5 Minutes With Alli Scheffer (Optus)

Alli Scheffer, Dial-Up Product Manager at Optus

To hear another perspective on Product Management from a different telecommunications company, we interviewed Alli Scheffer from Optus.

“The core responsibility of a Product Manager is to manage the life cycle of each product against the context of the rest of the market and the organisations’ financial objectives,” says Alli. At Optus, this requires Alli to be both a Dial-Up Product Manager and an expert on the Australian Internet market.

Alli manages the market share and profit & loss for OptusNet Pre-paid Dial and Post-paid Dial product portfolios whilst juggling a variety of other responsibilities. She describes her job as “managing the elements of the marketing mix (price, product, place and promotion) in the context of a portfolio of products or services.”

To be successful in her role, Alli stresses the benefits of developing an annual marketing plan and product roadmap by having a solid understanding of the product lifecycle, activities of Optus’ competitors and overseas trends. Another important element of being an excellent Product Manager, she explains, is to know the customer base – that is, to be perceptive of the customer’s satisfaction levels and their needs.

As a new addition to the Brainmates team, hearing what Alli and other Product Managers have to say about their work is crucial for learning about the field and the complexities behind it. I have come to see that Product Management is not for the faint-hearted and it does come with challenges. For Alli this generally is “managing customer experience & customer satisfaction while trying to increase profitability and market share.” She says, “Although they are theoretically interrelated the pressure in any large organisation is for Marketing to drive down costs and sign-up customers and forego extra expense related to purely improving customer experience.”

Alli, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience as a Dial-Up Product Manager.