One of the issues that organizations encounter as they scale is optimizing the working relationship between marketing (or product marketing) and the product team. So in our most recent market research we asked product team members the following question.
What factors contribute to the positive aspects of the product team’s relationship with product marketing or marketing?
The answers were quite evenly divided on this question.
Our Take On The Data
The most frequently cited positive contributor was both functions recognizing the importance of working together closely and embracing the opportunity without executive involvement. In our experience, this is the ideal situation. There is clearly more benefit to be gained from a strong working relationship but culture and politics can get in the way of establishing a fruitful working relationship.
The importance of having clearly defined roles and responsibilities was cited nearly as often (22.03%). As a product management consulting organization we see this problem quite frequently. Both groups would like to work together but the organization has done a poor job defining the roles and responsibilities of all parties which creates an environment where unintended conflicts arise. Clearly defining these roles is important to nurturing a healthy working relationship.
Active involvement by product marketing at all phases of the product development cycle was cited only a half percent less often (21.69%). This is also an ideal arrangement. When marketing or product marketing is involved late in the process they are not able to do their jobs effectively. Successful organizations find a way to integrate the marketing team, as much or as little as needed throughout the product development lifecycle, in order to maximize the return.
Not far behind at 18.64% of responses was executive involvement ensuring product marketing and product management teams work together effectively. Sometimes executive intervention is required to ensure that product team members and marketing strike the right balance. While not ideal, it may be the only way to achieve the desired result.
What has been your experience?