Challenge #1 - Product Operations
“LaunchNotes has enabled us to build a standardized process for internal release readiness and enablement at scale.”
-Melissa Edmonds, VP of Product Operations

Standardizing internal release readiness and enablement at scale

Prior to LaunchNotes, SpotOn had dozens of product managers sending out ad hoc release notes at varying times, with varying degrees of technical language, and through manually updated email listservs and Google Drive folders. This process left SpotOn’s customer-facing teams–sales, support, and implementation–out of sync with what was being released to whom, when, and why.

“Our goal is to put in place frameworks and guard rails that make product delivery more efficient and ensure a best-in-class customer experience. Before LaunchNotes, communication around releases was manual, ad hoc, and wasn’t serving the needs of our stakeholders.”
-Melissa Edmonds, VP of Product Operations

The result of having no standardized process or centralized location for all release information resulted in front-line support teams having delayed or inconsistent information and sales missing upsell and expansion opportunities. Melissa Edmonds, SpotOn’s VP of Product Ops, knew there had to be a better way.


Four LaunchNotes pages for targeted, timely communication to four distinct audiences

SpotOn’s Product Operations team rolled out LaunchNotes and created four distinct pages for each key audience who need to be most closely aligned with their releases:

  • An internal release notes page for SpotOn’s technical stakeholders, including internal support and operations teams

  • A second internal page for alignment and enablement across SpotOn’s sales org

  • A third, private page for alignment and technical enablement across SpotOn’s vast dealer network

  • A fourth, public LaunchNotes page to keep all SpotOn customers updated on the latest improvements

“LaunchNotes enables us to use different pages so we can curate the level of detail and the content based on the needs of the specific audience, while managing everything from one place. The ability to have flexibility in what different subscribers see while also accommodating the needs of multiple internal teams working out of this tool is a huge win.”
-Melissa Edmonds, VP of Product Operations

But four distinct pages was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the overall value that LaunchNotes was able to unlock for SpotOn:

  • Using LaunchNotes’ categorization system, stakeholders are not only subscribed to the page with updates being produced at the right fidelity for them, but have further personalized each communication by only subscribing to receive updates on the specific products most relevant to their job or clients

  • By leveraging LaunchNotes’ email and Slack integrations, Melissa shares that their team is able to effectively reach each stakeholder where they are without any interruptions to the single, streamlined workflow the team has developed

  • SpotOn’s Product Operations team has created multiple custom announcement templates that PMs can copy and paste relevant information into, not only saving product managers hours every week, but also ensuring no detail of any release is ever omitted

  • Having one platform for all product comms has driven a tighter alignment between Product, Product Marketing, and Product Ops and resulted in significantly less back and forth and fewer ad hoc meetings

  • Using LaunchNotes, Melissa’s team was able to implement a new “pre-release note” process to notify stakeholders of product changes before they’re live, giving internal stakeholders clarity to what’s being built and why, and advanced preparedness so they can ask questions or flag issues prior to a release being shipped; Melissa says while this new process is still being tested, the feedback from internal stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive

  • Having one platform for all product comms has driven a tighter alignment between Product, Product Marketing, and Product Ops and resulted in significantly less back and forth and fewer ad hoc meetings

“Information is power, and LaunchNotes gives every stakeholder the information they need to feel comfortable and prepared. It’s a mission-critical tool for SpotOn”
-Melissa Edmonds, VP of Product Operations
Challenge #2 - Product Marketing
“LaunchNotes keeps sales and support aligned with our product org so they can better serve prospects and customers.”
-Bri Milker, Product Marketing Manager

Connecting compelling, value-driven stories to every software release

For SpotOn’s Product Marketing team, LaunchNotes hasn’t just streamlined key workflows, it’s also provided a dedicated tool to tell benefit-oriented stories to their various stakeholders across the business. Prior to LaunchNotes, the ad hoc nature of the company’s release comms made it impossible to ensure each stakeholder not only understood what was shipping, but equally important, the value being delivered to customers and the market.

“Before LaunchNotes most of our internal release notes were super technical, so no one read them. Then things would get shipped and people would write into support and ask: What’s this change? Why did you do it? When did that happen? These aren’t the kind of things we want to be hearing from users.”
-Bri Milker, Product Marketing Manager

A dedicated tool for stakeholder enablement through superior storytelling

Leveraging LaunchNotes, SpotOn’s Product Marketing team has developed a streamlined, weekly digest process that keeps every stakeholder aligned with imminent product changes. And Bri is quick to note that this process not only allows the PMM team to ensure every stakeholder is aligned with what’s shipping, but also does so in a way that ties each release–everything from bug fixes to new features–to customer value.

