Monetize, position and price
products in the market
 Monitor performance of key
metrics and identifies
opportunities to improve
performance
 Develop Go To Market plans
– lias with sales and
customer success/support
where apropos
 Work with channel managers
to optimize performance
 Develop marketing briefs
based on input from Product
Marketing
 Develop creative and
messaging for campaigns
and communications in the
market
 Test, refine, and optimize
campaign messaging and
channel performance
 Purchase media, manage
relationships, interface with
partners, and identify PR
and event opportunities
7
• Competitive positioning within market
• Market opportunity
• Primary & secondary research
• Voice of the customer interpretation
• Segment profiling
• Segment sizing & value
• Product & feature proposition/positioning throughout life
• Targeting, customer benefits, and key messages
• Advertising, “freemium,” telco, etc.
• Pricing and version definition
• Identification of launch plans and distribution channels
• Develops product positioning
Market &
Competitor Intel
User
Insight
User
Targeting
Value Proposition
Monetization
Approach
Go-To-Market
Strategy
• Product Planning Process
• Forecast
• Product performance reporting
• Campaign briefs for creative
• Channel Management (in some orgs)
• Research input
RESPONSIBLITIES DELIVERABLES
• Develops and tracks key metrics
• Inputs to financial forecasts
Performance
Tracking
Product Marketing Manager Role
The Product Marketing Manager is responsible for a few key deliverables
8
 Technical Vision (PM)
- What are the things we
could do and plan to do with
the technology in the future
- What sequence will we do
them in
In a product based company, these are the documents that
align us on a day-to-day basis
 Value proposition
- What problem will the
technology solve
 Target customer
- Who cares that we solve this
problem and who doesn’t
 Competitive Differentiation
- How will our product remain
separate from key
competitors
- Can we maintain
differentiation in ways other
than product development
 Monetization Approach
- How will we make money:
advertising, upsell, telco, etc.
- How will we charge: sub, $/min,
$/cpm, CPC
 3-yr financials & operating drivers
- What are the keys to measuring the
product
Product Plan
 Business plan and
investment case for
each product
1
2
3
4 5
6
Product Plan Elements
The 6 components of a product plan reflect the system of how a product will become a market
success
9
Product Planning Process
The PMM should manage the product planning process while the PM makes key decisions
Product Plan
 Business plan and
investment case
for each product
Product!!!
 User Intelligence
evaluates and
informs marketing
performance and
opportunities
Campaigns,
Testing &
Analysis
Requirements
Document
 PMs translate the
technical product
vision into Epic
Stories and
requirements that
developers
execute
Coding and
Testing
 Developers use
SCRUM to write
and test code
Technical
Campaign
Briefs
 PMMs translate
the commercial
plan into
positioning, go-to-
market approach,
and lifecycle
management
Marketing
Plans
 Campaign teams
and PR
consolidate the
product marketing
needs into an
overall marketing
plan and themes
Commercial
Corporate
Strategy
Brand
Guidelines
 <20 slide deck
outlining 3-5
year plan
 A vision for
product purpose
Research &
User
Insights
 Custer needs and
feedback
Product &
Tech
Strategies
 Product Portfolio
Direction and
Architecture
10
User-centric Approach
By understanding user pain points and unarticulated needs, PMMs inform product development to
increase the chances of building everyday products
Communication Pain Points
Emotional
Economic
Functional
Power
Decision-Making Process
Purchase Occasion
Use Cases
Discussion
BacklogOfferingUser Need
Technology
Strategy
and
Innovation
Product
Portfolio
Strategy
11
Future
Customer Priorities
Current
Customer Priorities
Previous
Customer Priorities
• Table stakes
• Unarticulated
needs
• Future
opportunities
Anticipating User Needs
Understand unarticulated customer pain points will enable us to build products that address future
customer priorities
12
Skype Overall
Skype consolidates communication methods to enable seamless transition between
communication mediums anywhere in the world, with any device (desktop, mobile, TV),
on any platform (WIN, iOS, Android), and in any medium (messaging, calling, video,
sharing)
S2S Skype OutPremium
Video Audio Chat FT
Example Value Propositions – Skype circa 2011
Value propositions should be written before the product is built to increase likelihood of product-market
fit
PAYG Subs
SMS
S2Go
Online#
GSS
ViM
GVC
Wifi
Charlie
13
Outside-in
Understanding of Key
Trends Driving Future
Growth
Innovative Value
Growth Hypotheses
Quantified and
Prioritized Future
Value Spaces
High-Level product
strategy options
Detailed Blueprints of
product strategy options
Understanding of
Economic Potential
Tech and
operational
assessment
Go-to-Market
definition
Alignment of
Organization to
Strategy
Operational
implementation and
adaptation
Pricing optimization
Defining a Monetization Model
A three stage process can help develop great products into commercially viable and successful
offerings
14
On-going Performance Measurement
The PMMs should work with analytics to help monitor product performance, guided by a single metric
that represents the forward looking value of a user
Two-year
Contribution
Margin
Likelihood of
Converting to
Paying
 Revenue minus
termination costs
 Approximately 60%
Gross Margin
Advertising
Revenue while
Free
X
 Cohort Conversion
over 12 months
