How Product Marketing Can Best Collaborate with Campaigns Teams
Question: would you embark on a cross-country family road trip without using a map?
Well, you would definitely have an adventure, and you might eventually reach your destination, but the trip would probably take way longer than anyone had expected. Furthermore, without the right plan in place, you might miss some great out-of-the-way stops along your route, which could lead to some tense situations in the car as everyone weighs in on where they want to go. In other words, you certainly couldn’t guarantee your family would have the kind of vacation you were hoping for.
In the same way, a campaigns team working without the guidance of product marketing isn’t guaranteed to reach its goals. You may know and understand that when your teams work together instead of staying siloed, campaigns have a much better chance of achieving results faster and more efficiently. Or, you may have read our previous article on the four strategies you should use. So, let’s talk about best practices as your two teams continue to collaborate in 2023.
Checks and balances: how product marketing and campaigns work better together
To be at its most effective, the partnership between campaigns and product marketing needs to stay focused on two things:
- What goal is the campaign trying to accomplish?
- How are you as a team going to get there?
Product marketing engages with campaigns differently on each of those topics.
Asking the why
Your role here as a product marketer is primarily a strategic one. You’re not the one setting the goals, but instead you are running them through a marketing filter to ask the crucial question: why are we trying to accomplish this goal? By applying this filter, product marketing helps ensure that each campaign effort is both justified by and in alignment with the market.
As an example, say your campaigns team comes to you and says they want to go after manufacturing. They need some numbers to fill the sales funnel, and they’ve never gone after manufacturing before, so that seems to be the right approach.
“Well, that’s great,” you say, “But why?” You know that your company doesn’t have any penetration in manufacturing––maybe the company as a whole hasn’t prioritized that vertical, or maybe the product isn’t designed to support manufacturing well. Bottom line is, any effort you make there is going to have very little if any ROI, and your budget would be better spent in a different sector.
Leading the way
Once your goals have been analyzed and set, next it’s time to weigh in on how to get there. First, sales and campaigns discuss what assets they need in the funnel in order to help them meet their goals. Next, you use the same marketing filter as above to determine why each proposed asset is important and why a customer should care about it.
As an example, say your campaigns team has laid out their overall plan to you and said, “By the way, we think xyz is an important trend and we want to have a webinar on it.” As the product marketer, no matter how trendy the topic is, you need to veto the proposed webinar if it isn’t part of your messaging or the scope of what your product does.
Pro tip: This is a great place for you to introduce a messaging framework to provide internal stakeholders with a consistent way of speaking to a product or solution. Doing so also helps you determine how much work you’re going to have, either on the front or back end, in terms of the activity the campaigns team wants you to engage in.
Campaigns aren’t one and done
In my experience, the most effective collaboration between campaigns and product marketing is an ongoing process, not just a one-and-done conversation. Maintaining a consistently close relationship is beneficial for both sides, as it allows each team to bring together their best practices and apply them to reaching their mutual goals. Close contact also ensures the product marketer isn’t hit with unexpected or last minute requests for campaign support, which always makes planning your day/week/month much easier.
Working hand-in-hand with campaigns also allows you to look at the marketing funnel and figure out why certain assets aren’t performing as you’d hoped. So if your campaign person has a certain set of assets that they know work, they might have them in an order that doesn’t, e.g. case studies before training. In that case, their efforts can be redirected in a way you’ve mutually decided is most conducive to conversion.
Let campaigns set the KPIs
It’s true, KPIs are not product marketing’s strong point. Since campaigns managers’ success is often measured by campaign results, this is one place you will need to let them take the lead. Of course, the exact metrics will vary depending on what kind of campaign you’re running, but ultimately they will always come down to generating MQLs. Having a shared set of metrics creates a stronger sense of partnership between teams and ultimately drives better results.
Product marketing can also provide campaigns with a second set of eyes when it comes to performance. Often, something that the campaign team thinks isn’t working right might in fact be working great, just in a different way. And, if it really isn’t working right, product marketing can help campaigns analyze why prospects are falling off and what is keeping them from converting.
Steering your organization to campaigns success
Just like that roadmap (OK, more likely a map app) on your family trip, maintaining a close relationship with your campaigns team can make all the difference in reaching your shared destination. Not only that, it allows you to choose which stops to make and which to skip––and how best to regroup if you get a little lost. In other words, when product marketing and campaigns work together, everyone wins.
Ready to create a roadmap to success with your campaigns team? Reach out to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Aventi Group.