What Jersey Shore Can Teach Product Managers


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Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting

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What Jersey Shore Can Teach Product Managers

  1. 1. What Jersey Shore Can Teach Product Managers Dr. Jim Anderson / (@drjimanderson)
  2. 2. 2 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Come On, Admit It -- You Like To Watch.. • The first season was filmed in August 2009 – Averaging 1.375 million viewers – Ranked #1 in its time period versus all cable competition – The season 1 finale audience, 4.8 million, was more than triple that of the premiere, an increase of more than 3.4 million – MTV's highest rated original series telecast in almost two years • Second season in Miami Beach – Season 2 premiered on July 29, 2010 averaging 5.252 million viewers • Third season has been announced • Cast: – Angelina "Jolie" Pivarnick – Jenni "JWoww" Farley – Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino – Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi – Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio – Ronnie Ortiz-Magro – Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola – Vinny Guadagnino
  3. 3. 3 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Looks Count • Observation: Looks are very important • Conclusion: Taking the time to make your product look good to your customer is important • Questions: Where do customers "see" your product? How can you make a product look "good"?
  4. 4. 4 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Does Your Product Have A Nick-Name? • Observation: Reputation & nick-name count • Conclusion: When customers refer to your product by a nick- name, you have a relationship with them. • Questions: Can you create a nick-name for your product? How can you get customers to use it? Can you competition create a nick-name for your product?
  5. 5. 5 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Routines • Observation: GLT - Gym, Tan, & Laundry • Conclusion: Routine is important to your customers and your product has to fit into their routine, not the other way around. • Questions: How can you find out what your customer's routines are? Will you have to replace some part of their routine if you want to fit in? Can you create new routine?
  6. 6. 6 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com We Like People Who Are Like Us • Observation: Want to associate with people like them – guidos and guidettes • Conclusion: Customers themselves want to be seen as being unique and belonging to a special or unique group. • Questions: Do you think that to make a sale, you need to be accepted by your customer's peers? Do you need to somehow associate with their world? Can you show how you fit in or do they need to identify how you fit in?
  7. 7. 7 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Multiple Models • Observation: Multiple models to choose from – 8 cast members • Conclusion: No set of customers is going to like every product that you have to offer. You need to be able to offer multiple products. • Questions: How many products is enough? How many is too many? How different do they need to be?
  8. 8. 8 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Distinction • Observation: Every product must have a distinct personality • Conclusion: products that you offer and those offered by your competition need to be very different from one another • Questions: How can you differentiate your product – just features? How do characters on the show differ – 4 boys and 4 girls?
  9. 9. 9 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com It’s A Small World • Observation: You need to keep your product's world very small • Conclusion: In order to get your customers to consider your product, you need to narrow their focus to just what your product does. • Questions: How can you keep the focus small? What can you do if your customers won't concentrate?
  10. 10. 10 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Control The Conversation • Observation: No cell phones because that doesn't make for good TV • Conclusion: Distractions or conversations that you aren't part of will harm your ability to sell your product • Questions: how can you make all information flow through you? Should you? How can you prevent your customer from becoming distracted and not making a decision?
  11. 11. 11 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Play Nice • Observation: How your product plays with other products is important • Conclusion: no product stands alone, it's how it works with other products that makes things interesting • Question: can you predict how your product will work with other products? What if it doesn’t get along with another product? Who needs to do what?
  12. 12. 12 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com So Much Drama! • Observation: Everyone likes to watch drama • Conclusion: Life can be boring – drama is exciting, but stress is not. If your product makes your customer more competitive they'll like it and you • Questions: How can you keep the drama going? What is your responsibly and how much is the customer's responsibility for using your product correctly?
  13. 13. 13 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Frenemies • Observation: Friends become enemies who then become friends • Conclusion: your competition may become your ally over time, and visa versa • Question: how often should you check to see if things have changed? Is there anything that you can do to prepare for a friend to become an enemy?
