more from Barb Finer...

Sept. 15, 2006
It's all about the target customer, right? Product marketing is the glue; an integrative function. Customer is the center, and outbound in a circle: Product marketing, and beyond that, personnel (development, production, support) SO WHAT'S A PRODUCT MANAGER Someone who maximizes product value by coordinating production of offering with needs of market. Combines Product Planning and Product Marketing. What makes a good product manager? --has broad knowledge of all aspects of co...
It's all about the target customer, right? Product marketing is the glue; an integrative function. Customer is the center, and outbound in a circle: Product marketing, and beyond that, personnel (development, production, support) SO WHAT'S A PRODUCT MANAGER Someone who maximizes product value by coordinating production of offering with needs of market. Combines Product Planning and Product Marketing. What makes a good product manager? --has broad knowledge of all aspects of company. --able to balance acting very tactically while remaining strategically aware and responsible --knows the product, the customer, the market --bases decisions on data --can get team to play ball and stay focused on what's best for customers The best product teams understand what the customer is trying to accomplish and identifies solutions to issues the customer may not even be able to elucidate. Product management is almost always a marketing function, and Barb believes that it is the right way to do this. In 90% of the companies in the automation industry, the product manager function is used to plunk engineers into without training"¦it is used as an entry level position in marketing. The failure starts at the top. If management does not understand the importance of this role, management will fail to support the role. "Well it's a high burnout job, so it isn't worth providing training, because it is a high burnout job." Barb said, "Any of you who are in executive management positions, you need to think of ways to provide the training and tools product managers need. Somehow, this has gotten really messed up in technology companies for about the last 15 years, and I'm on a mission to change it." Consumer goods companies have a substantially less complex product development cycle. Consumer v. Industrial (B2B Consumer PM --customer can be more emotional --more competition and less differentiation leads to brand game and more promo --spend more time internally and with agencies --PMs tend to be younger Industrial PM --customers buy things with more dollar value, volume, strategic importance --spend more time with R&D sales force and key customers (the influentials) --Less promotional work Who are we"¦an internal survey of the class"¦

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