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.
Product management is aimed to plan, design and deliver products to market. This is a process of creating and maintaining a product that includes developing and marketing parts.
The article on Hygger blog suggests imagining that any 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.
Product managers must go through some steps to move up and reach their final goals. Here are the key steps:
- Research. Everything starts with 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. Applying market research techniques should be helpful: A/B testing, Focus group, Customer analysis, Customer interviews, Competitive position, and so on.
- Strategy defining. After research, it’s time for product managers to 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.
- Product development that includes designing, experimenting and testing the product. Product development brings new products and updates to the market.
- Launch that includes the product rollout to a target market that involves operations and marketing. It may consist of the following elements: sales planning, promotion issues, inventory management, customer service, pricing, risk management and monitoring.
- Product branding is defining and establishing a product valuable identity that should be settled in the customers’ minds.
- Promo campaign is communication strategy to raise product recognition and awareness. Promo activities should also accelerate customers’ interest and enthusiasm for brands, products, and services.
- Customer experience. This is a business approach focused on customer satisfaction. It consists of user experience, customer service, and any customer interaction.
- Product pricing. This stage is about setting a specific price that is aimed to maximize the long-term profits. Pricing depends on the basic forces of supply and demand, market competition, behavioral factors, regulations and some ethics issues.
- Distribution. The meaning of this step is to sell and deliver the products or services to customers correctly.
- Sales are the final step that establishes relationships and presents solutions for customers. This process closes deals and commercial agreements.
And one more step product managers should care about after the sales are customer feedback. 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.