5 Minutes With Fern Jones-Middleton (Kiwibank)

Fern Jones-Middleton, Market Manager at Kiwibank

Fern Jones-Middleton, a Market Manager at Kiwibank kindly gave us some of her time recently to talk about Product Management.

Although not strictly a Product Manager, Fern said that the role of Market Manager at Kiwibank is identical to the activities undertaken in Product Management. Her views on Product Management at a financial institution also echo what other Product Managers generally have to say about Product Management.

Although Market Managers at Kiwibank manage products according to different market segments, much of their activity revolves around creating services and product features that help acquire new and retain existing customers.

Perhaps we can surmise that Product Management is a standard body of work and practice that traverses different industries and products.

Product Management according to Fern and her team members is about “creating, developing, revising and improving a product to meet customer needs as well as business goals.” She elaborates that Product Managers require a “good understanding of market factors such as competitors, the political and economical environment.” Importantly, Market Managers at Kiwibank manage customers as they move through key lifestages from one market segment to another market segment. Success is defined as customers that remain a Kiwibank customer as they mature and select different products during their lifecycle.

The main obstacle Market Managers at Kiwibank face is simultaneously managing “revenue whilst keeping customers happy at the same time.” Market Managers unlike Product Managers also have to “manage the constant changes to market segments”. “Just when you think you’ve decided how to segment your customers, it changes before you get a chance to build products.”