What a product manager is not

A product manager has many responsibilities, yet he or she is does not do everything, is not responsible for everything and does not feature all possible character traits. Here is a list of what a product manager is not:

  • A product manager isn’t a techie
  • A product manager isn’t a marketer
  • A product manager isn’t a product owner
  • A product manager isn’t an agile fascist
  • A product manager isn’t a data analyst or user researcher
  • A product manager isn’t the boss (or la patron)

I might add that the product manager should understand everything the other guys do, even if he does not do it himself. Read the full article for further information.

SaaS Operating Metrics

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud services, is a market on its own. Traditional metrics do not fully apply. KISSmetrics provide an infographic showing:

  • Revenue growth rate
  • Average revenue per employee
  • Sales & Marketing Spend
  • Growth and Marketing Spending relationship
  • Growth and Marketing Efficiency relationship

Apple using localized commercials

Apple uses localized commercials, as this post shows. I like this extra effort because when promoting software or service, you need to reach people. If nobody cares about Facebook or Twitter in China, then why bother people with them? Weibo is a way better choice because it is present in the audience’s lives.

Of course, this causes additional effort and cost. On the other hand, marketing is only done to make people care about your product. So you should make them care.

Marketing that works

Old-school marketing does not work anymore. That’s easy to say, but companies struggle to find effective new ways of marketing their products. Giles Farrow has a nice list of Don’ts and their respective Do’s, focusing on customer involvement and the need to take customers’ demands seriously. Some of them are obvious, but I still see that few companies apply these new rules.

Examples:

  • Don’t brag, boasting is ignored. Do encourage feedback, reviews, social proof from customers.
  • Don’t focus on your product features. Do focus on customer benefits, people using your products.

This is only a small excerpt from the list.

What does your product replace?

How do you present you product? Do you show advantages, benefits, ease of use, cost savings? Cindy Alvarez suggests in this post that none of these product descriptions fit to how people actually speak of products. She thinks (and I agree) that people compare products to alternatives they currently have in use. Better slogans therefore would be:

  • No more need to use X!
  • Replaces Y and Z in a single tool!
  • 20% faster than W!

I generally like the idea of presenting products the way the addressees would speak of them – it seems intuitive.

Enterprise Software Marketing

This blog post on the What is Product Marketing Blog highlights several ways of marketing enterprise software. The post itself does not reveal much new information, but the author promises to dive deeper into them in other posts. The first comment to the post, however, is much more interesting: Is there a gap between Corporate Marketing and the people dealing with the customers? Can Corporate Marketing take into account all differences of markets, regions, cultures? This is where the real problem lies, not in the technical media used for marketing.