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The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1

The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1



The Pragmatic Marketer magazine. The journal for technology product management and marketing professionals.

The Pragmatic Marketer magazine. The journal for technology product management and marketing professionals.



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    The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1 The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1 Document Transcript

    • 7 1 2009 Pragmatic Marketing’s Career Growth and the Product Manager 2008 Annual Product Practical Rules for Product Management and Management (part 4 of 4) Marketing Survey Winning in a Down Economy: Are You Tuned in? Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating ow isn keter ic Ma r mat Prag . The ta i ls de or 1f ge3 e pa Se
    • Is your company getting the most from its investment in product management and marketing? Does your product management and marketing function need more structure or a repeatable process? Training Seminars Training Seminars for Product Marketing for Product Management Effective Product Marketing teaches how to Practical Product Management defines the create successful go-to-market strategies using a strategic role of product management using the structured, repeatable framework that supports an Pragmatic Marketing Framework. From how organization’s goals for growth in revenue, market to identify market problems to delivering a awareness and customer retention. successful product plan. New Rules of Marketing shows how to harness Requirements That Work shows you a the power of online marketing using blogs, repeatable method for writing clear requirements viral marketing, podcasts, video, search engine your team will read and use. It discusses marketing and thought-leadership to reach techniques for prioritizing and organizing buyers directly. market requirements and clarifies the roles for team members. Pragmatic Roadmapping teaches techniques for developing, consolidating and communicating product plans, strategy and vision to multiple audiences—both inside and outside the company. In addition to the extensive published schedule, training can be conducted onsite at your office, saving travel time and costs for attendees, and allowing a much more focused discussion on internal, critical issues. Pragmatic Marketing’s seminars have been attended by more than 50,000 product management and marketing professionals. Visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com or call (800) 816-7861
    • The Pragmatic Marketer is now The Pragmatic Marketer ™ 8910 E. Raintree Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. Founder and CEO Craig Stull Editor-in-Chief Kristyn Benmoussa Editor Linda Sowers Last year, we surveyed new subscribers to The Pragmatic ————————————————— Marketer and found many wished for more flexible and innovative access to the content of our magazine. You said Interested in contributing an article? make it easy to search, save, and print articles, or forward Visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com/submit to a friend. You want to download it to your Kindle to read on a future business trip. We also receive requests to more easily reach international No part of this publication may be reproduced, audiences. The Pragmatic Marketer has always been stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in complimentary, but in order to keep it that way, mailing any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the magazines outside of North America was cost prohibitive. prior written permission of the publisher. For advertising rates, call (480) 515-1411. This feedback, combined with the evolution of the digital Other product and/or company names mentioned print industry (which can now provide a paper-like reading in this journal may be trademarks or registered experience), finally set the stage to convert our paper magazine trademarks of their respective companies and to a fully digital e-magazine. are the sole property of their respective owners. The Pragmatic Marketer, a Pragmatic Marketing publication, shall not be liable regardless of the Digital distribution offers many new and exciting ways to present cause, for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or our magazine—in ways traditional paper can’t match. For other defects in, or untimeliness or unauthenticity example, we will be able to embed video and other interactive of, the information contained within this magazine. Pragmatic Marketing makes no representations, material within pages. warranties, or guarantees as to the results obtained from the use of this information and shall not be In addition to being eco-friendly, the high costs of printing and liable for any third-party claims or losses of any mailing the magazine can now be redirected to expand our kind, including lost profits, and punitive damages. efforts to improve your digital reading experience. The Pragmatic Marketer is a trademark of Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. Even though we will no longer mail copies of the magazine, you Printed in the U.S.A. will continue to receive the same quality content you have come All rights reserved. to expect these last six years. ISSN 1938-9752 (Print) ISSN 1938-9760 (Online) Going forward, subscribers will receive the latest digital issue of the magazine. If we already have your e-mail address, About Pragmatic Marketing® you don’t need to re-subscribe. If we don’t have your e-mail Pragmatic Marketing provides training seminars, address and you would like to receive issues, please visit onsite workshops, consulting services and an online community for product managers, marketers and www.pragmaticmarketer.com to subscribe. business leaders at thousands of companies around the world. For those wishing to maintain their library of paper 50,000 product management and marketing magazines, a copy can be purchased for a nominal fee at professionals have learned the Pragmatic Marketing www.pragmaticmarketer.com. Framework, a common sense approach to finding unresolved problems, creating breakthrough experiences, and launching market resonators. On behalf of the staff at Pragmatic Marketing, I’d like to thank Over 90% of alumni rate the training as essential you for your support of the magazine as well as continued or very useful to their careers. suggestions on future content and format. We look forward Our Consulting Services provide companies with to a new year of exciting possibilities. implementation support and custom services designed to enhance the training received at Pragmatic Marketing’s seminars or onsite workshops. The online community at PragmaticMarketing.com is the first-choice destination for product management and marketing professionals. With 50,000 visitors per month, this dynamic resource center contains hundreds of articles, a job board, Kristyn Benmoussa book reviews, instructional webinars, links to social networking groups and much more. Editor-in-Chief, The Pragmatic Marketer Visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com to learn more. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 3
    • P R A G M AT I C M A R K E T I N G ’ S 2008 ANNUAL Product Management and Marketing Survey Each year Pragmatic Marketing conducts a survey of product management and marketing professionals. Our objective is to provide information about compensation as well as the most common responsibilities for those performing product management and marketing activities. We received over 1,100 responses to the survey, which was conducted during the period of November 3 through November 26, 2008 using Vovici’s EFM Feedback. When making decisions, remember this report is describing typical practices, not best practices. For best practices in product management and marketing, attend a Pragmatic Marketing seminar. Profile of a Geographic impact on compensation (US $) product manager Maximum Maximum Average Average Minimum Minimum Int'l Region The average product manager is Salary Bonus Salary Bonus Salary Bonus 37 years old, has responsibility for Australia $ 90,000 $ 20,000 $ 78,571 $ 10,400 $ 65,000 $ 2,000 three products and 89% claim to be “somewhat” or “very” technical. Canada 145,000 85,000 88,719 14,792 50,000 1,000 Europe 182,000 30,000 90,429 10,704 18,000 2,000 Compensation 1,000 USA 180,000 70,000 100,341 12,467 40,000 Average US product management compensation is $100,341 plus $12,467 annual bonus. 79% of US regional impact on compensation product managers get a bonus. Midwest $ 170,000 $ 30,000 $ 90,944 $ 10,453 $ 50,000 $ 1,000 Bonuses are based on: Northeast 175,000 55,000 105,178 12,933 40,000 1,000 • 64% company profit • 24% product revenue Pacific 180,000 70,000 107,105 14,026 41,000 1,000 • 36% quarterly objectives Southeast 150,000 25,000 96,038 10,787 50,000 1,000 • Over 29% say the bonus does South 145,000 27,000 105,789 13,933 58,000 2,000 not motivate at all and only 16% say the bonus motivates a lot. West 165,000 39,000 94,152 12,833 40,000 2,000 Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI) Northeast (CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) Southeast (AL, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) South (AR, LA, OK, TX) West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY) 4 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • 34% 66% Organization of product of product managers managers The typical product manager reports to are Women are Men a director in the product management department. Gender compensation (US $) • 45% report to a director • 29% report to a vice president Annual salary • 17% report to a manager $125,000 Women • 9% report to CxO $100,000 Men $75,000 Reporting Department • 23% CEO $50,000 • 19% Marketing $25,000 • 22% Product Management Years of • 11% Development or Engineering 1 to 2 3 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 15 15+ experience • 7% Sales • 4% Product Marketing Responsible for Responsible for product profit & loss go-to-market strategies Product Management Product ratios within the company Marketing Manager Other CEO How are product managers allocated relative to other departments? For each product manager, we find: CMO CFO • 0.63 Product marketing managers Director • 0.75 Marketing Communications CEO VP Product Manager • 3.5 Sales engineers (SE) VP • 7.2 Salespeople Director Product Product Marketing • 0.72 Development leads Manager Manager • 5.5 Developers • 1.0 Product architects and designers Software Development Methods Other ratios • 3.6 developers per QA manager Waterfall • 3.6 salespeople per SE Scrum • 22% Product Management • 11% Development or Engineering Other Agile Current • 25% Other Planned Anything Goes “Cowboy Coding” 0% 20% 40% The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 5