  14. 14. 14 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com It’s All About Family • Observation: In the end, everyone is part of one big family • Conclusion: your customer and you are joined together once they buy your product • Question: who's in charge of the relationship? What does "being family" really mean for a vendor and a customer? Can the relationship ever go away?
  15. 15. 15 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Who’s Your Partner? • Observation: Partnerships matter – a lot! • Conclusion: today things have become so complicated that most firms can't make a sale just on their products alone • Question: how many partnerships can a product manager maintain? How can you leverage a partnership? Can you abuse a partnership? How can you repair a damaged partnership?
  16. 16. 16 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com So Sad • Observation: Despite a lot of bluster, the cast is actually quite lonely and looking for real relationships. • Conclusion: how your customers act may be very different from what they are feeling • Questions: how can you find out how your customers are really feeling? Once you know this, how can you use this information?
  17. 17. 17 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Don’t Write It Down! • Observation: Some things are best communicated in person, not in a note left behind. • Conclusion: when you have bad news for your customer, how you communicate it can be as important as what you say • Questions: what is the best way to communicate bad news? What if it's something that you are not supposed to know? What is your obligation to tell your customer bad news about your product?
  18. 18. 18 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Branding • Observation Become your own brand. (Snooki has unique dance moves to her signature poof) • Conclusion: your customers want to be seen as being unique even if they don't know how – you see a lot of customers, they want to be special • Questions: How can you help them to feel as though they are unique? Is this a one time deal or do you need to keep doing it? Why is it important?
  19. 19. 19 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com You’re Fired! • Observation: Start performing at work or you will be replaced [Angelina, who got fired from her gig at a T-shirt shop for failing to show up] • Conclusion: once you've won a customer, you need to keep working to maintain the relationship • Question: How can you show that you are working on the relationship? What does "showing up for work" mean when you are dealing with someone who is already a customer?
  20. 20. 20 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Invest In You • Observation: Invest in your career. • Conclusion: you need to keep improving your product • Question: how can you show your customer that you are investing in your product? How can you show the world that you are improving your product? How can you prove that you are improving your product more than your competition is improving their product?
  21. 21. 21 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Finances • Observation: Choose where to save and splurge. [why the cast saved money on expensive group meals by eating at home during filming and spent their extra cash on drinks at the clubs.] • Conclusion: spend time in non- sales activities with your customers to prepare for when you have something to sell to them • Questions: what else can you work with your customers that doesn't have to do with selling them stuff?
  22. 22. 22 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Buy In Bulk • Observation: Buy in bulk whenever possible. [Pauly D, the Rhode Island DJ who says he buys his I-C-E Spiker hair gel in bulk, just in case it ever gets discontinued.] • Conclusion: know what your customers current alternative to using your product is • Questions: do they have a back- up plan? Should you help them to create one? Can you use fear of loss to drive more sales?
  23. 23. 23 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com It’s A Small World (Again!) • Observation: they live together • Conclusions: the closer your customers are to either you or other potential customers, the better the chances of something happening • Questions: How can you use the various proximity's (you, customers, vendors) to improve sales? Can you make your competition not so close?
  24. 24. 24 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Gotta Love Those Lists • Observation: Lists can help [Snookie made a list of qualities she's looking for in a guy. Those of which include somebody who is tanned, a guido and a juicehead.] • Conclusions: instead of guessing what your customer is looking for, ask them if they have a list • Questions: if they do have a list, what should you do with it? If they don't have a list, should you help them to create one?
  25. 25. 25 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com Baby, Promise You’re Going To Call? • Observation: Once you get a pretty girl's phone number, you have to follow up with a call. • Conclusion: Product mangers need to quickly follow up after trade shows. • Questions: What should you say when you call? What should your goal be (you're NOT going to make a sale).
  26. 26. 26 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com So Where Do I Go From Here? www.TheAccidentalPM.com
  27. 27. 27 www.BlueElephantConsulting.com