Michelle Boronad, Channel Manager with Visiware
In our quest to learn more about what Product Managers do in other companies, we sometimes find people who appear to be managing a product but are not referred to as ‘Product Managers’.
Joining us from Paris, France is Michelle Boronad from the leading interactive casual games company, Visiware. Visiware produces games channels for subscription TV services within 77 countries. As a Channel Manager, we were interested to hear how Michelle’s role fit into or fell away from Product Management.
Michelle, please describe what Channel Management is:
Channel Management at Visiware involves managing the “strategy” of an iTV channel from concept to launch and beyond. Key indicators of the success of a channel include customer satisfaction ratings and reaching or surpassing financial objectives.
What would you say are the main issues you face as Channel Manager?
The main issues are related to the effective launches of the channels which I manage on different networks in different countries around the world. This means that I need to ensure that the channels blend in with the “local culture”, taking into consideration the price and packaging proposition, the channel access number, the look and feel etc. Constant analysis of the channel(s) are mandatory to ensure that needs are matched, for example, Bell Express Vu in Canada, recently decided to add our MiniKids TV channel (which targets toddlers aged between 2 to 6 years) to their already comprehensive range of iTV services. They now broadcast all of Visiware’s iTV channels : Playin’TV (for the whole family to enjoy), Playin’Casino (for gamblers to play all their high-stake favourites without taking any risks) and Sensual TV (for adults).
Ensuring channels “blend in with the local culture” sounds quite challenging. How do you go about this? What are your main responsibilities as a Channel Manager at Visiware?
On a daily basis I manage the “editorial” content of Playin’Casino, Minkids TV and Sensual TV – they target very different markets from toddlers through to adults. Editorial content includes regular updates to the channel, functional reviews, localisation verification’s and of course the running of game player focus groups and the analysis of direct and non direct competitors. Finally I work on a regular basis with the TV Product Managers and the Sales Directors to ensure that they are fully equipped with all marketing and sales support materials they might need to promote the channels.
What is the difference between a Channel Manager and a Product Manager at Visiware?
A Product Manager at Visiware, is the person who is in constant contact with the networks they represent. Their job is to ensure that their networks demands are achieved, and that they keep their networks up-to-date at all times with the worldwide knowledge that Visiware has obtained over the years. This role includes creating game schedules and portals, carrying out marketing practices (including sales promotions, call centre training days and of course running competitions), analysing subscriber figures and keeping aware of all technical issues. A Product Manager and a Channel Manager work closely as a team, constantly sharing information and ideas.
Michelle, thank you for taking the time to share with us about Channel Management. From what I have come to know of Product Management in general, I would consider your role very similar to that of a Product Manager’s – but I will leave it open to the discretion and discussion of our readers.