    • Technical activities Technology assessment 37.4% Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey Strategic activities Competitive analysis 75.0% Win/loss analysis 36.5% Distinctive competence 50.9% Innovation 42.1% Market research 68.3% Strategic activities Percentage of respondents indicating User personas 56.0% Market problems 67.9% Distinctive competence 50.9% they conduct these Pragmatic Marketing Use scenarios 64.9% Market sizing 46.6% Market research 68.3% Framework activities.Product contract 30.0% Monitoring release milestones 65.7% Product performance 59.6% Market problems 67.9% Operational metrics 31.3% Market sizing 46.6% Business case 65.4% Product performance 65.7% Marketing activities Pricing 49.6% Operational metrics 31.3% Defining marketing plan 46.7% Buy, build, partner 37.6% Business case 65.4% Managing marketing programs 51.0% Product portfolio 25.5% Pricing 49.6% Measuring marketing program ROI 67.5% Positioning 17.9% Buy, build, partner 46.7% Market messages 22.8% Sales process 52.5% Product portfolio 51.0% Awareness plan 26.0% Market requirements 78.0% Positioning 67.5% Customer acquisition plan 78.3% Product roadmap 20.3% Sales process 22.8% Customer retention plan 18.8% Market requirements 78.0% Technical activities Launch plan 57.7% Product roadmap 78.3% Buyer personas 34.8% Technology assessment 37.4% Success stories 34.8% Competitive analysis 75.0% Technical activities Thought leaders 28.1% Win/loss analysis 36.5% Business Marketing LeadInnovation 42.1% generation 16.9% Technology assessmentactivities Strategic 37.4% Case Positioning Plan Competitive analysis 75.0% Distinctive competence 50.9% User personas 56.0% Win/loss analysis Competence68.3% Market Market research 36.5% Distinctive Sizing Pricing Sales Process Customer Acquisition Sales activities Use scenarios 64.9% Innovation 42.1% Providing sales channel training 59.6% Monitoring release milestones 55.0% Market problems 67.9% User personas Market 46.6% Product 56.0% Buy, Build MarketCreating collateral and sales tools 30.0% Customer Product contract 58.4% Market sizing Research Performance or Partner Requirements Retention Use scenarios 64.9% Writing white papers 44.6% Product performance 65.7% Monitoring release milestones Market 31.3% 59.6% Operational Product Product WritingMarketing activities Launchcompetitive checklists 45.2% Operational metrics STRATEGIC contract Problems Product Business case 65.4% Metrics Portfolio Roadmap Plan Creating Defining marketing plan 37.6% presentations and demos 67.0% TACTICAL 30.0% Market Quantitative Product Program Going on sales calls 25.5% Product Managing marketing programs Sales Channel 39.9% Pricing 49.6% Marketing activities Analysis Analysis Buy, build, partner 46.7% Strategy Planning Strategy Readiness Staffing seminar and trade show events 17.9% Measuring marketing program ROI 46.9% Support Defining marketing plan Technology51.0%Win/Loss 37.6% Answering sales questions via emailmessages 52.5% User Buyer Market or phone 67.3% Channel Presentations Product portfolio Innovation Managing marketing programs Assessment67.5%Analysis Positioning25.5% Personas Personas Training Awareness plan 26.0% & Demos Measuring marketing program ROI Competitive22.8% Sales process17.9% Use Customer acquisition plan 20.3% Success Collateral & "Special" Market messages Analysis 78.0% Market requirements 52.5% Scenarios Stories Customer retention plan Calls Sales Tools 18.8% Awareness plan 26.0% Product roadmap 78.3% Release Thought Launch plan Event White 57.7% Customer acquisition plan 20.3% Milestones Leaders Papers Buyer personas 34.8% Support CustomerTechnical activities retention plan 18.8% Lead Success stories 34.8% Competitive Answer Launch plan 57.7% Technology assessment 37.4% Generation Thought leaders Desk Write-Up 28.1% Buyer personas 34.8% Competitive analysis 75.0% Lead generation 16.9% © 1993-2009 Pragmatic Marketing Success stories 34.8% Win/loss analysis 36.5% Thought leaders 28.1% Innovation 42.1% Sales activities Lead generation 16.9% User personas 56.0% Providing sales channel training 55.0% Use scenarios 64.9% Creating collateral and sales tools 58.4% Sales activities59.6% Monitoring release milestones Writing white papers 44.6% Providing sales channel training 55.0% Product contract 30.0% Writing competitive checklists 45.2% Creating collateral and sales tools 58.4% Creating presentations and demos 67.0% Writing white papersactivities Marketing 44.6% Going on sales calls 39.9% Writing competitive marketing plan 37.6% Defining checklists 45.2% Staffing seminar and trade show events 46.9% Creating Managing marketing programs 25.5% presentations and demos 67.0% Answering sales questions via email or phone 67.3% Going on sales calls ROI 17.9% Measuring marketing program 39.9% fing seminar and trade show events 46.9% Market messages 52.5% g sales questions via email or phone plan 26.0% Awareness 67.3% Impacts on productivity Customer acquisition plan 20.3% Customer retention planreceive 50 emails a day and send about 25. Product managers typically Product managers 18.8% work 50 hour weeks. 57.7% Launch plan Buyer personas 34.8% Product managers spend approximately two days a week in internal meetings (15 meetings per week). Success stories 34.8% But 55% go to 15 or more meetings each week, and 35% attend 20 or more meetings! Thought leaders 28.1% Lead generation 16.9% 6 • The Pragmatic Marketeractivities Sales • Volume 7, Issue 1, 2009 Providing sales channel training 55.0%
    • Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey Percentage of respondents indicating they conduct these activities. Product Manager Product Management VS. Product Marketing Monitoring development projects Writing product requirements Researching market needs Preparing business case Writing detailed specifications Visiting sites (without salespeople) Creating sales presentations and demos Creating promotional material Training salespeople Planning and managing marketing programs Going on sales calls Performing win/loss analysis Measuring marketing programs Working with press or analysts 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% We asked, “How has your job changed?” • Introduction of Agile has made it very difficult to • Change is the name of the game. What hasn’t fulfill traditional product management roles. Product changed? managers have been turned into product owners with project management and dev management • Development changed to Agile/Scrum, required responsibilities. I know it does not have to be that Product Management to spend much more time as way, but that is what has happened at the company. Product Owner. Results: “Inside-Out” products and pricing. • Drastically—our company has gone from being • More competition between people; more jockeying VERY development driven to being more for position. It’s the eighties all over again... customer/business led. swimming with sharks. • Fewer people to do more work. • Product management has increasingly become the • I got more responsibility, the company is reacting to clean-up crew. We take the messy promises that sales my suggestions and I receive support for new ideas. and executives have made to big customers and figure out how to deliver them in a professional • I transitioned from Product Marketing to Product manner that might benefit other customers as well. Management. Because I was so used to multi-tasking, I am the only person on the team that manages more • I have more experience so I’m more dangerous. than one product. • The product I have been evangelizing for three years • Less strategic and more tactical due to resource finally received development resources and we constraints on overall business. launched in May. It has generated over $1 million in its first five months. • More chaotic, if that’s even possible. • Added responsibilities, more outsourcing of services, • Much more fast moving and changing. Clients are flattening of company (decrease in workforce). more savvy. • As we re-tool our service delivery model, I have • Yes—my responsibilities have increased 10 fold been given the “privilege” of more operational without an increase in pay. I’ve gone from managing responsibility to find the right processes to support a small group of products to an entire division as our products. well as our technology offerings AND managing all of our releases. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 7
    • Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey If you could say one thing to your company president without fear of reprisal, what would you say? We received nearly 650 responses to this annual survey question. And boy, did you have something to say! It’s clear many of you are • Give this company direction. • Let product management do our looking to your company Give this company a plan that job. Stop micromanaging and all employees are on the same dictating the technology we use—it president for focus. page with. is too costly to always be the first • Focus and stop micromanaging. adopter of a new technology and • Give us a clearly defined business expect to offer a high-quality • Focus on 1 or 2 market segments. strategy and stick with it. Then product to our customers. communicate it to the entire • Focus on distinct competence. organization. Support the new • Let product management do function of Product Management their job. • Focus on real customer needs. by respecting the process. • Let product managers do their job • Focus on the critical few business • Please provide us guidance on as Pragmatic Marketing defines the items, fund them, and gain the what basis you expect us to role. Don’t commit to any dates support of the entire organization compete for the next 24 months. without a moderate level of around them. definition and scoping. Clearly • Please give us direction and a define roles & responsibilities. • Focus on the market and we vision, rather than linger while will not get swept away by the you’re waiting to retire. • Let us product managers help you. economic downturn. • Focus on the targeted, defined Then there are the It is not all negative, market we’re in. Not on other markets where no distinctive “stop” messages... a number of you praised competence exists. • Stop changing company strategy the president and clearly every two weeks. It makes it work for the “good ones.” • Focus on winning products only. impossible to develop and • Thank you for building a company • Focus. Listen to the market, maintain a product roadmap that built to last through any economy. and allow product management we have any chance of sticking to. to focus externally. Fix the • Thank you for supporting a • Stop changing priorities—let’s Product Management process! operational barriers that force finish the products we’ve started product managers to focus and get them right. • He is a leader and knows the internally. company from top to bottom! • Stop chasing the last great • Focus. We are too small to be deal and focus on maintaining • He is extremely thankful for the trying to do all of the long-term viability. jobs we all do and he expresses things we are doing. it often! • Stop micromanaging. Many of you want your • Stop reorganizing all the time. • He trusts his people to be effective, challenges them to president to lead, articulate succeed, and empowers them a vision and set strategy for And the “let me” messages… to make decisions. the organization. • Let me do my job! • I think he really does care about • Our market space provides great the company and the people. potential but you need to clarify • Let me do product management It’s not just something he tells your market vision and better instead of sales support and you customers and prospects. communicate your business goals might be amazed at what we to your staff. could accomplish! • Give the company a vision and • Let me in on decision making more. a strategic path for everyone to follow—get out of the old ways • Let me own P&L of my product of doing things and start looking with the ability to add resource at new approaches to tackle if a business case exists and my problems. Look at our prospects, products will be more profitable. not just our customers for product innovations. 8 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey On the other hand, some of you work for the “bad ones.” • Would be nice if there were less lies in our PR. • You are not the market. • Resign. You offer no vision, you create poor morale, and you get in the way more than not. • Please stop selling things that we have not built yet. • Please listen to the customer! Find more survey • Please leave! • Just because it has the word “product” in it doesn’t mean you can dump it on Product Management. • Do you realize you are paying a lot for me to results sit around and demo to unqualified prospects? How can that be profitable? And finally... • Could we please have someone assigned to this at weekly two hour planning meeting to track PragmaticMarketing.com/survey decisions & deliverables? • There are some customer “requirements” which violate the laws of physics. I think there is a theorem in differential equations that proves we cannot optimize simultaneously for two or more factors. • Great guy, but a bit of a cowboy. • Stand up to the Corporate Blockheads who are destroying our ability to be successful! Steve Johnson is a recognized thought-leader on the strategic role of product management and marketing. Broadly published and a frequent keynote speaker, Steve has been a Pragmatic Marketing instructor for more than 10 years and has personally trained thousands of product managers and hundreds of company senior executive teams on strategies for creating products people want to buy. Steve is the author of the Product Marketing blog. Contact Steve at sjohnson@pragmaticmarketing.com The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 9
