Why do we need a product? What is the need to create one? Do you have similar questions floating in your mind? In that case, let’s understand the dynamics.
Initially, a product begins with an idea and how it will turn out. Creating the product is a lengthy and time-consuming process, which takes a humongous amount of effort and contribution from team members and leaders. If you thought that’s all it takes to create a product, you’re mistaken. For a product to successfully convert into a profitable one, there are multiple stages involved in the process. A company has to undergo these stages one after the other to define the standards of the product, develop it, and then sell it to the target audience.
So, let’s dive deep into product management, product management strategy, and everything else that you possibly need to know on the subject.
What is Product Management?
Product Management is a process that focuses on the product’s life cycle. Its objective is to bring a brand-new product to the table or enhance an existing product to ship it off to the market. We can further boil down the narrative in a relatively more straightforward way; product management starts with the customer’s ability to connect with the product closely and ends with how successful the product’s future will be.
Additionally, a product life cycle is a process that involves understanding the various aspects of a new product along with the planning, marketing, pricing, and product launch. Product managers have to identify and help develop a better product than the previous. The new product should have the capability to offer something significantly better.
Product Management is a critical process and thus, has many activities involved. One of the crucial product management activities is creating, strategizing, and documenting a product strategy. Usually, all of this is taken care of by a product manager. Now that we know product management, let’s know in detail about product management strategy.
What is Product Strategy?
Product Strategy is laid out by defining everything you aim to achieve and deciding the pathway to get there. Product strategy stresses the why of the product and all the other factors like when and how come later. Strategic product planning is done before we get involved in the detailed structural planning of the product.
If you plan to build a product strategy, then it is essential to have a clear vision of the market and how it operates. Therefore, you must be aware of the customers’ hardships followed by other products in the market that challenge your product. You will have to analyze why your product is better than others.
The different elements of product strategy are:
- Building a foundation of what you aim to achieve
- Market your target customer and identify the challenges
- Goals and initiatives that you will exercise
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What is a Product Management Strategy?
A Product Management Strategy plan determines the product’s life cycle. The contributing factors in determining the overall development are by targeting the consumers and defining the company’s future goals. A successful product management strategy has many elements.
1. Target Customers
As a product manager, it is crucial to identify the end customers. Depending on the needs and likings of your customer, your products have to be designed, executed, and marketed accordingly. As a product manager, gathering customer feedback, analyzing it, and modifying the product management strategy parallelly could do wonders. Being more customer-centric could help one be more receptive to changes.
2. Big Profits
Product Management goals need to be set clearly to drive profits. Therefore, it is best to start with making a better product strategy. Strategizing better will eventually help in generating massive profits. Most companies fail to identify the profit-generating mechanism, which results in lesser benefits for the company.
Why should a customer buy your product? What is your unique offering? For most companies creating their products, the biggest challenge is to face the heat from the competition in the market. It is essential to make an impact so that customers opt to buy your product over your competitors without a second thought. Therefore, it is important to help address the product weaknesses that your competitors are unaware of and offer to solve them.
The varying trends in the environment such as culture, politics, and economics, contribute to influencing the product’s profit. Hence, to make a product management strategy, you must address the macro-environment factors too. These factors determine how powerfully a product management strategy will contribute to your business.
Going by the reading of the stats, over 30,000 new products are launched every year; 95% of them don’t succeed and fail. One of the primary reasons behind failure is the product’s rawness and preliminary research. A product management strategy needs to be constructed to benefit the end consumers. Focusing on one aspect and ignoring another could be reason enough to put your business submerged deep into losses.
To gain the necessary expertise in product management and to identify the product management goals in the best possible way, the Product Management Certification Program offered by Duke University in collaboration with upGrad. With three specializations and 200+ hours of learning, you will have what you need to target your product strategy and manage your product management goals.
1. How does the product management life cycle work? What are the different processes involved?
The product management process consists of a vision, a basic understanding of the target customer, an implemented product strategy, and a grip on the market sales. Every step in the process has its own set of activities in the form of inbound and outbound. A product manager supervises these processes and ensures that every stage is successfully fulfilled. Inbound activities majorly concentrate on developing the product and defining the future vision, strategy, and launch. On the other hand, outbound activities target the market and sales of the product like branding, sales, etc.
2. What are the different steps involved in Product Management?
Product Development and Product Marketing are the primary aspects of Product Management. The different steps that fall under Product Development are thorough market research, product strategy, product development, and product launch. Product Marketing covers the promotion and branding of the product, pricing, distribution, sales, and customer experience. All of these steps collectively define the Product Management goals. Product Development consists of the growth of the new product, whereas Product Management deals with how the products will align with customers’ needs.
3. What are some of the primary skills needed as a Product Manager?
Effectiveness in performing product management activities can be ensured if you possess the right skills as a product manager. The first is better communication skills to actively voice out your plan and prospects to the customers. Additionally, you must be a great communicator to collaborate effectively with others. The second is technical skills, wherein you must be accustomed to the latest trends and technologies. Leadership skills are equally important, and so are problem-solving skills. These qualities will help you address a larger group of people, and you can provide them with the support and guidance they need.