= + =
Expected
Direct Value
Total
Expected
Value
 Impressions *
CPMs
 Assume 100%
margin
 Contribution margin
directly from user
Product and Marketing must work together to change this metric – neither can do it alone
15
GTM Example: Optimize User Journeys
The timing, channel and way products are introduced to customers can drastically alter the expected
value of a user

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Product Marketing in Global SaaS

  • 1. Product Marketing in a Global SaaS Business Andrew Malcolm CMO, Evernote VP Product Marketing HP Inc Former Head of Marketing Skype
  • 2. 2 Summary  Becoming a user-focused organization requires greater alignment between innovation in product management and positioning in the product marketing team.  In most organizations, commitments are not aligned and Product Managers must interact with multiple touch-points from the marketing organization, creating confusion internally and externally  A set of principles for the operating model between marketing and product management enables shared accountability for performance and greater value add to product plans  Adopting a defined “outside in” process to product planning injects user insights into product development, provides a vocabulary for communication, and increases the likelihood of building everyday products that solve future pain points  Product marketing’s responsibility is to synthesize user insights into commercial opportunities and put products in the hands of the right users in such a way as to make them successful
  • 3. 3 Common Issues Misalignment prevents product marketing from helping the product managers get the best products in the hands of the right users, quickly Issue Internal Ramification External Ramification  Multiple product marketing teams create different (and at times confliction) positions in the market  Multiple touch points for product managers  No single value proposition for org to rally behind and deliver  User confusion regarding offerings  User perception of brand in a general, uncontrolled fashion  Lack of defined approach to product planning leads to inconsistent backlog priorities from sprint to sprint  PMs are confused by PMM role, resulting in limited ability for PMMs to influence PMs  Products are not evolving to meet changing user needs  Competitors are catching up and passing  Unclear metrics and reporting for product teams prevents focus on “what’s important” and accountability for performance  Product reporting is onerous and not driving behavior  Multiple messages in the market attempting to drive different metrics  PMs and PMMs do not share common commitments to metrics  Misalignment around priorities  Products and marketing messages are not consistent
  • 4. 4 User Intelligence Global SaaS Marketing Operating Model Product Marketing should be the connection with product management to bring products to market and provide user insights to assist product direction Product Marketing • Customer Insight • Value proposition definition • Target customer segment • Product positioning • Go To Market • Price/Monetization approach • Competitor threats PR and Communications • Channel selection • Campaign development • Campaign execution • Price optimization • Promotion definition • Contact strategy / CRM Brand Brand Strategy Guidelines & System • Overall definition • Look & Feel • Conformance • Messaging input Marketing Operations Programs Infrastructure • Installed base communications • Direct response acquisition • Inbound selling • Marketing Tools • Voucher and promo execution Campaign Briefs and KPIs Customer responses and insights Product Management • Product development and design • Technical direction • Delivery timelines and confidence Commercial Strategy • Web Analytics • Research • Business Intelligence • Brand
  • 5. 5 Guiding Principles for PM/PMM Operating Model The PM and PMM should be intricately tied so that they only succeed together  The PMM and PM share common goals, metrics, and commitments related to product performance  The PMM organization mirrors the PM organization so that each user-facing product has a single dedicated product marketing manager  The PMM and PM jointly present results of performance at product reviews  Each role has a component of their evaluation which is reviewed by the other side  The PMM and PM have a weekly meeting to review the performance of the product  The PMM attends the backlog prioritization to answer questions regarding ROI and prioritization analysis
  • 6. 6 Role Clarification If a Product Manager owns the performance of their product, their PMM is similar to a chief strategy/chief marketing officer who helps the Product Manager succeed Product Managers Product Marketing Campaign and Channel Marketing  Own the performance of their products  Define the technical vision and direction of the product  Own the product plan and backlog prioritization  Provide input on go-to- market plans  Conduct and inform key research to help develop the product plan and backlog  Define target customer  Create differentiated value prop … early  Monetize, position and price products in the market  Monitor performance of key metrics and identifies opportunities to improve performance  Develop Go To Market plans – lias with sales and customer success/support where apropos  Work with channel managers to optimize performance  Develop marketing briefs based on input from Product Marketing  Develop creative and messaging for campaigns and communications in the market  Test, refine, and optimize campaign messaging and channel performance  Purchase media, manage relationships, interface with partners, and identify PR and event opportunities
