Product management is an important part of organizational roles. Product management is an organizational function in which the organization deals with planning, forecasting, development, or marketing of products at various stages of product lifecycle. Product managers are appointed by the companies to manage the products.
Role of product manager
Product managers are the individuals who are appointed by the organizations in order to manage their products. He is responsible for giving guidance and directions to his team members in order to plan, forecast, develop, and market the product successfully at different stages of product lifecycle. Product managers have the expertise in the product knowledge which helps in making strategic decisions related to the products. They analyze the market and on the basis of the conditions of the market, they direct the employees to produce or develop the product. The product manager is accountable to management for various things which include:
The product manager is responsible for developing strategies. He clearly defines the business values to his teams which makes the reason behind the development of the product clear to the team members.
The product manager is responsible for planning what the team will deliver and what is the time for implementation. The planning process takes place along with all the members of the team. He is also responsible for coordinating all the activities and the phases of production with the management in the organization.
Generation of better ideas is a very difficult process and the product manager holds accountable for making ideas also. The product manager generates creative and innovative ideas through his expert knowledge. Then they decide which ideas should be implemented in the future for the purpose of product management.
Another important thing for which the product manager is accountable for is the feature of the product. He prioritizes features by comparing them with the strategic goals of the organization for the purpose of product management.
There are various objectives of product management and these are as follows:
The main and important objective of product management is to develop and plan the specification of a product range or the product portfolio according to the strategic goals of the organization. Sometimes there arises a need to develop new products in order to meet the strategic plans of the organization.
The other point which is very important for product management is to take well care of the needs of the customers. The product must be developed according to the needs and preferences of the customers. It is very important to ensure that the customers are satisfied with the product and its features. The product must be easy to handle and should be delivered to the customers within the stipulated time. The enhancement in the experiences of the users enables the managers to meet the objectives of customer satisfaction.
The other important point is that the product must be successful in the market. The product managers know the importance of financial results in the organization and always plan, forecast, develop, and market the product in such a way that the overall strategic goals of the organization can be easily meet. The strategies used in the development and marketing of the product must be able to meet the goal and objectives of the organization thereby improving the financial results of the organization.
It is very important for the product manager to set the delivery time and the deadlines in order to ensure timely delivery of the product in the market. The strategic goals must be able to meet the time as well as budget objectives of the organization. In order to develop a competitive edge against the customers, the product manager must be capable of ensuring timely delivery in order to satisfy the demand of the markets on time. The deadlines help in the on-time development of the product so that the product reaches the market before the products of the competitors which helps in reducing the pressure in the organization.
The objectives of product management and marketing management are almost similar. The major objectives of both these managers are to maximize the profits by generating higher revenues. Sometimes, the same person is appointed by the organization as the product manager and the marketing manager. In case the two are the different entities, then they both always work very closely with each other.
The companies spend most of their time on the development and marketing of the product. The companies have many different departments that handle the marketing and development of the product. All these departments work in the organization without communicating with each other. It is the responsibility of every department to understand, analyze, and identify what activities are taking place in other departments. It is very much prevalent in today’s environment that marketing has become the growing pressure on the teams. They are not able to develop the strategies that help in driving the product successfully into the market. All these factors create difficulties and problems in the organization which affects the timely delivery of the products to the customers. In order to resolve all such issues, there arises a need for product management. Product management helps in keeping the track of all the activities during all the stages of the lifecycle of a product. There is a great need for product management in companies which uses more technology in their operations. Product management does not provide an integrated approach to the market and develop the products. It is the product manager and his specialized and expert knowledge that helps in analyzing and sense the market properly and effectively. This analysis helps in the formulation of strategies and plans that are required to develop and market the product successfully. Market sense and market intuition are the two terms that are widely used by the corporates nowadays. It is very important for the product manager to sense the market and develop the product accordingly. Market signals help in generating new and creative ideas according to the moods of the market. Product managers have the great ability to sense the markets. These factors help in determining and identifying the need for product management. The ideas of the product manager can be easily relied upon because of its specialized skills and knowledge into the area of product development. Product management often takes place in a very professional and organized manner and that is why it is very helpful in the development and marketing of the product successfully. If the managers and their teams are not able to identify the signals and intuitions of the market, then the innovative and creative ideas cannot be generated which do not allow the organization to be able to succeed in the market. The product must be marketed successfully so that it can achieve success in the market and this is possible with the proper product management in place.
There are various points of importance of product management which are as follows:
The main and the most important point in product management is to serve the customers well. Product management can be effective if the organization listens to the queries and problems of the customers and provide the best possible solution as soon as possible. The organization must understand the tastes and preferences of their target audience so that the product can be developed accordingly. The teams of the product management must also try to obtain the information related to what the customers like about the about and what are the things that they don’t like in the product. All this information helps in increasing the liking of the product by the customers and increases the sales. When the customers feel that the organization is taking great care of them, then they become loyal towards the product and retained in the organization for a long time. This retention of customers increases the demand for the product in the market which results in the increase in productivity. Thus, leads to an increase in profitability.
It is very important for the organization that along with the satisfaction of the customers, the objectives of the business are also accomplished. The organization must try to take care of the needs of both the business as well as its customers. It helps in protecting the interests of the shareholders, stakeholders, and the customers of the business. Product management helps in accomplishing objectives of both the business as well as its customers.