    • Book Review Management The Art of Product Who is as comfortable with tech tools, and product management how to look at your product—and support reps as with executives? support. Tech Support sounds like your product management—from Who knows both customers and something your company should a business point of view: non-customers? Who is confident outsource but you may instead drive in dealing with Finance, Sales, off your customers. Get Support Executives are paid to make Marketing? That’s right. Product the organizational and strategic decisions: a productive day must Management. If you’ve been a help it needs. include at least one decision. product manager—or want to be Meetings, emails, discussions, one—you’ll enjoy The Art of Product Elsewhere, Mironov makes clear a forecast reviews and brainstorming Management by Rich Mironov. point I have been making for years: are secondary to making decisions The book explores myriad topics that drive action. It’s easy to be Product managers who don’t distracted by the minutiae of of interest to product managers love their products should change including roadmaps, the value business, or by analysis paralysis. product lines or companies— of technical support, growing or careers. There aren’t many decent product product managers into executives, management books. Crossing the understanding customers, supporting Indeed! If you don’t love your Chasm by Geoffrey Moore is a sales systematically, pricing and product, you won’t do a good job. good business strategy book and packaging. Logically organized into Product management isn’t factory marketing primer; Inspired: How To articles in related topic areas, each work. Product management is both Create Products Customers Love by article explores a single issue from art and science. It’s templates and Marty Cagan does a good job as an all sides and offers recommendations. processes and meetings and product introduction to product management; You could just start from the front knowledge but it’s also intuition, an of course, Tuned In by my colleagues and read each article, or find the inquisitive nature, insight beyond at Pragmatic Marketing illustrates the topic related to today’s thorny issue customer words to customer incredible results that come from and jump straight there. problems, and a love for technical listening to your market. I’ll add The solutions. Mironov looks at each issue Art of Product Management by Rich Rich Mironov clearly has experience procedurally and philosophically, in technology companies because Mironov to the product manager’s often turning the issue on its head. required reading lists. he touches on areas no professor or theorists ever touch, such as Most of all, he invites product customer support, software licensing, managers to think like executives and field testing. For example, here’s instead of like gofers. Rich knows Mironov on the under-appreciated, the best product managers are under-staffed support group: future CEOs; he provides tips on In my experience, making Support a strategic asset takes a combination of organizational planning, good Steve Johnson is a recognized thought-leader on the strategic role of product management and marketing. Broadly published and a frequent keynote speaker, Steve has been a Pragmatic Marketing instructor for more than 10 years and has personally trained thousands of product managers and hundreds of company senior executive teams on strategies for creating products people want to buy. Steve is the author of the Product Marketing blog. Contact Steve at sjohnson@pragmaticmarketing.com 10 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Career Growth and the Product Manager to grow into and succeed as By Art Petty one of a firm’s top leaders. The most effective product managers and mentors of product managers recognize the importance of mastering the portfolio of informal leadership skills, and they constantly focus on creating and participating in developmental experiences that help those skills emerge. I wear my respect on my Here’s my short list of skills which sleeve for the many product managers should develop dedicated product if they want to crack the ranks of management professionals senior leadership. who work in what I believe is one of the most difficult and critical Leadership roles in today’s fast-moving technology and B2B organizations. Product managers Today’s emerging leadership shoulder a tremendous responsibility to model is moving away from the guide organizational resources, facilitate command-and-control style many baby strategic choices, and lead execution boomers grew up with, and towards initiatives—often with little or no a role that emphasizes flexibility formal authority. If corporate roles were and adaptability. Olympic athletes, product managers would be the decathletes. The new model for leading focuses on creating the right environment for teams While admittedly biased (based on and individuals to succeed, and it places my years as a product manager and a priority on the continual development as a leader of product managers), of talent through coaching and mentoring. I firmly believe these talented and Early on, the successful product well-rounded business professionals manager recognizes these leadership represent some of the most valuable tasks as “table stakes” for success and assets in a firm’s talent pool. Few works to strengthen his or her skills at positions outside of the role of every opportunity. product manager demand mastery of a broad spectrum of leadership, Developing leadership skills is an communication, and management intangible task many attempt to skills as prerequisites for success. accomplish by attending training courses, reading books, and observing other From understanding the “voice of successful leaders. And, while these the customer”…to assessing and are useful steps to help an individual recommending strategic choices… develop context for the true role of a to building the relationships leader, they are never substitutes for and systems needed to drive the experience gained through live-fire execution across organizational developmental activities. silos, the product manager is truly an executive-in-training. As a wise and experienced professional once told me, “Leadership is a profession Of course, not every product with a body of knowledge waiting to manager is destined for be discovered.” Books and classes are (or even desires) a role in important and valuable, as long as the executive leadership. And insights and approaches are leveraged many who are interested, to solve real problems for customers fail to properly develop the and organizations. critical soft skills needed The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 11
    • Career Growth and the Product Manager In supporting the development The practicing product manger Tuned In book, by seeking to of product managers, I encourage or the product manager’s mentor uncover unresolved client problems an approach that emphasizes the must focus on an approach that and then developing the programs application of key leadership skills emphasizes the development of key and experiences that fill those needs in diverse and challenging situations. leadership skills and the application and delights customers in ways that Developing informal leadership skills of these skills in a series of diverse competitors cannot readily emulate. by shepherding a new product to leadership situations. market is a formative experience Perhaps the most difficult obstacle for a product manager. Ideally, any leadership development for the product-manager-as-strategist program for product managers to overcome is the ability to look This situation emphasizes the will emphasize gaining experience critically at his or her own struggling development of critical business in leading informally, leading product offerings and conclude that, planning, communication, horizontally, and managing upwards. in some circumstances, the problems negotiation, and execution skills. A constant focus on testing the are not solved by investing more By the same token, managing product manager in new situations money, creating more features, or an initiative to assess and create accelerates the personal learning working on the next release. strategies for product offerings and development critical to the that are struggling helps develop emerging leader. I know a product manager has critical-thinking and decision-making evolved to an important intellectual skills in the face of tough level when he or she has the circumstances. Strategic thinking courage to confront a failing initiative with a strategy other than Like leaders, strategists aren’t born; While not wanting to invite the “spend more” or “develop more.” in most cases, they are forged over “product-manager-as-project-manager” I’m particularly excited when the time via the development of critical debate, I encourage product new proposal is clearly grounded analytical skills. Few positions managers to recognize that execution in the “voice of the customer” and in a firm have the potential to inside an organization takes place takes into account the prevailing and contribute more to strategic thinking through projects, and I advise them expected market forces. and development than that of the to gain experience developing and product manager. If you are a senior leader or mentor, leading project teams. it is important to encourage your I was fortunate enough to enjoy The experience of working to product managers to think critically early career mentors that challenged develop high-performance project and to consider the external me to constantly think outside teams teaches the product manager environment in formulating their of my product and outside of the importance of focusing on plans—as well as to involve them my company…to look at the big creating an effective working in strategic planning activities. picture…to tune in to my various environment. Additionally, the Ensure your interactions are heavily audiences…and to develop and test time spent dealing with the many weighted toward asking strategic strategic hypotheses while growing headaches and people-issues that questions versus offering answers. the business. This is a very different often bedevil projects is invaluable Your own example will teach product way of thinking than the typical training in the reality of how managers on your team to think “What are the top 10 features I can challenging it is to drive results by holistically about strategy when jam into my next release?” Too many leading without formal authority. formulating plans. product managers don’t learn to look beyond their narrow scope (product, If you are a product manager seeking market segment). Worse yet, too to grow your career, learn the art of many don’t grasp the importance asking questions, and invest ample of their role as a strategist in the time in the market—observing overall firm’s plans. customers and