If you, as a product marketer, want to boost collaboration with your demand generation colleagues, use your PMM skills and approach them as you would target buyers: Understand their pain points, deliver a solution that meets their needs, and help them reach the best results.
There’s a lot of discussion about the importance of synergy between product marketing and product management, as well as product marketing and sales. But we don’t talk enough about the critical dependencies between product marketing and its sibling: demand generation.
Product marketing’s key responsibility is to deeply understand target customers; demand generation’s goal is to create demand that leads to revenue - often using the outputs created by product marketing. One can’t succeed without the other. Why, then, do these teams sometimes lack sufficient communication, collaboration and support?
Three effective ways where Product Marketing and Demand Generation can better collaborate to help marketing win are:
Communicating early on GTM strategy
Enabling all teams to generate revenue
Working to achieve the same KPIs
Engage sooner rather than later on Go to Market strategy
Identifying market opportunities, understanding buyers’ top pain points, assessing competitors, and product positioning are time consuming elements of your go-to-market plan. We often like everything tied up in a bow before we share the details with our marketing colleagues. And what would a demand generation team do with this early information anyway?
The answer is, plenty! It takes a lot of time and planning to craft compelling and results-driven marketing campaigns. Marketers can’t do this well without understanding buyers, pain points, and how products deliver value to target customers. It’s up to product marketers to transfer that knowledge to demand gen teams early in the process and collaborate on the right strategy. A great way to do this? Invite a demand gen colleague to be part of your core go-to-market team.
Think “revenue enablement,” not just “sales enablement”
Product marketing focuses a lot of energy on developing tools to enable salespeople: Presentations, data sheets, use cases, product videos, case studies and other tools for sales teams to help them sell. But this may be short-sighted.
It's not just sales that enables revenue. Demand gen marketers are the initiators of product awareness among target buyers - and as such, are also ultimately responsible for revenue. Developing a revenue enablement strategy for both sales and demand generation teams will ensure consistent messaging and the right content that matches what buyers need along their purchasing journey. Many of the assets that product marketing creates for sales can be used, modified or repackaged for demand generation initiatives. Don’t silo the work.
Match the metrics
I had an interesting conversation with a product marketer about how much influence she should have on demand generation campaign development. There was clear resistance on the part of her demand generation colleagues. Her dilemma was that her KPIs were based on product revenue, but the demand generation team’s KPIs were focused on top of the funnel leads.
Vastly different KPIs may result in dwindling results and sometimes fractured teamwork.
This happens when leaders fail to look at their organization holistically and impose departmental KPIs that don’t necessarily align all teams to the company’s overall goals. Take the lead on changing and influencing this. Recommend shared KPIs across product marketing, sales, product management and demand generation that will foster closer collaboration and better results. Meet, at minimum, monthly to track progress and discuss ways to improve results. This may be tough to sell to your management team if they’re stuck in old ways of measuring progress. But as you collect data on the metrics as a cohesive cross functional team, you’ll be able to tell – and sell – a more compelling story to management.
Collaborate early and often, break down the silos, and work toward the same objectives. Everyone wins.