  • 7. 7 • Competitive positioning within market • Market opportunity • Primary & secondary research • Voice of the customer interpretation • Segment profiling • Segment sizing & value • Product & feature proposition/positioning throughout life • Targeting, customer benefits, and key messages • Advertising, “freemium,” telco, etc. • Pricing and version definition • Identification of launch plans and distribution channels • Develops product positioning Market & Competitor Intel User Insight User Targeting Value Proposition Monetization Approach Go-To-Market Strategy • Product Planning Process • Forecast • Product performance reporting • Campaign briefs for creative • Channel Management (in some orgs) • Research input RESPONSIBLITIES DELIVERABLES • Develops and tracks key metrics • Inputs to financial forecasts Performance Tracking Product Marketing Manager Role The Product Marketing Manager is responsible for a few key deliverables
  • 8. 8  Technical Vision (PM) - What are the things we could do and plan to do with the technology in the future - What sequence will we do them in In a product based company, these are the documents that align us on a day-to-day basis  Value proposition - What problem will the technology solve  Target customer - Who cares that we solve this problem and who doesn’t  Competitive Differentiation - How will our product remain separate from key competitors - Can we maintain differentiation in ways other than product development  Monetization Approach - How will we make money: advertising, upsell, telco, etc. - How will we charge: sub, $/min, $/cpm, CPC  3-yr financials & operating drivers - What are the keys to measuring the product Product Plan  Business plan and investment case for each product 1 2 3 4 5 6 Product Plan Elements The 6 components of a product plan reflect the system of how a product will become a market success
  • 9. 9 Product Planning Process The PMM should manage the product planning process while the PM makes key decisions Product Plan  Business plan and investment case for each product Product!!!  User Intelligence evaluates and informs marketing performance and opportunities Campaigns, Testing & Analysis Requirements Document  PMs translate the technical product vision into Epic Stories and requirements that developers execute Coding and Testing  Developers use SCRUM to write and test code Technical Campaign Briefs  PMMs translate the commercial plan into positioning, go-to- market approach, and lifecycle management Marketing Plans  Campaign teams and PR consolidate the product marketing needs into an overall marketing plan and themes Commercial Corporate Strategy Brand Guidelines  <20 slide deck outlining 3-5 year plan  A vision for product purpose Research & User Insights  Custer needs and feedback Product & Tech Strategies  Product Portfolio Direction and Architecture
  • 10. 10 User-centric Approach By understanding user pain points and unarticulated needs, PMMs inform product development to increase the chances of building everyday products Communication Pain Points Emotional Economic Functional Power Decision-Making Process Purchase Occasion Use Cases Discussion BacklogOfferingUser Need Technology Strategy and Innovation Product Portfolio Strategy
  • 11. 11 Future Customer Priorities Current Customer Priorities Previous Customer Priorities • Table stakes • Unarticulated needs • Future opportunities Anticipating User Needs Understand unarticulated customer pain points will enable us to build products that address future customer priorities
  • 12. 12 Skype Overall Skype consolidates communication methods to enable seamless transition between communication mediums anywhere in the world, with any device (desktop, mobile, TV), on any platform (WIN, iOS, Android), and in any medium (messaging, calling, video, sharing) S2S Skype OutPremium Video Audio Chat FT Example Value Propositions – Skype circa 2011 Value propositions should be written before the product is built to increase likelihood of product-market fit PAYG Subs SMS S2Go Online# GSS ViM GVC Wifi Charlie
  • 13. 13 Outside-in Understanding of Key Trends Driving Future Growth Innovative Value Growth Hypotheses Quantified and Prioritized Future Value Spaces High-Level product strategy options Detailed Blueprints of product strategy options Understanding of Economic Potential Tech and operational assessment Go-to-Market definition Alignment of Organization to Strategy Operational implementation and adaptation Pricing optimization Defining a Monetization Model A three stage process can help develop great products into commercially viable and successful offerings
  • 14. 14 On-going Performance Measurement The PMMs should work with analytics to help monitor product performance, guided by a single metric that represents the forward looking value of a user Two-year Contribution Margin Likelihood of Converting to Paying  Revenue minus termination costs  Approximately 60% Gross Margin Advertising Revenue while Free X  Cohort Conversion over 12 months = + = Expected Direct Value Total Expected Value  Impressions * CPMs  Assume 100% margin  Contribution margin directly from user Product and Marketing must work together to change this metric – neither can do it alone
  • 15. 15 GTM Example: Optimize User Journeys The timing, channel and way products are introduced to customers can drastically alter the expected value of a user