looking for unresolved problems. And most important, The product-manager-as-strategist recognize that the sun does not understands he or she must invest in rise and set with the products you looking at the big picture of market manage. Rather, your goal is to forces, customers, and competitors— uncover unique opportunities to and comparing this view to a create value for your customers. company’s strategic priorities and The true solution may be something capabilities. The effective product that doesn’t remotely resemble the manager internalizes the philosophies offerings you are managing today. espoused in Pragmatic Marketing’s 12 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Fr M Po A g ng and ® er in tom ion et anagi les ss s ne Sa ess Cu tent k usi se ar for M Re c Stay current Pro B a C M understood.” This el nch Communications skills tic be od underscoressimple et s ark ent Lau lan and the art of diplomacyma venstatementM with industry a powerful ing M em P a g t-Dri philosophy product managers (and Pric eq uir Pr ark a R Great product managers learn toe all leaders) should apply in their ct gr uild du ap ro t AM best practices Pro dm P ra speak the language of executives. day-to-day communications. et y, B er They recognize every encounter— ark g M zin Bu Partn oa St In today’s world, developing a R regardless of with whom they are S i or c t meeting—is an opportunity to communication style that creates t du g interesteand fosters respectuist c e duc r o ni n P n build trust by understanding needs, cti v d c Pro t folio a creating shared perspectives, and tin ten e Pro rman essentialcfor success. Diplomatic r Pl is e Dskills to manage upwards, to rfo Po building reasons for people and mp Pe t er manage across, and to manage theal Co uc Us nas teams to move forward. on o d egy rso generationst and the various cultures e ati P r at Pe per etric ark rch teams are skills thats r The recent award-winning HBO M ea via distributed O M e St miniseries, John Adams (based help thesproduct manager quickly e iv e Us rios R t on on David McCullough’s biography move beyond a t mid-level role. ti t a is ov ati ena rke s an l ys Inn Sc Ma lem of the same name), shows the Q u An a mercurial and aggressive Adams b Tying it allrotogether ase P os s ele tone R s et nearly destroying any chance n/L is le C to earn France’s support for the It is remarkably ark tois easy s get Wi alys Mi I ly M pursuit of n EG American Revolutionary War with caught up in the a A his demands for immediate action. An day-to-day business and the y Visit the AT log no ent His style and tactics nearly destroy “urgent-unimportant,” and forget ch smto the hard-won credibility that that every day is aTe s online community at R chance advance your career.ss e ST Benjamin Franklin earned over the A e several years he spent developing If you are fortunate enough et have itiv PragmaticMarketing.com mp s a mutually agreeable reason to to is oppose the British. C naly a great mentor, consider oyourself A lucky. Pay attention to that mentor; • Review 9 years of Annual As a product manager, you may listen and learn. If you don’t have Product Management and very well understand the “right” Marketing Survey results eI a valued mentor or coach, it is Th direction and believe that those incumbent upon you to take the who don’t share your opinion are initiative to create the experiences • Attend a webinar by one of blind to the obvious. Recognizing necessary for you to develop and today’s industry thought-leaders no two humans look at the same fine-tune the leadership, strategic, picture and see the same thing is an and communication skills you need • Read hundreds of articles on important first step in understanding to advance your career. product management, marketing the need for you to develop your and leadership strategies diplomatic skills. Simply put, the role of product manager offers a unique • Visit the Job Board to see Another wise person in my foundation on which to build companies looking to hire life once advised, “Seek first a successful career; the time to product managers and marketers to understand and then to begin preparing is now. • Read profiles of companies who have achieved success using the Pragmatic Marketing Framework Art Petty is a leader, strategist, and team-builder with more than 22 years of experience directing the growth, • Stay connected with your global expansion, and rise to market leadership of global industry peers by joining a local organizations in technology, services, and manufacturing. Product Management Association • Participate in online Art is the founder and principal at Strategy & Management- networking with LinkedIn Innovations, LLC, a leadership development and strategy and Facebook groups consulting practice, as well as the co-author of the 2007 book, Practical Lessons in Leadership—A Guidebook for Aspiring and Experienced Leaders. • View a list of recommended books and software tools for Art writes the popular management blog, Management Excellence at product managers and marketers www.artpetty.com and serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching management, quality, and project management in the MBA program at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Contact Art at art.petty@artpetty.com
    • Practical Rules for By Maureen Rogers RULE #16 Positioning should be complete before you start developing. Anyone who has spent more than a few days in technology product management, product marketing, or development is familiar with that scariest of creatures: The Continuously Morphing Set of Requirements. Everyone can be guilty of feeding this particular beast by coming up with a last-minute feature request. Even if you have stellar positioning, you still might have light bulbs go off in your head right up until the second the product is supposed to ship. But if Editor’s Note: In Volume 6 Issue 5, Maureen you have solid positioning completed before product Rogers applied her own interpretations and personal development begins, you should face no major surprises, because you will already have considered: experiences of Pragmatic Marketing’s 20 rules for • Who exactly will be using this product? product management success in Part III of her series • How many different constituencies are there of articles on this topic. In Part IV, she concludes the (worker-bees, managers, partners, customers of your customer, etc.)? series with Rules 16 -20. • For what specific purpose will each of these groups be using the product? • What does each of these groups need in order Pragmatic Marketing’s Practical Product Management to truly adopt the product? seminar not only teaches product managers about • What does each of these groups need in order to derive maximum benefit from the product? the renowned Pragmatic Marketing Framework, it • How will the product be deployed? offers attendees 20 rules for product management • How will the product be sold? success. In this final article about rules that just • What does each channel need to effectively aren’t meant to be broken, we present Rules sell the product? • Who will be implementing this product? 16 -20 — which are all about positioning, naming, • What do they need to easily deploy it? sales tools, and the power of the market-driven • Who will be supporting this product? product manager. Read on. • What do they need to effectively support the product? • Where will this product be available? • Are there any regional/country differences to consider? • Etc. 14 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Product Management This list might seem “duh-simple,” but Unfortunately, all benefits statements • End users mostly want to know you’d be surprised at the “must-have” started to sound alike: Use our what your product does for them, requirements that show up at the last product to save time and money, how it’s going to change the way minute if you haven’t answered them. increase productivity, and grow they work, and how easy it’s going your revenues. You could read these to be for them to learn to use. And If you haven’t thought about your benefits statements and come away just like misery, end users love sales force, you may forget to with no idea whatsoever whether company: They want to know who mention to the developers that you someone was trying to sell you a else is using your product. need a web-accessible demo. That mainframe or a spreadsheet. decision to market overseas may have • Managers may not need all the significant implications. You may not This all came about because, as details that the tech buyer and end have considered the possibility that marketers, we often fail to think user do, but they still need info on management doesn’t want to use the through exactly who our buyers how your product is going to make product every day, but still wants are—especially in terms of all the life better for their people and for to see high-level information on various constituencies who might be them. It’s at this level that the a dashboard. involved in a purchase decision. positioning starts shifting gears from being predominantly feature- The more precisely you’ve defined We jumped from thinking only oriented to a bit more benefits- your positioning, the less likely about the techies and their need to oriented. you are to have any last-minute know the gritty product details, to surprises—or even post-last-minute thinking only about the illustrious • For the executive/economic surprises, when you’ve launched “C-level” exec who just wants to buyer, your positioning moves the product, only to find it comes know the ROI. squarely into the benefits camp. up short for any number of reasons. But you still need to ensure that Reasons that you could have easily With individual positioning work, the positioning communicates what avoided if only you’d answered all you’ll have the essential messages the product is and does, since even the questions! you need to communicate about the most hands-off execs need to your product and its value to all know whether they’re okaying the of your audiences. RULE #17 purchase of accounting software • For the technology buyer, go or a storage drive. heavy on the features and technical • Don’t forget vertical positioning, You need a positioning details. By the time they’re looking at your product, these buyers have either. Most industries have their own peculiarities and lingo. document for each often already made the decision to buy something. They need to know Having these positioning documents type of buyer. what differentiates your product on hand saves you a lot of effort from the pack. Sure, they want to when you’re creating sales tools, know how your features translate collateral, and program material. into benefits, but mostly, they want You’ll know what to say, and you’ll In the dawn of technology marketing, to know how it works, what it’s make sure you’re saying the right we spoke “techinese,” emphasizing made of, and what it’s going to thing to the right people. features and often forgetting take to implement and support. the benefits. When they’re thinking benefits, Then someone uttered those they’re probably looking for what immortal words, “People don’t they need in order to sell up the buy features; they buy benefits.” chain in their organization. So we were off to the races with benefits statements. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 15
    • Are your product management and marketing teams overloaded with tactical activities, spending too much time supporting Development and Sales rather than focusing on the strategic issues of the organization? The Pragmatic Marketing Framework © 1993-2009 Pragmatic Marketing The Pragmatic Marketing Framework is the standard for product managers and marketers at thousands of companies. Since 1993, more than 50,000 people have been trained using this market-driven approach to creating and launching products.
