The Product Leader’s Cheat Sheet for Alignment: The Marketing Team Edition
If you’ve been a product leader for any amount of time, you’ve likely faced some challenges in communicating with your cross-functional stakeholders. We hear this a lot. In fact, according to the most recent Product Excellence Report, 48% of product leaders said this was their top challenge.
Stakeholder communication and expectation setting is tricky because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting it right. Each set of stakeholders has their own interests and priorities. This means if you really want to excel at stakeholder management, you need to develop a deep understanding of each group and how you can best meet their needs.
And if you’re wondering how you can add navigating these complex relationships to an already never-ending to-do list, we get it. It might seem like a problem for tomorrow… or next week… or sometime next quarter. But keep in mind: Neglecting your stakeholders today can lead to much more trouble down the road.
But we’re not just here to make you feel guilty. We want to help. That’s why we’ve put together a series of cheat sheets to help you achieve alignment with each group of stakeholders. In this edition, we’ll explore how you can best work with your marketing team.
“Customers don’t care about your corporate org chart. They don’t care that product and marketing are on different teams. They simply want a good experience from beginning to end.” – Adam Greco, Amplitude
3 tips for partnering with your marketing team
Closely collaborating with your marketing team gives you access to their profound knowledge of the target audience. Their outreach strategies can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, needs, and market trends. This will help you create products that cater to diverse audiences and stay in tune with the latest market trends and competition — a perfect recipe for sparking meaningful innovation.
Plus, when you keep your marketing team in the loop about upcoming product launches, they’re much better positioned to develop effective launch and go-to-market plans.
Here are three tactics to try:
1. Provide insight into product features, benefits, and target customer segments. This information can help product marketing create messaging that resonates with the target audience and effectively communicates the product’s value proposition. Product management can also help product marketing understand the customer needs and pain points that the product is solving, allowing for the development of targeted marketing campaigns.
“The best Product Managers usually have very strong relationships with their Marketing teams, if for no other reason than to ensure that they have a direct method of contact and communication with the market and prospective customers.” – UserVoice
2. Solicit feedback from product marketing on how the product is being received by customers, which features and benefits are resonating with customers, and which areas may need improvement. Seek insights on market trends and competitive developments so product can design a product roadmap that aligns with the company’s overall strategy.
42% of product teams said they have a process for capturing customer insights and feedback, but only 12% said they successfully capture insights and feedback from all available sources. – Product Excellence Report
3. Be a thorough partner on the GTM strategy by reviewing the competitive landscape and customer needs together to ensure that you’re not only building the right product, but connecting its value to customers effectively.
“A great GTM strategy relies on user/buyer personas, market understanding, and an understanding of the long-term business plan. That’s why it’s critical for Product Managers to work in collaboration with marketing on a GTM strategy.” – Product School
By collaborating closely, marketing and product teams can guarantee that the product is positioned and marketed effectively. This not only prevents the adverse consequences of over-promising, but can also yield more powerful marketing content, such as demos, case studies, and other marketing materials that can be utilized to communicate the product’s value to potential customers.
“Companies that treat marketing and product as the sum of “1+1=3” alchemy can distinguish themselves in the market.” – Reforge
Never fear your next encounter with a stakeholder again. Download the cheat sheet to help you handle every interaction with your marketing team with confidence, or our guide on uniting the business for tips on how to work with other stakeholders. You can also check out the below video for tips on how product can build stronger cross-departmental relationships.