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When Disaster Strikes: Does Your Product Marketing Include A Succession Plan?

One of the activities I love the most about being a product marketer is interviewing customers. While I start with the mission of learning about their use of Journyx’s products, the anthropologist in me always aims to develop a richer picture of the customer’s organizational cultures. In the span of an hour-long interview, I can’t go too deep but I can begin to glean some important clues about the relationships between people and their tools. My working hypothesis is that how a company adopts and uses technology – whether they do it successfully, fail dramatically, or fall somewhere in between – is tied closely to the cultures that exist within the company. (There’s a whole lot more to say about this and I hope to dive into it in more detail in upcoming posts.)

In my latest interviews, one subject that’s popped out at me is how knowledge around technological tools changes and is passed from person-to-person. In other words, how does an organization’s cultural understanding and use of Journyx’s time tracking toolset transfer from experienced employees to new hires? Think of your own organization. There are two ways of looking at this.

1. Within your own company, what tools do you use to get work done? Could be Sharepoint, Salesforce, or some other online tool. It could also be a non-online tool (think about how to get that conference room projector to work). Hopefully, you have individuals who are experts in managing these tools…but what happens if they leave? More to the point, what happens if they leave unexpectedly? Does your company of a succession plan to ensure a successful transfer of knowledge? If not, maybe it’s time to think about that potential scenario where your expert goes away and you’re left fumbling around looking for answers.

2. If you’re a product marketer, this offers a unique opportunity to build customer loyalty. I can’t think of many companies out there actively helping their customers build personalized succession plans. There’s tremendous value to working with customers to build succession plans. Think about how much stronger the relationship will be after helping a frazzled customer successfully continue their processes when disaster strikes?

Is succession planning a part of your company’s product service portfolio?

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