    • learn industry best practices Product Management training Product Marketing training Practical Product Management defines the Effective Product Marketing teaches how to create strategic role of product management using the successful go-to-market strategies using a structured, Pragmatic Marketing Framework (left). From how to repeatable framework that supports an organization’s identify market problems to delivering a successful goals for growth in revenue, market awareness and product plan. customer retention. Requirements That Work shows you a repeatable New Rules of Marketing shows how to harness method for writing clear requirements your team will the power of online marketing using blogs, viral read and use. It discusses techniques for prioritizing marketing, podcasts, video, search engine marketing and organizing market requirements and clarifies the and thought-leadership to reach buyers directly. roles for team members. Pragmatic Roadmapping teaches techniques for developing, consolidating and communicating product In addition to the extensive published schedule, plans, strategy and vision to multiple audiences—both training can be conducted onsite at your office inside and outside the company. allowing a more focused discussion for your specific goals. achieve market-driven success With guidance from Pragmatic Marketing experts: Align your organization with the market. Identify gaps between your current state and best practice to enable your strategy and tactics to focus on market-driven success. Accelerate your product plan. Uncover the market problems your product can solve in its next release. Optimize your go-to-market programs. Understand recent wins & losses, and learn how evaluators review your offering to create compelling marketing messages in the language of your buyers. participate in a thought-leading community For more than 50,000 visitors per month, PragmaticMarketing.com is a dynamic, growing resource center with hundreds of articles, tips and techniques, expert blogs, a job board, book reviews, informative webinars, links to peer networking groups and much more. Visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com or call (800) 816-7861
    • Practical Rules for Product Management: Some rules just aren’t meant to be broken RULE #18 the Company Name, followed by a straightforward expression of what the product is or does: Thinly veiled sales pitches can go out in the second wave. But you might want to reserve a really meaty Name the product • Acme Accounting Software whitepaper—one that digs into industry and/or technology trends after positioning • Acme HR Software and downplays the product stuff— for someone who’s demonstrated is finished. Maybe it’s Company Name, followed by something that combines an serious interest. (If you have such a whitepaper, you probably paid plenty element of what the product is, as for it and should use it judiciously— well as an associated attribute. this goodie is worth something. Given that you want your product Serious prospects only!) name to resonate in some way, this • Acme Accounting Excellence is a good rule of thumb. Nitty-gritty product info should be • Acme HR Excellence available to the serious tech buyer. With your positioning complete, Within reason, you’ll have a lot of Or vice versa: you realize which attributes of your this material on your website as product are the most compelling, so • Acme Excellence for Accounting downloads, but you might want to you can craft a product name that reserve highly detailed information speaks to those attributes. Is your • Acme Excellence for HR for prospects that are fairly far product all things to all people? along in the sales cycle—and have While you’re at it, figure out how Are you most psyched about how the salesperson send it, or make it you’re going to handle versioning, environmentally friendly it is? How available via special download. “special editions,” and any other rules about “Green Thang”? (Okay, that’s you want observed (for example, As you move forward in the sales terrible, but you get the point.) don’t use two of the same vooweels cycle, you’ll want to introduce tools Whatever product name you choose, together in the same word). and collateral that help the ROI keep in mind product naming isn’t cause, provide customer testimonials, If you’ve got all this codified ahead nearly as important or essential explain implementation, etc. At this of time, people will spend a lot less for technology products as it is for point, prospects have a need to time agonizing over names. consumer products. You brush with know and need to use. Crest toothpaste, not P&G. For heaven’s sake, don’t send out Many B2B technology products are the whiz-bang PowerPoint until referred to by the company name, not by the specific product name RULE #19 you’re scheduled to walk through it in a virtual meeting (maybe (for example, many people say not even then). You can always “Oracle” when asked what database they use). So you don’t always have Provide collateral, email the file to the prospect after the presentation. to spend a lot of money and effort tools, and programs When meeting in person, some coming up with perfect names, when what you really want to do is to support each step people like to distribute presentation copies beforehand; others like to promote your company name as your brand. Sure, there are exceptions— in the sales cycle. distribute them after the fact. I’m Microsoft Office, Outlook, Word, for giving them out after the fact, Excel, and PowerPoint come to preferring to turn a presentation, mind—but what matters most is wherever possible, into a two-way Early in the sales cycle, a prospect your company name. conversation, rather than a slide needs to know the basics about your read-along. And make sure that the Another thing to consider—and product and company—enough to slides are annotated, so that someone I’d recommend this for anybody help establish interest (theirs) and who wasn’t at the presentation is not who thinks they’re ever going to credibility (yours). Period. Dangle a reading a page that says only: have more than one product to case study in front of them. If they name: Create an overall naming bite, great! You’ve moved them a • It’s big. architecture and set of guidelines. little further along. • It’s wonderful. Maybe all products will start with • You’ll like it. 18 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Practical Rules for Product Management: Some rules just aren’t meant to be broken With notes, they can read the fine print and understand what point you’re trying to make. RULE #20 Absent strong awareness of the market—the kind that comes from knowing your customers, industry, Whether you work at a small or The market-driven product domain, competition, and business and technology large company, there’s always the temptation to shoot out all the product manager environments—a product manager will almost invariably give in to the collateral at once. Take one of everything! Don’t we have a lot should be the final loud-mouth/know-it-all brigade— developer, salesperson, or anyone of neat stuff for you? And now, of course, we have a tendency to put all authority on what else who is willing to voice a strong opinion (informed or not). that stuff up on the website and let goes into the product. prospects download whatever they The product manager in this scenario want. Unfortunately, those prospects is really a glorified project manager— could get overwhelmed and/or the keeper of the Gantt charts, not read much of anything. So, it’s While this should be the most spreadsheets, and schedules—but really best to reserve some bits of obvious of rules—after all, someone not the person who truly “owns” the information that your salespeople has to be the final authority on product. That is, until the product can send out at different points product requirements—the operative meets with some market resistance. in the cycle (following a roadmap term here is market-driven. Then, you can best believe heads for what-goes-where-when that Take it from someone who’s been will swivel toward the product you provided). both a product manager and a manager, eyes will turn, fingers will market-driven product manager, point. “How did we let the product Similarly, your marketing programs— go out the door without X, which tradeshows, seminars, webinars, there’s a world of difference between the two. everybody seems to want? Why did direct marketing, blogs—should be we waste all that time and money used for different purposes and at The plain-old product manager on making sure the product did Y, different times in the cycle. But don’t serves a very valuable function, which nobody seems to want?” forget, many programs can serve making sure that the requirements multiple purposes: If you’re going are nailed down; keeping a Sure, this can happen even when the to a tradeshow, you’re probably product release on track; knowing product manager is market-driven. trolling for leads, but don’t forget at any given time just where Anyone can make a mistake. that it’s a good opportunity to set things stand with development, up face-time with customers who’ll But that scenario is far less likely for QA, documentation, packaging, the market-driven product manager, also be attending. manufacturing, production, training, who will have either made sure B2B technology sales don’t tend marketing, support, sales, etc. The the product does X or understand to occur as one-shot events. They product manager knows who the why it doesn’t; who will know why take time. And during that time, customers are—and who they aren’t. Y went into the product and what you want to make sure that you The product manager gets to buy all you need to do to ensure it’s not a have something more to say or do those bubble-gum cigars for launch waste of time. than have your sales folks on the date—“It’s a product!” phone asking, “Have you made The product manager should be Sounds pretty good, no? the final authority—but that will your decision yet?” But here’s where life is not so good happen only when he or she has for the non-market-driven product earned the authority by being able manager: He or she may have made to show the world—especially those sure the requirements were nailed loud-mouths/know-it-alls—what down, but they’re not likely the one being market-driven is all about. who actually did the nailing. Maureen Rogers is a senior consultant with Communigration, specializing in strategic product marketing (market identification, product positioning, and product messaging) for B2B technology and services companies. A resident of Boston, Maureen is a graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and has more than 25 years experience as a product manager and product marketer. With her friend and colleague John Whiteside, she blogs on marketing at Opinionated Marketers (http://opinionatedmarketers.com) and, on her own, she writes about business, the workplace, and culture at Pink Slip (http://pinkslipblog.blogspot.com). Maureen can be reached at mrogers@communigration.com. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 19
    • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an So, for the past sixty days, we’ve optimist sees an opportunity circled back to the thousands of in every difficulty.” companies and hundreds of senior executives we interview each year. - Winston Churchill We wanted to find out what was real, what was fear, and what was Winning We live in interesting times. The bravado. So our interviews focused panic on Wall Street rippled quickly on identifying the specific action from the investment community into plans leaders are creating. in a Down executive suites and down the line to each and every employee. Everyone is talking about how to react. What Our research verified (once again) the value of being tuned in to your market. Companies who are Economy are the impacts to our nation? Our economy? Our business? Us? struggling right now have fallen into the trap of chasing outcomes and How should you react? We’ve seen guessing at what their business will the full gambit in our travels. The become in 2009. The actions they’ve Are You Tuned In? visionaries are seeking refuge in taken have largely been tactical, denial and waging their bet on the with a focus on cost reduction— “next big thing.” The conservatives giving executives no greater or lesser are taking quick and decisive action peace of mind about their prospects to re-align costs to ensure survival. going forward. By Phil Myers The pragmatists are shouting from On the other hand, Tuned In the rooftops to focus on the things businesses took a much more people have been buying for years. strategic approach to the problem: It seems virtually everyone has an opinion on what to do next. They’re busy identifying the strategy Unfortunately, we’ve found most they can execute that will best align opinions are irrelevant, and the their business to the market for the noisiest are often dangerous! next two years—where uncertainty is a given and cash flow liquidity Ignored is the most important a must. question leaders should be asking their teams: What actions can we take Right now, leaders of these today that will make our company companies are behaving differently a better one to do business with in than those not Tuned In. They put this economy? little stock in the past and even less in the future. They’re focused on What are pragmatic aligning their strategies and execution leaders doing? for improved performance today. They know from experience great The first step to winning is to realize companies and products can be the rules of the game have changed… built in a down economy. possibly forever. We’re not in control anymore! One need only look to the last 10 years to realize companies such We wrote the Tuned In book to as Google, Amazon, eBay, and provide leaders, product managers, Salesforce.com all emerged as leaders and marketers a timeless guide during the last downturn. And for how to create a business that companies such as IBM rode resonates. Given the shift in market an e-business services strategy to conditions, we wondered how a new wave of growth. well the principles we espouse would weather the storm of a down economy. 