Crayon's Product Marketing Spotlight is an interview series where we chat with product marketers to get a glimpse into their careers and gain unique insight into product marketing strategy. In this edition of the Product Marketing Spotlight Series, we shine the light on Elizabeth Brophy of Fastly.
MC: What is your role?
EB: I’m the product marketing manager for Compute@Edge, Fastly’s serverless edge development platform. I manage everything from messaging and go-to-market for new products/features as well as sales enablement and campaign strategy.
MC: What does Fastly do?
EB: By combining the world’s fastest global edge cloud network with powerful software, Fastly helps customers develop, deliver, and secure modern distributed applications and compelling digital experiences.
MC: Tell me a little bit about your career path. What was your first job, and what else happened along the way to bring you to where you are now?
EB: Like many, my route into product marketing was not direct. I started my tech career in sales development. I began by building sequences for marketing campaigns which led to my first marketing opportunity at InVision on the operations team.
From there I moved into lifecycle marketing, focusing on monetization and later on new user onboarding. I realized my favorite part of the role was deeply understanding each of our customer segments and developing compelling messaging to move them forward in their journey, which led me to look into product marketing. My first product marketing role was focused on InVision’s collaboration features, helping bridge the gap between designers and front-end developers to bring products to market faster.
I joined Fastly in early 2021 to explore a new industry and gain experience with a more technical product. Since I’ve started focusing on Compute@Edge in September, I’ve taken on several exciting projects, including the launch of our free trial and a large-scale outbound sales campaign.
MC: What teams outside of marketing do you collaborate with most frequently?
EB: Outside of marketing, my top collaborators are product management and sales. I work closely with the Compute@Edge product management team on messaging and go-to-market strategy for new products, as well as developing the overall story for what’s still a fairly new product in an evolving technology field. I collaborate with sales to ensure our product messaging fits with what they’re seeing in the field and align campaign planning and sales enablement efforts to their needs.
MC: What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on as a PMM?
EB: My favorite recent project was a multi-pronged launch for Compute@Edge. We recently launched a free trial available for anyone to sign up on our website. We simultaneously began promoting a limited-time sales offer with substantially more credits, but requiring a signed contract. As we were planning these, we received notice that an industry-leading analyst report had placed Compute@Edge in their top category. It was a fun challenge to craft a strategy that allowed these efforts to complement each other rather than compete against each other.
I also really enjoy collaborating with my product managers on product discovery and market research. In one case at InVision, my PM and I tag teamed a research project for a new product, with him conducting qualitative user testing and me complementing those insights with a large-scale survey. By combining our expertise, we gathered a ton of learnings applicable both to this particular project as well as the product direction as a whole. It was a great example of how powerful product management and product marketing can be when working in tandem.
MC: What are three things PMMs should keep in mind when launching a new product?
EB: Keep focused on the customer. It’s easy to get excited about new features and why it’s exciting for us, but effective go-to-market needs to keep empathy for the customer and the problems they’re trying to solve as the northstar.
Marketing launch ≠ product release. Go-to-market is a continuous process and we don’t need to wait until a product is ready for prime time before we start telling that story. Wherever possible, I also decouple the campaign date from the developer release so we’re not scrambling if something gets delayed.
Always be learning and iterating. Every launch is an opportunity to improve. Take time to investigate how messaging landed, what channels were most effective, and how the market is reacting. And it’s also helpful to reflect on the launch process and see where changes can be made to help the team collaborate together more smoothly.
MC: Do you have advice for other PMMs on how to make competitive intelligence a priority within their organizations?
EB: Don’t try to boil the ocean. When we first started planning to refresh our comp intel program at Fastly, there were several exciting opportunities for improvement, but with none of us focused exclusively in this area, we had to be strategic. We started with a survey and some interviews with sales to prioritize efforts, then began with the most high-impact activities, and then used our learnings from the process to scale up.
Once we had our first successes and some feedback in hand, we brought that back to the larger team along with compelling stats from your State of Competitive Intelligence Report. We were able to get the whole team excited about our efforts and drum up additional support to continue building out the program.
MC: As competition intensifies for companies, how do you see product marketing evolving?
EB: While already a strategic role, I see product marketing evolving into an even more critical function for business success. There’s really no other team that sits at the intersection of understanding the product, market, and customer and that puts us in a strong position to connect dots into key insights that can help a company gain a competitive edge.
MC: Other than product marketing, what are you most passionate about in life?
EB: I live in Colorado and am very passionate about being outdoors (especially in the mountains!). Depending on the season, you can find me camping, hiking, paddle boarding, or skiing. I’m also an avid reader (both fiction and non-fiction) and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes.
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