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How A Product Manager Builds The Brand

March 11, 2019 |
Blog, Brand & Identity, Technology
Products Manager

Product Manager has become a common job profile over the last decade or so. With changing trends and innovation of different business strategies, the importance of a Product manager has been recognized by the industry. Product management is a complex, challenging role that needs to manage requirements and deliver quality products that align with the business’ goals.

Who is a Product Manager?

A Product Manager is someone who is responsible for understanding the market, audience and demand for a software, hardware or service. In more technical terms, they are the ones responsible for creating new products, its purposes, assortment policy, pricing, market analysis, product requirements, promotion and KPI planning. They are a connection between the market and the product team during development, representing the voice of the customer. They manage the portfolio of products they are responsible for, in order to maximize sales and profitability.

Key Responsibilities

It’s a Product Manager’s responsibility to drive the product’s or service’s success. They often are required to manage a cross-functional team whose members are directly or indirectly contributing to the development of the product or service and are constantly a part of the success journey. The role of a Product Manager is especially important for IT companies. The product manager determines the strategy, important functions for the product or the product line and visualizes a roadmap. Often, this position includes marketing functionality, forecasting profits, and possible losses.

Key Skills Required

Product managers have in-depth knowledge of the products necessary to lead the team and make strategic decisions. Additionally, they must possess some professional and personal qualities to justify their role.

Professional skills include marketing strategies, project management of product, service development, financial modelling, pricing, budgeting, qualitative and quantitative research, technical documentation, user documentation, product promotion, PR etc.

Personal qualities include business negotiations and presentations, professional communication skills, time management, high level of managerial decision-making, customer-centricity, multitasking, high responsibility, leadership in setting tasks and delegating, team building skills, the ability to motivate, self-development etc.

There are certain key areas wherein a Product Manager primarily contributes:

1. Idea Generation

Every company strives to develop the best ideas for implementation. In the process, a lot of new ideas come up and one has to choose ‘the idea’ from them. It is not always easy to determine priorities. The product manager’s responsibility is to study and analyze ideas and manage their priorities.
A good Product Manager will have the ability to analyse and decide that which of the many ideas is most feasible to be converted into a product, within a reasonable time frame.

2. Building Strategies

Once the idea is ready, a Product Manager must be able to create a vision for the product lifecycle and set a global strategy. The important task is to justify the business value of the product for the team so that everyone understands the importance and usefulness of releasing a new product.

Then comes the product road-mapping. Product managers coordinate all the ideas in the product roadmap and decide the priorities. A smart product roadmap helps product managers to collate and systematize all ideas and initiatives, plan the implementation and share with everyone involved.

3. Market and Competitor Analysis

The Product Manager constantly surveys and monitors the market to effectively identify customer needs and trends. He also maintains awareness of competitive products, potential competitive products, competitors and competitor capabilities. The data collected through these analyses is converted into meaningful information by the Product Manager, which is then utilized during the development of a new product. Study of competitive actions and the strength/weaknesses of competitive products help in the development of sales projections.

4. Product Forecasting

The Product Manager takes a reasoned and sensible approach to develop forecasts around customer demand and ensures that the forecast is maintained even as the customer demand changes. The variances between forecasted and actual product demand is regularly monitored and analysed to make changes to the forecasting approach, if needed.

5. Features Analysis

Product managers analyze the features, comparing them with the strategic goals and initiatives of the company. This often requires the adoption of complex trade-offs, because efficiency must be high both for customers and the company. Therefore, the interaction with the development team and product manager’s technical background are quite important.

6. Product Releases

Planning and managing the actions of the product and development team is also a Product Manager’s responsibility, regardless of the development methodology the team works with. The manager is responsible for the release process and coordination actions before the product enters the market. These actions include removal of obstacles, bugs fixing, marketing, support and sales teams.

7. Manage Product Lifecycle

Based on product performance, the Product Manager determines when actions are needed to upgrade, improve, revise or re-position products, or when actions are needed to revise promotions and pricing. They also determine when to discontinue existing products and migrate customers to a new product.

The role of a Product Manager is pivotal in driving the success of a product or service and implementing the business strategy. There are many other areas where a Product Manager contributes. Talk to our experts to know more.

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