20 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Today’s pragmatic leaders are 1. Discover reality • What are buyers’ plans for aligning their companies to replicate investment next year in our those kinds of successes. Their action How well are we aligned to the market segment? plans are simple and enlightening— current market? channeling the culture of the • Do we understand how buyers The first step to tuning in to your make decisions today? company and the investment of Down Economy Resonator is to get their time into six missions: • How well aligned is our ability out of denial and into discovering, 1. Discover reality—How well are embracing, and dealing with to execute: we aligned to the current market? reality. The market has changed. – Is our cash flow strong Deal with it. 2. Find the bright lights—What’s enough to last? working and why? Making decisions without a complete – Are our products relevant to and accurate view of the world you 3. Pursue relevance—How do we today’s market problems? will be living in for the next several make good decisions about where months or years is crazy! Yet, that’s – Is our business model flexible to invest? exactly what many companies will do enough to adapt to change? in the coming months. They’ll guess, 4. Narrow the focus—How do • What bad thing would happen if assume, and then tell the world we build a competitive edge? we shut our doors and went away? they’ve made changes to keep them 5. Simplify execution—How we can healthy through this downturn— These are not easy questions to ask, make it easier to do business when, in reality, they have no idea and the answers may be even harder with us? whether or not they really are to hear. In Pragmatic Marketing’s healthy enough. seminars, attendees are challenged to 6. Rally stakeholders—How can we build a strong network of Pragmatic leaders are asking their break out of the mode of assuming supporters? organizations to go immediately back things and start listening…really to square one and get tuned in to listening…to what their buyers Like the six steps to getting “tuned their markets. No assumptions, no are saying. in,” these actions are designed sacred cows. Get real, and find out to create a “Down Economy That’s particularly important now, what’s meaningful: because not all businesses came into Resonator”—a product or service that so perfectly solves a problem buyers • Does the market still care about this down economy with the same have today, that it seems to sell itself. what we do (the same, more, or assets and financial strength—so a less) than they did 90 days ago? dose of reality is needed. Those with strong cash positions, relevant market segments, and a flexible business model are well aligned and can be more aggressive. Those starting from The Six Steps weakness in one or more of these to Creating a factors have limited options. Down Economy Discovering reality is a critical first step to building a platform to Resonator win. It instills confidence because it identifies your future business opportunities. They may be the same Establish or different than you envisioned them Authentic Connections Discover before the downturn. That’s neither a Rally Your Articulate Reality good nor a bad thing—just a reality. Stakeholders Powerful Ideas Create Breakthrough Experiences Quantify Find the the Impact ‘Bright Light’ Understand Buyer Personas Simplify Find Execution Unresolved Problems Pursue Relevance Narrow the Focus The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 21
    • Winning in a Down Economy 2. Find the “bright lights” Relevancy is your compass in a The relevancy filter is designed to down economy. Pragmatic leaders identify the reasons behind the bright What’s working and why? know from experience that customers lights you have found. The ones with will embrace suppliers of products real meaningful data behind them are Pragmatic leaders separate themselves and services that solve important the potential resonators. from the pack in market sensing. problems they have right now. Not They seem to understand buyers last year’s problems and certainly 4. Narrow the focus better than they know themselves not things that might offer an ROI and anticipate the actions those How do we build a competitive edge? in 2010. Solutions that help them buyers will take. Their gift lies in cut costs without abandoning Value is your profit compass through identifying buying patterns and using strategic initiatives are highly this downturn. The strategy that an innate ability to filter through relevant right now. works for Pragmatic leaders is not the useless to focus on the things that matter most. How do they to focus on major changes or big Relevance combines a match gain these insights? breakthroughs, but rather pragmatic, for a real market problem, a incremental steps from where they distinctive competence you own, They ignore everything but are today. What customers will and a high-impact ROI. These the bright lights. value is the same thing you value… measures can’t be faked, they something that creates immediate The data you’ve collected will must be real. value. Once these leaders assess the contain a lot of bad news. Buyers relevance of what they have versus The mistake many companies make are locking down budgets, cutting what is needed today, they shift their in these cycles is to reposition staff, and freezing investments in all strategy to identify those components themselves to be something they are non-revenue-generating purchases. of a solution that provide the not. A product that takes six months Your sales might be down, and highest incremental impact, and to implement is not a cost-saving, the future outlook might look then they develop and launch productivity aid. A service for uncertain. Progress on new products those accelerators. which you have no credentials or initiatives might have stalled nor a successful track record is completely with evaluators. It The focus of targeted value creation not a recession buster. can get depressing. requires taking a step back and You can’t be something you aren’t— assessing what your buyers really Pragmatic leaders absorb these data need. The questions pragmatic even if it’s important to have that points, but they also possess two leaders are asking are much the characteristic. One need only look characteristics that push them past all same as they’ve always been, but to the recent presidential election of the obstacles they encounter: with much more of a tactical focus and John McCain’s attempt to co-opt 1. They know from experience “change” as part of his platform. on the constraints under which their there is always a plan available Wasn’t him. Didn’t hunt. buyers now live. The roadmaps for success, so they keep digging they’re creating include these five So how do you know where you ingredients: until they find it. are relevant? Pragmatic leaders 2. They focus more on what’s use precision-based questioning to • Addresses a #1, #2, or #3 market working than what isn’t. uncover the winners. They want to problem clearly determine how much value The bright light is the set of data • Emphasizes solutions that provide can be added to the business, so that shows a positive trend. Perhaps measurable incremental value to they dig in to question: it’s the services business you hadn’t core customers considered. Or, a particular area of • What specific market problem is • Invests only in areas where they your website where visitor traffic has creating this new demand? Why? own a distinctive competence* grown significantly. Maybe a channel • What’s causing any changes that of distribution, geography, or product • Utilizes resources and capabilities have surfaced in service-level line is outperforming the rest of your that are proven and available today requirements recently? business. Or, maybe an external trend has emerged that lines up to • Provides positive profit/cash flow • Why are we winning, and why a competency you have, but have throughout the two-year horizon are we losing? Have the reasons not yet exploited. Find it, and your changed in the last 90 days? What “Getting serious about value” is the foundation just grew stronger. specifically is different? catalyst for creating Down Economy Resonators. Finding the simple things • Are there new needs that 3. Pursue relevance have surfaced as more critical that will make your customers and prospects appreciate you more— How do we make good decisions buying criteria? because you have understood the about where to invest? • What solution would change the problem completely—makes your way our customers do business? business healthier overnight. 22 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , *Distinctive competence is your unique ability to deliver a solution.
    • 5. Simplify execution They’re consolidating their reduced Want to Lead in purchasing power to companies How can we make it easier to and businesses they trust. Gaining a Down do business with us? trust through a keen and intense eye on maximizing your service How easy is it to do business with your organization? Most of us think impact is critical for three reasons: It maximizes value to your customers, Economy? we’re a kind, gentle business that reduces their risk of purchasing, and customers love—but, honestly, do we really know? increases long-term loyalty. Follow these A significant component of your plan should be to assess each of your 6. Rally your stakeholders Ten Rules business practices and identify a How can we build a strong network handful of ways to tune them in to of supporters? today’s market. In a down economy, You can create a winning path for decision-making by consumers and Pragmatic leaders know they cannot your organization in the toughest businesses tends to have a very win this battle alone. That’s why of markets. In fact, if you follow short fuse. Difficult selling cycles or they look at their organization as a network that includes employees, the ten rules that pragmatic systems that seem to align to better serve you rather than buyers are customers, partners, service leaders use, you’ll not only survive, often fatal. providers, communities, and the you’ll thrive: shareholders that support them. The culture of a tuned in business Their goal is to create an army 1. Be authentic in everything is not just built around finding and around them to help. you do solving problems with great products, it embraces the complete customer A big part of their success comes from the power of their 2. Find time to observe and listen experience and consistently seeks to create service-oriented breakthroughs network and a willingness to open the communication lines. 3. Be both agile and pragmatic that make it easy for buyers to discover, buy, use, and activate Companies who go quiet or ignore in decision-making relevant support. The key to success disenfranchised stakeholders run a substantial risk of adding a barrier 4. Create roadmaps based on is to become a “servant-based” company, creating more reasons to to execution in this environment. what people want to buy buy. Here are some examples: Pragmatic leaders do the opposite— getting out in front of each issue, 5. Start new conversations • Make the discovery process and using it as an opportunity to with your customers (and enlightening through free, create positive PR for their business thought-leadership content that at a time when it’s needed most. The aim higher) helps buyers better analyze which secrets to success include being: solutions make sense. 6. Leverage your social network • real about the situation in which • Make the buying process you find your business 7. Activate your best experts incremental by offering simpler, as a service low-cost, entry-level solutions that • open about the need for help allow customers to take a • clear about your strategies even 8. Look for (and celebrate) go-slow approach. when it includes bad news for quick wins • Provide lots of productivity aids a key constituency and flexible purchase options that 9. Create a continuous Pragmatic leaders communicate enable cost-conscious buyers to feedback loop status frequently through all forums defer payments. available—utilizing traditional and 10. Communicate a consistent • Increase the level of support new forms of social media to get their messages distributed. While they plan (often) services that surround a complex product sale (think Best Buy’s may not master the communication discipline, they respect its value If you stay calm and focused on Geek Squad). and work diligently to ensure it’s this foundation, your next 90 days Eliminate the things that make sense not a one-time event, but rather an will be game-changing. to you but not the customer (such ongoing process that supports the as the silly surcharge fees airlines health of their organization. require for basic services). Buyers no longer tolerate these transgressions. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 23
