Back to resources

How Aligned Product and Marketing Teams Can Impact Growth & User Experience

Alignment
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Cross-Functional Collaboration

5 November, 2021

Prasad Gupte

Prasad Gupte

Director of Product at Babbel

Prasad Gupte, Director of Product at Babbel, explains why product and marketing teams should invest in alignment, collaboration & trust to co-own outcomes.

Problem

Historically, product and marketing operated separately with one focussing on technology & engagement, and the other on driving sales - both with their own individual strategies. This meant the funnel wasn’t viewed as a core product experience and left several growth opportunities unattended.

Actions taken

For 2020, together with the CPO & CMO, we agreed on a joint strategy and to work towards it using OKRs. We deliberately paired a Product & Engineering (P&E) leader with a Marketing leader to co-own a company-level key result that directly impacted the bottom line. This meant that the execution strategy, priorities, and solutions were all developed in tandem. Part of this meant understanding each others’ challenges, dealing together with complexity, and jointly finding the best solutions to stay on track.

2020 was also when COVID happened, which meant we had to react very quickly to the challenges and opportunities ahead of the business. Working together allowed us to quickly steer the teams. We continued working together ahead of every planning cycle to give the teams quarterly guidance. This directional clarity allowed the teams to effectively prioritize problems, and yet feel empowered to find the best solutions. This improved trust with teams.

The trust gained also helped us work together on creative ideation, and exploring new solutions which allowed us to unlock commercial innovation and monetize our products. This in turn made Product leaders like myself confident about owning commercial outcomes and taking on bigger goals.

The overall outcome was effective communication, shared accountability, and a great sense of trust and purpose at all levels in the Marketing and Product & Engineering organization.

Lessons learned

  • Accountability & alignment are key to being autonomous and empowered. Aligned leadership meant that teams felt ownership of our marketing challenges, giving a strong purpose to their work.
  • Good communication is the thread that binds it all. Driving outcomes through alignment is 100x better than driving them through escalation. While the end result might appear similar, escalation only increases the trust deficit. Building trust, on the other hand, allowed us to openly talk about our failures as much as successes.
  • Shared accountability not only drives impact but unlocks learning opportunities and T-shaping like it personally did for me.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Myth Busting

10 December

Supporting principles on why being data led (not driven) helps with the story telling.

Alignment
Managing Expectations
Building A Team
Leadership
Collaboration
Productivity
Feedback
Psychological Safety
Stakeholders
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

The Not-So-Easy Guide on How to grow and develop an Amazing A-Team

5 December

Your Org Team may as well be a Sports team. Let's explore how this cohesive, multi-skilled team can be optimized for Great Group Playoff.

Alignment
Building A Team
Company Culture
Sharing The Vision
Embracing Failures
Team Processes
Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Google Cloud Practice lead at Contino

DevSecOps: Why, Benefits and Culture Shift

29 November

Why DevSecOps matter and what's really in it for you, the team and the organisation?

Innovation / Experiment
Building A Team
Leadership
Ownership
Stakeholders
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

The Growth Mindset in Modern Product Engineering

28 November

The impact you can have with a Growth Mindset' and the factors involved in driving orchestrated change.

Building A Team
Leadership
Collaboration
Feedback
Ownership
Stakeholders
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

How to improve engagement and retention in remote engineering teams?

25 October

Mrunal Kapade, an Engineering leader, based in Silicon Valley, shares tips that helped reduce attrition in the remote engineering teams while leading multiple teams from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Remote
Company Culture
Collaboration
Motivation
Team Processes
Mrunal Kapade

Mrunal Kapade

Director of Engineering at Inspire Energy