Congratulations on creating the product marketing roadmap. Congratulations on discovering and creating metrics that show how you are progressing on that roadmap. But, now you have to communicate this information. The roadmap has no value if it is not shared.
The delivery of the roadmap is a critical element to illustrating the value that product marketing brings to the table. But, if you deliver this “document” by email, hoping that the various readers will a) take the time to read it thoroughly and b) understand the content without expectation, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Communicating your roadmap requires collaboration. Your roadmap first needs to be shared with the product management and marketing teams. If the product marketing roadmap is the bridge between the directions developed by these groups, start by sharing your guide here. Look to these teams to validate your information and challenge your metrics. If one team has made changes on their plans, this is when it may first surface to you and you should make the adjustments. These two teams are your friends, their approval and support will go far.
Once you have the support of product management and marketing, take it to your leaders. But, don’t send it over email. Email is not a good communication method for sharing and discussing strategy. Since the concept of a product marketing roadmap is new and may require some background information presented, email is definitely not the right tool.
The best way to introduce this new item is to do so through a regularly scheduled leadership meeting, whatever it may be called. Ask to get on the agenda for 30 minutes. Request the time on the agenda so that you may “share the value of product marketing” with the leadership. Since this is not a typical item on the agenda you will most likely get the time requested – if not for any other reason than curiosity. Whatever the reason, when it is accepted, take the time!
During the meeting, start your leadership presentation by explaining what the product marketing roadmap is and how it was created (briefly and not in detail) through using the product roadmap and the marketing plans. Then proceed to show the dashboard you have created which illustrates the movement of the items on the roadmap. Finally, close with the commitment that you will update your dashboard on a regular basis (monthly or quarterly) and would like to come back to the meeting to share the updated information. Ask for feedback on the dashboard. Are these meaningful metrics? Any additional metrics that they would like tracked? By including them and asking for input, they are accepting your roadmap.
If product marketing doesn’t stand at the table and show strategic value, no one else will do it for us. Strategy is difficult enough for organizations to see and touch. Through developing a product marketing roadmap, you have delivered a strategic tool. If you don’t share this tool properly, disappointment will set in when you don’t have a successful adoption of what you shared. If that happens, your commitment to making this a strategic asset will fail.
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