7   1                                                 2009

Pragmatic Marketing’s   Career Growth and
Is your company getting the most from its investment
                        in product management and marketing?
The Pragmatic Marketer is now
   The Pragmatic Marketer ™
             8910 E. Raintree Drive
             Scottsdale, AZ ...
P R A G M AT I C M A R K E T I N G ’ S
Product Management and Marketing Survey
                Each year Pragm...
34%                             66%                   Organization
Technical activities
Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey

          Percentage of respondents indicating...
Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey

If you could say one thing to your company pre...
Pragmatic Marketing’s 2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey

On the other hand, some
of you work for the ...
Book Review Management
                                            The Art of Product

Who is as comfortable with tech  ...
Growth and
the Product
                                                                 to grow into and ...
Career Growth and the Product Manager

In supporting the development                    The practicing product manger    ...
Fr M                                          Po                           A
Practical Rules for
               By Maureen Rogers

Product Management
This list might seem “duh-simple,” but   Unfortunately, all benefits statements     •	End users mostly ...
Are your product management and marketing teams
  overloaded with tactical activities, spending too much
  time supporting...
learn industry best practices
        Product Management training                                 Product Marketing traini...
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1
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The Pragmatic Marketer magazine. The journal for technology product management and marketing professionals.

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The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 Issue 1

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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 ,
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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%
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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 ,
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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 ,
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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 ,
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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 ,
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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