    • Winning in a Down Economy Get everyone on • Personas—that identify what your enough to ensure that everyone the same page target buyers value and how they understands the depth of the make decisions challenge ahead; yet, it’s short The consolidation of all discovery, enough to not seem insurmountable. analysis, and assessment needs to be • Performance metrics—that And, it’s far enough into the future packaged into a new roadmap that measure your overall effectiveness to embrace strategic thinking. triggers an organizational change and efficiency cycle. Focus teams on looking at a Pragmatic leaders have discovered With crystal clarity, Pragmatic that the value of going through a full portfolio solution and creating leaders are organizing their a strategic plan that leverages their road-mapping exercise is they can companies around these areas to make investment decisions that distinctive competence. ensure alignment to the things that are more disciplined and simple to In a down economy, the bar needs matter most. They’ve come up with filter. Typically, they require only an to be even higher—focused on a remarkably similar timeline for analysis of two factors: How does the an organizational alignment that developing these new roadmaps— investment align to the top priorities spans five areas and bridges the two years. Yes, that timeframe is of our strategy? And what is the most organizational gaps that often exist: somewhat subjective, but also very profitable way to implement it? tuned in. Why? Because it’s long • People—aligned to their roles and responsibilities • Problems—prioritized based on current market demands Phil Myers is co-author of the best-selling business book Tuned In. • Products—that are market-relevant During his business career, he has led three technology start-ups, and leverage your distinctive managed two initial public offerings, and launched seven competence products to market that became category leaders. Contact Phil at pmyers@pragmaticmarketing.com “ If you read nothing else: Chapter Eight, ‘ Articulate Powerful Ideas,’ is a mini marketing seminar on how best to talk about your business and how to talk about it differently to different groups. ” — Inc. Magazine Order at www.TunedInBook.com co m ble. dNo rne san ”a t Ba eek om s Th is W on.com ad.c Pick on Ama z eore 0 0c Our n8 on “ t-se ller ller o atur ed bes t-se Fe #1 #1 bes
    • There comes a time in every product manager’s career when a job change is inevitable; either through choice or circumstance. Given today’s economic reality, how you approach this change—both before and after—can positively or negatively affect the trajectory of your career. This article presents Evaluating, Farming, some strategic thoughts and Interviewing, and tactical tips for changing jobs in product management and Negotiating By Paul Young product marketing. The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 25
    • Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating Before you begin: A realistic assessment of your current But to be a good farmer, take your self-evaluation situation will tell you, whether or network to the next level. A farmer not you are prepared to move on to makes a good connection and Before any major career move, it’s your next gig. nurtures it over time. imperative to dispassionately evaluate your current situation. Ask yourself There is nothing wrong with standing I set a quarterly event on my these questions: pat (assuming that is an option); calendar to review my contacts and if you move before you’re ready, contact those I haven’t talked with • Do you see a path for career you will likely take a job that isn’t in awhile. Take them to lunch (your advancement at your current job? ideal for you. Remember your goal treat), listen to what they’re up to, Why/why not? is to improve your situation. If the and find connections. Water these situation is forced on you, being seeds regularly and your network • Is the company’s future outlook prepared is the best, first step in will organically grow. Over time, positive? Why/why not? finding a new opportunity. your farming will pay off when your • Are you personally happy or network blooms and spreads its To make a good evaluation of your seeds on your behalf. This will result unhappy? Why/why not? current role, call on your mentors. in new second-order connections. • Have you had or do you plan to The best mentors are previous have a major life-changing event managers and other senior colleagues Second-order connections are (e.g., a new baby, marriage, you have come to trust. Be a contacts that people in your direct divorce, or relocation)? “people collector,” and ask respected network have made on your behalf. colleagues to serve in a mentorship These “trusted introductions” are the • Where do you want your career to capacity to you in the future. Often, single, most powerful job-hunting be in three, five, ten, and twenty people are flattered to be asked. tool available. LinkedIn is a great tool years? Does your current position It doesn’t mean you’ll phone them for this purpose. Every job I’ve had align with those goals? tomorrow, but if you do, they are since LinkedIn’s advent has come more likely to remember you and be either through a direct introduction • Are your relationships with willing to help. or through my leverage of a second- your peers and manager positive? order connection from my network. Why/why not? On the flipside, don’t ask everyone The implied trust of an introduction to be your mentor. Be choosy, and from someone you trust gets you in • Is your work-life balance generally don’t ask peers—only appropriate? Why/why not? the door and bypasses the resume people senior to you. It should stack sitting on the hiring manager’s • Is your compensation in line with go without saying, but don’t ask desk. In some cases, people will the market for your role? colleagues at your current company even create a new position for you to mentor you until you’re no longer that didn’t exist, just because they part of the organization. like (and now trust) you. When I decided I was ready to leave Farming your network my last big company and go to a When it comes to your next startup, I made a “hit list” of small career move, remember you should companies in my area. I started with always be “farming.” Farming is a list of 100 local, venture-funded related to networking in that startups. Then I selected the top both require you to make 10 companies I wanted to target a lot of connections. based on opinions I had already formed of each, their technology and product fit with my experiences, and their size. Next, I went to LinkedIn and found I was indirectly connected to the VP of Marketing or the CEO at all of my targets. I emailed an introduction of 26 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating myself (a second-order connection No one gets a formal request to This meeting is pivotal. Use it to via my connection) to all of them interview right off the bat anymore. determine if you are right for the and offered to take them out to lunch You’ll get an email, probably from role and if the company is right or coffee to listen to what they were Human Resources (HR) or a recruiter, for you. You should leave this doing. The email is important—you saying they found you online. If you meeting knowing: don’t want to sound desperate for have done your self-assessment, you a job, but you want to form a new will already know if this company • Is there a fit for me on a personal, connection and let them know you’re is one of your targets and why. If role, and company level? out there if they are looking for talent you’re interested, ask for an informal • Can I work for this person? with your skills. meeting with the hiring manager, which may be face-to-face or • Does this role interest me? Four of the ten executives replied, phone screen. Why/why not? and I ended up meeting with three of them. I met the VP of Marketing • Is this role going to further my of my top choice and formed a quick The phone screen career path? connection. As it turned out, they (a.k.a. “the drool test”) didn’t have a product management These meetings usually involve a team yet, and were beginning to I refer to phone screens as “drool gentle give-and-take. And as you recognize that their current mode of tests.” An employer likes what they build a rapport with the person operations wasn’t sustainable. see on your online bio, and they across the table, you can gradually want to see if you’re real or if you move to harder-line questions. It’s The VP said the company wasn’t drool on yourself. Depending on the great to treat this as a customer ready to hire anyone, but she would hiring manager, you’ll get questions interview, and ask lots of open-ended keep in touch. I pinged her about ranging from “give me your elevator questions, such as: once per month after that. Four pitch” to “Why are you leaving (or months later she called out of the why did you leave)?” • Can you describe your current blue and asked me to interview process for product management? for a position—a role they created Take care: Phone screens are meant to eliminate you from consideration, • How do you define success for for me, based on my resume. They this role in 12 months? extended an offer and I accepted so your goal is a face-to-face meeting the following week. with the hiring manager—where • What is your biggest challenge you really get the goods on what today? Why? they want and whether or not Interviewing and it is a match. • What is going to make your evaluating an offer company win in this market? Why? The point of your search is to find The first meeting It should quickly become apparent job opportunities, but also to be whether they are looking for After the phone screen, you may someone with your skills and found by potential employers. It is have a follow-up meeting. The hiring interests. Often, since Product no secret that hiring managers and manager is interested enough to Management and Product Marketing companies make much more lucrative meet you and will try to answer the are confused terms, the hiring offers to someone they believe following questions:: manager will ask which role you they’ve proactively vetted. • Is this person worth bringing in prefer. Be honest, and talk about why I strongly encourage you to raise you prefer one over the other. to meet the team? your online profile through creative marketing. Own your online brand— • Can I trust this person? it’s not about putting yourself out there to find a job; it’s about being • How competent is he or she? recognized as a “go-to” product • Do we have chemistry? Hint: The management expert. Face-to-face questions you ask will impact this. events, such as ProductCamp, are great for showing your • How well does his or her skills depth of expertise. mesh with my current team? The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 27
    • Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating This meeting will close with an Here are some recruiter tricks to on the market and your stated range indication of whether or not the get you to reveal your current for this role.” If HR still balks, write a hiring manager wants to proceed. compensation plan; don’t fall courteous note to the hiring manager If so, he or she will often want you for them! thanking them for the opportunity to talk to other people, most likely and that you don’t feel moving arranged through the recruiter, at the • Standard question: “Where are you forward would be productive. If the company location in a more formal now with regard to comp?” hiring manager cares about you as a interview setting. If you get to that • Blocking question: “Before we candidate, they’ll sort it out with HR. point, the interviewers are there to move any further, I’ll need to get test the hiring managers’ impressions In a recent job change, I delivered an idea of your compensation.” this message at least three times from the first sit down. And you are more than likely not part of a large • Range question: “What is your (verbally) after I wasn’t satisfied with candidate pool. compensation range?” the offer, and each time I received a much more lucrative one. It’s a If you are not interested in moving • Process question: “My database game and regardless of the economic forward, be honest. Shake hands and won’t let me process your environment, you should still thank the hiring manager for the application without your play to win! opportunity to speak. Say that the current comp.” position isn’t a match with your skills but you might know some people Always turn the question around: The interview you can refer (if you do). Move along “I’m more focused on where I’d like There are a million interviewing and keep casting your net. to be than where I am. What is your resources online that I won’t try to range for this role?” Recruiters are duplicate here other than to say be used to this dance and will usually The compensation discussion give you a ballpark range. If not, “old school.” Wear the suit and tie, and present yourself as what you simply state “I’m competitively and You’ll notice we have not yet are: an executive. If you’re good fairly compensated in my current talked about compensation. Do enough to be a competent product role, and I am sure that if and when not broach the topic. The recruiter manager, then talking to your we determine there is a mutual fit, will try everything to get you to peers at another company should we will be able to work out the talk compensation early, but you be a relief! It is much easier than compensation.” Just remember, if must, must, must never divulge talking to customers and discovering you divulge your compensation, this information. new problems, because these are you are potentially giving up a “your people!” Don’t be bullied into revealing your lot of leverage. current or historical compensation In my most recent interview process, At some point, compensation packages. Current compensation I had several multi-person “panel” will come to a head and they will has zero influence on your future interviews, in a small cramped room demand to know where you stand. compensation and even less relevance with just a table and a whiteboard. It took me far too long in my career on the value you will bring to a They were intense, but also very to realize I held the cards for this new company. The only reason the revealing—you can learn much conversation, and I too easily gave up recruiter wants this information is about a culture through just a my comp. Remember: If they found to “pre-qualify” you—and either 30-minute discussion. By the end of you, if they talked to you, if they rule you out as too high (bad for each session, we had filled up the have their people meeting you—that you) or offer you less (also bad for whiteboard with process diagrams, means you offer them a skill they you). The advantage of not revealing use case models, discussions of do not currently have, and you are a your compensation is that you can markets and segmentation, all the hot candidate. They’re not going to negotiate for what you are worth in good stuff. My personal style is let you go without a fight. If they do, the market, not what they think you visual; but leverage your strengths to you don’t want them anyway! might take based on your current showcase where you shine. situation. The key to maintaining Some people inflate their current or increasing your net worth is A quick word on the “scenario” salary when providing a number. controlling the compensation interview, which is becoming more I can’t agree with that, but I do discussion, which is done by the in vogue. Here’s an example of one advise walking away. It’s a tough information you choose to reveal. such interview I recently had. conversation; but put it to them this way: “My current level of The hiring manager brought in two compensation has no bearing on product managers and said: the value I’m going to bring to you, and therefore is irrelevant. I’m more I’m going to lay out a scenario for than happy to discuss where I feel I you, and I want you to describe should be with regard to comp based what actions you would take as 28 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating a product manager to make this get a bump in total compensation If you like your answers, accept the product a success. You work as a if you get a better health plan at offer and set your start date. product manager at a reputable a lower cost. company that decided they want Remember: To be successful in to make a paid version of their business and in life, you need to free, open-source product. What Negotiating the build more bridges than you burn, so do you do? best compensation it is important to know the unspoken rules about leaving jobs. While many <gulp!