“One of our company goals for the year is to tell value-driven stories that make our products easy to understand for prospects, customers, and salespeople. And that’s exactly what we’re using LaunchNotes to do.”
-Bri Milker, Product Marketing Manager

To keep things as streamlined as possible, the SpotOn PMM team has boiled down their weekly product update process into three simple steps:

  • On Monday morning Bri creates three draft announcements in LaunchNotes. Each draft utilizes a custom template that SpotOn has created to meet the needs of each of the three audiences that receive weekly updates. A link to these drafts is then shared in SpotOn’s product marketing Slack channel for easy access.

  • Throughout the week product managers hop into the draft announcements as needed and add details of anything they’re working on that will be shipped that week. Thanks to the templates, Bri says the process for the PMs is essentially copy and paste. And thanks to LaunchNotes’ publishing permissions, she rests assured that no update will ever be published before it’s gone through the proper review workflow. Thursday at noon is the cut-off for all content to be added.

  • Finally, on Thursday afternoon, a PMM reviews each of the three drafts, ensures each is at the correct fidelity for the given audience, and weaves in value and benefit-oriented language consistent with stakeholder needs. After the review, each draft is set for publication and sent on Friday morning.

Since implementing their weekly digest process the SpotOn PMM team has seen an average of 48% open rates, and Bri shares that anecdotal feedback on having tighter alignment with the product org has also been extremely positive.

“Sales and support love having more visibility into our product org. LaunchNotes allows us to do that, while also giving us the ability to effortlessly collaborate to tell compelling stories about why we’re building certain things and how each release makes users’ lives easier. Since LaunchNotes we’ve gotten great feedback that everyone finally knows what’s going on.”
-Bri Milker, Product Marketing Manager
Challenge #3 - Sales & Partnerships
“LaunchNotes not only helps accelerate new revenue growth, it's key to stronger retention and expansion as well.”
-Mike Collins, SVP Strategic Partnerships

Accelerating revenue growth and expansion across SpotOn’s vast dealer network

One of the teams that’s benefited the most from SpotOn’s LaunchNotes implementation is the business’ expansive network of dealers and resellers.

“SpotOn has a great product that’s going to continue winning in this market. And a major reason is the strength of our partner ecosystem.”
-Mike Collins, SVP Strategic Partnerships

Given the critical nature of this channel to SpotOn’s business, as well as the vital nature of each dealer/client relationship, ensuring every dealer is equipped with the most up-to-date release information was a top priority for Mike. Without it dealers couldn’t provide the best possible customer experience for the restaurants they supported. So how do you keep a vast, distributed dealer network across the country tightly aligned with the SpotOn product roadmap and deeply knowledgeable on the details of each and every release?


A dedicated LaunchNotes page for dealer enablement and client feedback

When rolling out LaunchNotes, Melissa and Mike collaborated on a LaunchNotes page that would only be available to partners in the dealer network. As a critical part of the sales motion, they knew each dealer not only needed to know about every release, but required a level of granularity likely not necessary for other stakeholders across the business.

“LaunchNotes is so ridiculously important to our dealers because they need to know the product inside and out in order to sell it. And if we have something coming out that can help them sell more, they need every detail as soon as possible. And this includes even the tiniest bug fixes, because they’re on the front line with our clients. Them being out of the loop on anything is unacceptable.”
-Mike Collins, SVP Strategic Partnerships

But as the saying goes, money talks. And Mike shares that the result of arming the SpotOn dealer network with a curated view of everything being shipped is empowering the entire network to grow SpotOn’s top-line revenue.

“There’s no question LaunchNotes helps our dealers accelerate revenue growth. And not just on new deals. It helps them accelerate expansion and retention as well.”
-Mike Collins, SVP Strategic Partnerships

Leveraging LaunchNotes to channel client feedback directly back to the SpotOn product team

Another major opportunity that Mike and Melissa saw when creating a dealer-specific page was turning on LaunchNotes’ feedback module to get firsthand insights from restaurants back to the product org. Beyond selling the product, SpotOn’s dealers are on the front lines and interacting with the service’s end users on a daily basis. As any product manager will tell you, there are few things more valuable than feedback directly from your ICP.

As Mike describes, the ability of dealers to collect client feedback and submit it directly to SpotOn is a win for everyone. It’s not not only unlocked a streamlined process for valuable feedback collection, but also created a personal touch point between the SpotOn success team and the business’ end users.

“Our dealers are getting valuable feedback from clients multiple times a day. Having their own direct channel for feedback makes them feel closer to the business, and it’s a no-brainer for our product team.”
-Mike Collins, SVP Strategic Partnerships