The Product Management-Product Marketing Interface
The Product Management-Product Marketing Interface

(These are the show notes for episode #58 of The All The Responsibility, None Of The Authority podcast) on how product management and product marketing can collaborate to share great product knowledge.)

I saw a friend the other night at a concert. (His young kids were both performing solo songs at a coffeehouse — it’s kind of a precocious family — they were great!). He recently moved from product management to product marketing. His current project is to pull together a go-to-market plan for his product. …

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This is a crosspost of the show notes for episode #59 of the All The Responsibility, None Of The Authority podcast. You can use the links at the bottom of the article to play or download the episode.

Product Managers Are Creatives

It’s just part of the nature of what we do. We create sales and marketing materials and pitch decks and feature specifications and business justifications and blogs and webinars and … the list goes on. And because we’re creative — we have to create all of this material — we’re naturally subject to creative blocks. At least I find I am. …

(Originally posted on The Secret Product Manager Handbook site.)

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Successful customers, quality product, but bad sales

When I started as the Director of Product Management at my last company, we had a lot of successful and enthusiastic customers for our project management solution. The product worked well — although it was a bit long in the tooth — and we had a good lead pipeline.

But they had one big problem. The sales team was missing quota, every quarter! That’s not a recipe for long-term success.

The sales engineers thought the problem was our story around agile. And especially their ability to demo agile. Many of our…

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Metrics, metrics, metrics! (Photo by Jinho Jung, CC 2.0 license)

There’s a well-known saying about metrics — “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Let’s drill down.

There are two fundamental problems with this saying:

  1. No one knows who said it. It’s sometimes attributed to Peter Drucker, sometimes to Tom Peters, sometimes to W. Edwards Deming. However, none of them said it. And what they did say typically contradicts the saying above.
  2. It’s typically used to mean “if you can’t measure it, it’s not happening.” With the implication that a business process that doesn’t have a metric around is out of control and your workers are cheating you…

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Research about decision-making shows that one of the main jobs of our rational brain is to justify the decisions of our emotional brain. As product managers, the decision that interests us the most is people deciding to buy our software. That means we should understand how to make our product, our positioning, and our marketing appeal to our prospect’s emotional brains.

A good way to reach your prospect’s emotional brain and convince it that your product is the best and the one they should buy, is to use emotionally engaging quotes and stories from customers. …

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Give Me One Million Dollars (by Klaus M, CC licensed)

What if you could increase your company’s revenues by $1 million simply by changing what you do? Not by adding any new employees, or buying a business software package. Just by doing things a little differently. What would $1 million more on your top line mean for your bottom line?

That’s the kind of return you can get by improving your product management operation — per product manager!

A Massive ROI

The business value of a product manager is about $10 million in revenue, based on standard industry ratios. A 10% improvement in…

I first met Hubert Palan about a year ago at the Product Management Summit in San Francisco. I was presenting some ideas on a “roll your own product management system of record,” while Hubert was there to talk about the product he was building — a real product management system of record. His product, ProductBoard, is now available, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Hubert is a serial entrepreneur, with innovative and incisive ideas about how product management as a discipline can be improved.

In this wide-ranging interview, Rob McGrorty and I learn about Hubert’s background, how he moved into…

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When someone asks you in the future “What does a product manager do?,” instead of saying “he or she is the CEO of the product,” you can say they:

  • Find a market problem (and validate it)
  • Create a solution to the problem
  • Take it to market

Wait a sec! That seems simple, almost like something my mother might understand.

Product Management Is All About The Money, Baby!

Most of you have the ambition to get big. How do you do that? The only way to get big as a product company is for people to buy your product. Preferably a lot of people, for significant amounts of money…

Product managers often place the cart before the horse. We love to think about the product, the features, how “cool” the UI is, and how we can make the product better.

Steve Ballmer was once quoted saying, “The lifeblood of our business is that R&D spend. There’s nothing that flows through a pipe or down a wire or anything else. We have to continuously create new innovation that lets people do something they didn’t think they could do the day before.”

But, when it comes right down to it, your product is the third most important thing you should be…

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I’m a product manager, and I think a lot about product management, and I study the discipline of product management. I’ve also been a long-time advocate of better tools for product managers, and in fact I used to work on one of those. But we always struggled to explain the value of our tool, and why we needed to charge so much for it.

Vendors of other types of enterprise software tools often have better answers than we ever did for their pricing. For example, imagine you sell a tool that makes enterprise sales people 5% more effective. Enterprise sales…

Nils Davis

Product management, green building, using language better in politics.

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