What Makes Product Management Process Successful?
Product management is becoming an indispensable part of many companies’ lives. However, for some startups and enterprise companies, it is still like a dark forest, where it’s difficult to determine what, where and why.
The role of product manager is quite new and it does not fit any of the traditional roles although it has much in common with engineering, marketing, and design.
PM discipline becoming increasingly important and here we define why.
What is Product Management?
Product management is a discipline aimed to plan, design and deliver products to market. Successful product management goes beyond the scope of developers’ issues.
Here’s a nice example of what product management is. The author of the video explains what is involved in the PM process by taking a real example of a beer:
Any product manager is responsible for creating a product vision and strategy, developing a product roadmap for company’s goals and user needs.
Google as one of the largest corporations surely consists of a Product Management Department. Here’s how managers define their roles:
So, what should product managers do to make the management process look full and appropriate for them, the company, the product and the audience?
Key steps of product management process
Product management is the process of creating and maintaining a product that includes developing and marketing parts. These parts are connected with the product from its concept to the final release.
Product development part consists of defining the concept and production. Marketing issues are the clients’ aspects of selling a product.
If imagine that the product management process is a ladder, then the product concept is at its very bottom, while the sale to the client is at the highest level of the ladder.
Each manager must go through some steps to move up and reach its final goal. These are the steps:
The first basic thing for every product manager is conducting a market research. It is an investigation of market conditions includes customers and competitors. Here both qualitative and quantitative analysis can be used for generating data.
You may use any open source to find more information: sites, social media, industry insights, partners, influencers, experts, books for product management. Applying market research techniques should be helpful: A/B testing, Customer analysis, Competitive position, Competitive map, Customer interviews, Experience sampling, Focus group, Feasibility study, Moment of truth, Prototypes, Target market, Test marketing and many more.
Product strategy defining
On this step, product managers develop key product objectives, its global strategy and requirements.
A product strategy is a set of activities for a gradual developing a new product or improving the results of the existing one. It is a marketing plan that may include the following types of strategy: brand architecture and identity, customer services, a business model, design, distribution, diversification, features, launch, market niche, pricing, promotion, risks and so on.
You may find more useful info about product strategy in our article How to Avoid Mistakes in Determining Product Strategy at Start?
During this stage, a good strategist should care about developing a smart and clear product roadmap.
Product managers’ focus is put on the initiatives that line up with the product.
A roadmap helps communicate where you are and where you are going to.The whole roadmapping process is easily visualized with special tools for product management.
In Hygger, you can share your Roadmap and lay out the high-level perspective of what will happen over time, by specifying major releases, projects, and initiatives.
In Hygger University you may find detailed steps on how to create a product roadmap.
This stage is for designing, experimenting and testing the product. Product development brings new products and updates to the market.
A launch is the product rollout to a target market that includes operations and marketing.
For all team members, it’s like a moment of truth as the product is got by the customers.
Product launch planning runs in parallel with product development. It may consist of the following elements: sales planning, promotion issues, inventory management, customer service, pricing, risk management and monitoring.
Branding is defining and establishing a product valuable identity that should be settled in the customers’ minds.
The process includes such marketing elements as defining a concept, naming, brand identity, images, brand awareness, positioning, brand loyalty and others.
Promotion is communication strategy to raise product recognition and awareness. All promo activities should also accelerate customers’ interest and enthusiasm for brands, products and services.
The main goal of any promotional campaign is to generate demand for products in support of sales.
That’s why product managers should have enough experience and marketing skills to work with advertising, PR, communication, and sales.
Customer experience is business approach focused on customer satisfaction. It consists of user experience, customer service, and any customer interaction.
Pricing is about setting a specific price that is aimed to maximize the long-term profits.
It depends on the basic forces of supply and demand, market competition, behavioral factors, regulations and some ethics issues.
Product managers should care about distribution to sell and deliver their products or services to customers.
It is associated with marketing channels. It can be retail, personal selling, partners campaigns, direct marketing, dealer networks, sales agents and resellers, etc.
This is the final product management stage of establishing relationships and presenting solutions for customers. This process closes deals and commercial agreements.
This is a post-sale stage. Customer feedback plays a key role in improving on proposed product features. It gives product managers valuable insight and suggestions and helps to discover new problems they weren’t aware of.
This process looks logical and consistent, but on the way to release, the product may have many obstacles. Let all the processes associated with your product management be easy and productive!