In today’s economic climate, large enterprises are more cautious about their bottom line, reducing costs and reorganising their resources and processes to minimise redundancy. We also see organisations seeking other ways to increase efficiency in new product development.
Product Management is one function that offers organisation significant benefits as they marry business objectives and target markets needs to deliver measurable, lasting benefits for organisations.
Here are some of the ways where we have observed our clients leverage Product Management.
Stronger collaboration between Product Management, Sales and Marketing to meet short term revenue quotas
Rightly or wrongly, the pressure to attain revenue targets in competitive conditions particularly in the financial and media industries have increased pressure on Product Management teams to support Sales’ in reaching their short term sales targets.
Product Management can certainly collaborate more closely with Sales by ensuring that they are not pursuing the wrong target markets. Product Managers who are in tune with the current market trends are in a position to inform their Sales colleagues on where the biggest opportunities are for selling their products. They are also able to articulate the benefits of their products to their target markets, and will have case studies of how their products are used by similar customers.
The increased dialogue between Sales & Product Management is a fantastic opportunity for both groups to identify new sizable target markets for existing products, and to identify any new market problems that may lead to new product development. Both Sales and Product Management can also collaborate with the marketing team to ensure that their marketing activities are aligned with the product sales and channel strategy to drive more qualified leads through the sales cycle faster.
Product Management Reduces Risk of Product Failure
The act of preparing a brief Business Case reduces the risk of product failure. It doesn’t prevent failure, nothing can. But collating a set of assumptions, extracting business intelligence and scanning the market will mitigate the chances of failure.
Effective Product Managers tell a much bigger story when they are compiling their business cases, gathering data about the market conditions including customer requirements, size of the market, market trends, the competitive landscape and other external influencing factors (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal, Environmental). Their business case has to be compelling enough to ensure that the company’s investment in their project will have minimum risk of wasted resource, by ensuring that all the user scenarios have been thoroughly considered and even tested to a degree.
Aligning Market Needs with Key Organisational Objectives
Product Managers are responsible for ensuring that any new incremental features, products or business ideas that are investigated and eventually launch should solve market problems and aligned with business requirements. They validate if there is a sizeable market for a product idea. When the product is eventually developed, it encompasses both customer and business value to meet those external and internal requirements.
In the course of developing the business model prior to final sign-off of a new product development project, the Product Manager conducts market research and analysis to understand the characteristics, size of the market and competitive landscape. In an ideal world, the Product Manager is completely immersed in the world of the customer throughout the year, not only when they are compiling a Business Case or Product Plan. Product Managers must understand the customer intrinsically in terms of their behaviour, goals, motivations, functional and emotional needs.
Product Management Future-Proofs Organisations
Product Managers are in a unique position. They interface with all parts of their organisations and have the greatest visibility over all internal and external factors to ensure the success of the long term product roadmap . They are aware of all market changes and how these changes impact their existing products as they are analysing and reporting on their product performance metrics.
Whilst the role of product management was previously the catch-all of all urgent/non-urgent and important/unimportant issue that pops up relating to product, service or customers, its function has evolved to drive more value for the customers. and their organisation.