> This is the stage where you finally people claim “it’s just business,” it negotiate. The company has invested is personal. Relationships matter so These kinds of scenario interview so much in you at this point that be professional as you leave your questions are designed to test your they will most likely not let you current position. adaptability to stress and your ability go; in fact, imagine the company’s to think on your feet. Go back to disappointment in hiring a world- Regardless of the relationship you basics and remember your Product class PM/PMM who didn’t negotiate have with your current company, Manager/Product Marketing Manager their salary. Use resources such as manager, or peers, it is critical to (PM/PMM) training. What makes a Pragmatic Marketing’s Annual Product leave the “right way.” It is a small process successful or not? Start with Management and Marketing Survey world, and people have long the problem, and work from there. (see page 4 in this issue) to back memories. You want to be the person your case. And remember those they remember for all of your good After all of this is done, you will statistics are averages—you are above traits, not for storming out the door have blown everyone away, and average or they wouldn’t want to or for telling your boss to “take they will thank you for your time. hire you. If they push back on going this job and….” Remember, these Go decompress. above your “average” curve, remind people are your future references them of that fact. Be realistic, you’re and/or mentors, and you might run Evaluating the offer probably not going to get them to into them again in another role, or double the offer. on the street, and want that to be a The hiring manager may call and pleasant meeting. congratulate you for making the If you have equity in your current cut, and let you know they will company, remember they don’t Ideally, leave with the company in extend you an offer soon. Express know the value of your options or a position to succeed without you, your thanks, and wait for the email. the valuation of your company, if because you’ve set them up with When you get it, make sure it privately held. That is a massive what they need. Your manager will contains at least: lever for you, so use it. Draw a appreciate your willingness to create five-year model showing a scenario a smooth handoff. • Base compensation where your compensation becomes increasingly aggressive based on As you wind down your employment, • Bonus compensation be respectful. It’s easy to become a equity and the fact you have more control over compensation increases “short timer,” so don’t balk at helping • Stock options or restricted stock in your current role than in some out with the tactical activities that (if applicable) fuzzy future with them. The numbers will find their way to your door. • Deferred compensation (401k, need to make sense, but it’s another matching, etc.) arrow in your quiver if you need to Be prepared • Benefits info (health/dental plan, reach for it. The company may choose to escort paycheck deduction, etc.) Once you’ve weighed the hard factors you to the door, collect your badge, • Personal time off around compensation, consider if all and send you home. Laws vary, but of your “soft factor” questions are in most of the U.S., the company has • Start date answered. Are you comfortable with broad latitude to “walk” you at any the work environment, people, and time. It may not be personal—the Any offer without these is culture? You’re good at your current company now sees you as a security incomplete, and you should follow job, and you’ll need to spend time risk, and you have access to sensitive, up to get the details. I like to use coming up to speed as the “new strategic and roadmap information Microsoft Excel to model offers and guy”—are you OK with that? Where the company probably does not want determine how changes to bonus vs. are you with your family situation— outside their walls. base affect your take-home pay, and will your significant other back you also the effect of the cost of health up during this vulnerable time in insurance. For example, you can your career? The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 , • 29
    • Changing Jobs in Product Management: Evaluating, Farming, Interviewing, and Negotiating Building bridges The best thank-you notes are Starting personal. My favorite tactic is to The most important part of the entire pull out a key detail of that person’s As you start your new role, be career-change process—and the part work style you enjoyed, and recall humble, but confident. They hired where you must spend real time and a specific example of seeing him or you for a reason, so don’t be afraid to diligence getting right—is building her put it to use. For example, in a speak your mind. Sometimes a fresh bridges. We succeed and fail on our recent role, my CTO was passionate perspective can inject new life into own merits, but the bridges we’ve about our technology’s potential, and an organization; be that catalyst for built provide a means for people to I could recall several strategy sessions change. If something seems obvious mentor us when times are tough, where he would enthrall a room to you, it may be because the rest of avenues to find new opportunities full of executives with conversations the team has gotten so close to the in the future, and countless other about what “could be.” In my note, I forest they can’t see the trees. Lead benefits. In my measure, nothing thanked him for the opportunity to your team with humility. is more critical. work together, and told him I really Finally, don’t forget to start the entire enjoyed watching him in action, and The good news is that building and process over. Schedule at least yearly I would strive to emulate his passion maintaining bridges to your network self-evaluations, and continue to farm and ability to excite an audience as is not hard. A well-built bridge is your network. It is difficult during a I developed my career—all true and solid and ready to be traveled in the new job ramp-up to keep tending the accurate statements. future. The best way to build bridges farm, but your contacts will reward is to follow the process described People like to hear they’ve made an you for keeping in touch. in this article, and then add a little impact on you, and you will make extra touch. Best of luck in your new role. them feel good by calling out their most positive aspects. When you call That extra touch can be anything. on them again to be your mentor in At a minimum, it is a thoughtful, the future, you will have the added personalized, and hand-written advantage of knowing they think of thank-you note. In a recent career you fondly, and they will be more change, I wrote over 20 thank-you likely to help you. notes to various people with whom I worked. Treat your mentors who guided you through the job-hunting process as Think about it—when was the last extra special cases. In addition to time one of your co-workers left the thank-you note, send something the company and sent you a note that lets them know their advice was thanking you for the opportunity special to you. Go above and beyond to work together? It doesn’t happen —that is what builds bridges. often enough, and these little touches go a long way toward making people remember you in a positive light. (Note: Be genuine. You aren’t writing these notes in order to be remembered. You’re writing them to thank people for what they did for you.) Paul Young is a product management professional with more than eight years of experience in technology hardware, software, and services product management and marketing. Currently, he serves as a Senior Product Manager for Software as a Service at Dell, Inc. Previously, he was the Director of Product Management at NetStreams, where he instituted the Pragmatic Marketing Framework, using it to drive more than a dozen successful products and features to market. Paul has also held product management positions with NetSolve and Cisco Systems. You can read his blog at http://productbeautiful.com and can contact him at pt.young@gmail.com 30 • The Pragmatic Marketer • Volume 7 Issue 1, 2009 ,
    • The Pragmatic Marketer is now Beginning in January 2009 The Pragmatic , Marketer is now a digital magazine.* Digital distribution offers many new and exciting ways to present material that traditional paper can’t match, like embedded video and other interactive content. In addition to being eco-friendly, the previous high costs of printing and mailing can now be redirected to improve your digital reading experience. In the digital format, you can • Easily search, save, and print • Forward to a friend • Download for offline reading Sign up to receive your digital issues at www.PragmaticMarketer.com *The new digital format replaces the paper magazine subscribers previously received. A full-color print e dition can be purchase d for a nominal fe e.
    • Seminar Calendar Call (800) 816-7861 or go to www.PragmaticMarketing.com to register! Practical Product Management ® Requirements That Work™ Effective Product Marketing Introduces a framework that gives product managers the Provides a repeatable method for writing clear Delivers practical tools and processes for product tools to deliver market-driven products that people want requirements your team will read and use. It discusses marketing, industry marketing and marketing to buy. Focuses on the practical aspects of juggling daily techniques for prioritizing and organizing market communication managers who want to improve tactical demands of supporting the channel with strategic requirements and clarifies the roles for team members. their strategic contribution and align with the sales activities necessary to become expert on the market. This approach enables organizations to deliver solutions organization. Learn how to build a repeatable process that sell. to develop, execute and measure go-to-market strategies February 9 - 10 (11)*...........Boston (Bedford), MA February 11 ...................Boston (Bedford), MA that ensure product success. February 10 - 11 (12)*.........Denver (Littleton), CO February 12 ...................Denver (Littleton), CO February 11 - 12 ............Boston (Bedford), MA February 17 - 18 (19)*.........San Jose, CA February 19 ...................San Jose, CA February 17 - 18 ............San Diego (Del Mar), CA February 17 - 18 (19)*.........Tampa, FL February 19 ...................Tampa, FL March 4 - 5 ....................Toronto, ON, Canada February 25 - 26 (27)* ........Vancouver (Burnaby), BC, Canada February 27...................Vancouver (Burnaby), BC, Canada March 18 - 19 ................San Francisco (Burlingame), CA March 2 - 3 (4)*...................Minneapolis, MN March 4 .........................Minneapolis, MN March 9 - 10 (11)* ...............Reston, VA March 11........................Reston, VA March 16 - 17 (18)* .............Boston (Bedford), MA March 18 .......................Boston (Bedford), MA New Rules of Marketing™ March 16 - 17 (18)* .............San Francisco (Burlingame), CA March 18 .......................San Francisco (Burlingame), CA Teaches marketers how to harness the power of March 23 - 24 (25)* ............Atlanta, GA March 25 .......................Atlanta, GA online marketing using blogs, viral marketing, March 30 - 31 (1)* ...............Philadelphia, PA April 1 ...........................Philadelphia, PA podcasts, video, search engine marketing and online March 30 - 31 (1)* ...............San Diego (Del Mar), CA April 1 ...........................San Diego (Del Mar), CA thought-leadership. Learn a step-by-step framework for building an online marketing strategy and a tactical, *Day 3 is Requirements That Work actionable plan to reach your buyers directly. February 19 ...................San Diego (Del Mar), CA Visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com for a current seminar schedule.