Every employee in the organization knows every aspect associated with the product but still do not able to perform well. The main objective of the organization is to develop the product in such a way that it can able to attract more consumers into the business. In order to develop the competitive edge against the competitors and to develop the product that is very competitive in the market, there is a great pressure on the employees to improve the product regularly according to to the changes in the moods of the market. This will also help in penetrating into the new segments in the market. The changes in the product are required so that the product remains competitive in the market and do not become less effective with the passage of time. The project management teams must identify the core competencies of the product and must make efforts to retain those core competencies as these play a very crucial and important role in the process of product management. but there is one thing that requires utmost care in the process that the teams must not overstuff the product with the many features. The product features must be added adequately and in sufficient amount so that the core competencies can be maintained.
The process of product management is a ten-step long process. Mainly the process is divided into two parts i.e. product development and product marketing. First five-step forms the part of product development and the next five are the part of product marketing. The steps are as follows:
Step 1: Market research
The first step in the process of product management is market research. Before the development of the product, the organization must do a lot of research on the market so that the market can be identified which is best suited for the product. The market must be sensed and analyzed before the development of the product so that it will suit the requirements of the customers or the targeted segment.
Step 2: product strategy
The next step in the process after the research of the market being conducted is the development of the product strategies. The objectives and strategies are developed so that the product meets the strategic goals of the organization. The product strategy is also needed so as to ensure that the product will be delivered on time to the market.
Step 3: product development
After making the strategies and developing the objectives, the development of the product takes place. Initially, the product is designed according to the needs of the customers in the target market, then the products are tested and the different feedback of the customers are collected. It is identified that what are the features about the products that are liked by the customers and what features of the product are not liked by the customers and finally the product is refined according to the information collected from the customers about the product.
Step 4: product launch
In this stage, the strategies are developed in order to launch the product into the market so that the product can be successfully launched into the target markets to cater to the demand of the customers. After development, the strategies are then executed and the product is launched into the market for selling to the customers.
Step 5: Branding
Branding refers to the practice of giving an identity to the product that is different from the others and makes the product stand out in the entire market. Branding makes the product easily distinguishable from the other products in the market. In the process of product management brand comes under product marketing. It is used to market the product and make it unique in the market so that the customers can easily recognize the product, branding gives a unique name, logo, etc. to the product. This step is the most important part of product management.
Step 6: customer experience
It is most important for the organization to enhance the experience of the customers related to the product so that the satisfaction level of the customers can be increased. The services must be provided in a very friendly manner so that the customers can have a good experience with the brand. If the customers have good experience with the particular brand or product then they look for the brand again and again which increases the customer base of the organization.
Step 7: promotion
Now the next most important step in the process of product management is the promotion of the product. The product needs to be promoted in order to create awareness about the product in the minds of the customers. Promotion plays a very vital role in the marketing of the product. Promotion of the product must be done in an attractive manner so that the customers will recognize the product easily.
Step 8: pricing
Pricing is also a very important tool for the organization. The price must be determined by the organization by considering all the costs associated with the development of the product plus some profit margins. Price of the product is also affected by the targeted segment of the consumers.
Step 9: Distribution
In this stage of product management, sales and distribution channels that are required to transfer the product from one place to another are managed. It is very important for the organization to have effective and efficient distribution well in place so that the products can be delivered to the markets on time. When the organizations have strong distribution channels then they can gain easy access to the market.
Step 10: sales
This is the last step in the process of product management and falls under product marketing. At this stage, the leads are generated so that the customers can be identified, new opportunities are grabbed, and finally, the sales are closed.
It is very essential for the organization that every process that is happening in the organization add some value to the organization. If the process does not add any value to the organization it means that the process must be stopped. Every process in the organization provides some benefits to the organization. So, product management also provides many benefits to the organization. The benefits of product management are as follows:
The biggest advantage that product management brings into the organization is that it helps in strengthening the collaboration between the internal teams of the organization. It is the responsibility of the product manager to make the structure in which the teams can work and can collaborate easily with the other internal teams of the organization. Product management helps in bringing the employees from different backgrounds together who work together regularly within the organization. The product manager is responsible for clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of all the employees working in the teams in order to avoid conflicts in the organization.
Sometimes in the organization, the professional who is in the process of business development may not aware of the layout of the systems. So, then arises the need of universal translators in the organization. Product manager performs the role of the universal translator in the teams. The employees from different departments who have specialized skills and knowledge of different areas are combined into a team as the process of product management requires different skills in order to plan, forecast, develop and market the product. Thus, there arises a need for a universal translator who can develop the same skill sets in all the employees so that the customers can be served well.
The other important benefit that can be gained from product management is that it helps in clearly defining the expectations of the shareholder, stakeholders, and customers of the business. The employees of the organization or the product management teams must know that the processes that are taking place in the organization affect the stakeholders and shareholders of the organization to a large extent. A product manager is responsible for defining the expectations of all the shareholder, stakeholders, and customers of the business to all the employees who are working in the organization so that the goals and strategic plans can be made accordingly in a way that it can meet the expectations of all individuals who have their interest in the organization. The role of the product manager is also to ensure that the employees who are working together as a team should communicate in the same language so that there are no communication barriers between them.
A product manager analyzes the market and identifies the different products of the competitors in order to make the product which can be easily differentiated from the products of the competitors so that the organization can be able to develop competitive edge against its competitors. This research is concluded with the development of an innovative product which can be liked by the customers because of its unique features.
When the product is developed and marketed after analyzing and sensing the moods of the target market there are fewer chances of failure of a product in the market. Product management is very helpful for the organization as in this process the product is developed after studying and analyzing the market which is very beneficial. The needs and preferences of the consumers of the target market are identified which helps in the development of the product which caters to the need of the customers very well. So, the chances of product failure can be reduced easily.
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