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Over 80% of product managers are monitoring development projects and writing market requirements.
The good news from these charts is that over 50% of product managers are building business cases.
Compared to product managers, product marketers should have an emphasis on 'outbound' activities. As sales presentations and demos are the #1 activity for product marketers, with nearly half reporting a day or more per week on this activity, this task represents a significant opportunity to increase productivity. When placing the two roles side-by-side, it is possible to see where the roles are similar and where they diverge.
Adele Revella has served in executive roles at three technology companies, guiding product management, marketing and sales teams to achieve leadership positions in untapped markets. The role of product management spans many activities from strategic to tactical, some very technical, others less so. Many CEOs realize that product management brings process and business savvy to the creation and delivery of products. Traditional consumer companies have always considered product management to be a marketing role, which is why it seems to make sense to put product management there.
For technology companies, particularly those with enterprise or B2B products, the product management job is very technical. Very few product managers find themselves in a Sales (or Sales & Marketing) department. In effect, subordinating product management relegates it to a support role for the primary goal of the department. The VP of Marketing owns collateral, sales tools, lead generation, and awareness programs.
As our companies grow larger and become more mature, the company president needs someone thinking about the products we ought to be offering and new markets we could serve.
Increasingly we see companies creating a VP of Product Management, a department at the same level in the company as the other major departments. As we grow ever larger, the product marketing role expands further: we still need a group defining our go-to-market strategy and providing content to Marketing Communications, but now we also need more marketing assistance in the field.
As companies grow, the product management role entails three or four functions: product strategy, technical product management, product marketing, and field marketing.
Product Management’s reporting structure corresponds to the results the company can expect from Product Management. If you want better products in the future, if you want a messenger for the market, Product Management should have a seat at the senior executive table; you need a VP of Product Management. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. I recently had a customer contact me using our Launch Lifeline Service for help with understanding the best go-to-market strategy for his software product, which inspired today’s post.


After trying to sell directly to the target customer for about a year, it became increasingly clear that who he originally thought was the CUSTOMER for the product wasn’t actually the BUYER!
First, let’s examine this whole product concept in a bit more detail in the following diagram. For example, I originally purchased an iPhone to use as a mobile phone, and for portable email and Web browsing. For example, during a home project, I find myself in need of a level, but don’t want to go to the hardware store to buy one for $5 to $10.
The point is, customers have unique needs, or at least a common set of needs that may be prevalent in a particular industry or across a given set of use cases.
As we see here, the Generic Product in the middle of the chart requires a number of things added to it to actually satisfy each customer’s unique needs. The product may require installation, configuration and some level of customization to fit properly into the customer’s environment.
The customer’s users may require training in order to make proper use of the product. For consumable items, customers may require distribution and delivery to their various office locations, for example. The mobile phone network providers have a unique part of the whole product puzzle that we need – wireless networking! The App Store completes the value-chain between device and customer, enabling customers to further customize the device from its generic state into more of an ideal device for each customer’s particular tastes and preferences.
I hope this post provides a helpful context for taking a fresh look at how we can deliver more of our products to a broader set of customers, by understanding whole product marketing and the value-chains we need to tap into (or create) to maximize our ROI on product investments. Before you launch a product, be sure to give careful consideration to the whole product and value chains you’ll want to use for maximum success.
As a former VP Product Management and CTO, Rick developed whole product strategies that helped software companies turn technologies into broadly adopted customer solutions that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sustained revenues. Register now to receive this step-by-step guide containing strategies and best practices to create buzz and drive sales using the power of the Web and social networking. Compelling PM™ delivers Product Management and Product Marketing assessments, training, consulting and tools that fundamentally TRANSFORM the way companies do Product Management & Product Marketing, enabling them to increase product revenue and profitability by helping them more successfully plan, create, launch and market winning products.
In too many organizations, senior management does not have a clear understanding of what Product Management and Product Marketing is and isn’t and those serving in the Product Management and Product Marketing roles have not been properly trained and enabled to best understand and execute in the role. In delivering its services, CompellingPM focuses on three key strategic initiatives and 24 key practices in Product Management and Product Marketing that form the foundation of all successful products. Please learn more about our comprehensive services for enhancing the strategic value of your Product Team. Webcast – Driving the Marketing and Sales Funnel to Close Deals: What Product Marketers Must Know and Do!
Webcast: How to Create Effective Sales & Marketing Tools That Actually Get Used By Sales and Prospects!


In addition, most product managers are involved with researching market needs and creating sales presentations and demos. The business case is the evidence of the product manager's role as a business leader in the company. It is interesting, however, that 50% of product marketers also spend time monitoring development activities, indicating that the product management and product marketing roles are not consistently defined by inbound vs.
If product marketers gain a clear understanding of target audiences and the buyer personas involved in purchasing the company's products, they can align sales tools directly with the needs of the sales people and their prospects. Perhaps that's why we've seen a shift over the years of where product managers report in the organization.
It seems clear product managers in Sales will spend all of their time supporting sales people with demos and presentations. Vice Presidents and department heads have a natural inclination to support their primary department’s role. These companies often add a product marketing component to the marketing communications effort, supporting them with market information and product content. So field marketing is born: product marketing people in the sales regions who create specific programs for all of the sales people in a given geographic area.
The iPhone meets my basic needs, is easy enough to use for my communications and entertainment needs.
So instead I download a software level application for my iPhone and simply use the combination of the iPhone and software level program to get the job done – without the need for a traditional level.
As a result, our products don’t sell as well as they would otherwise, had we understood and tapped into the value-chains necessary to turn our generic products into whole products for customers, or provided the extensibility for others to add value and tailer the product for specific customer needs. This results in many Product Teams (Product Management & Product Marketing) performing sub-optimally in their roles because they are focusing their efforts on day-to-day tactical activities that deliver marginal value and not delivering on the more important strategic contributions that results in more successful products, greater revenue and increased profitability. That is why it is not surprising that a good number of product managers report directly to the CEO, acting as his or her representative at the product level. Alas, many technology companies consider the term "marketing" to be synonymous with "marketing communications." So if the Marketing department is only about delivering products but not defining them, product managers should be elsewhere. The VP of Development has a primary responsibility of delivering products, so tends to use product managers as project managers and Development gofers.
The product management group interviews existing and potential customers, articulates and quantifies market problems in the business case and market requirements documents, defines standard procedures for product delivery and launch, supports the creation of collateral and sales tools by Marketing Communications, and trains the sales teams on the market and product. The problem appears to be technical product managers spend so much time writing requirements, they don't have time to visit the market to better understand the problems their products are designed to solve. They spend so much time building products that they're not equipped to help deliver them to the market.



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