Favorite Product Posts October and November 2010

Once a month I try to highlight some of the great product management and product marketing articles that have been published.  I was slow getting the October list out so here is the combined two month summary.  Thanks again to all the authors for taking the time to share their knowledge!

Many Happy Returns: How Product Managers Can Make Product Returns Work For Them

When too many of your customers start to return your product, then you’ve got a problem on your hands. All too often product managers may take the wrong actions when this situation shows up. One of the simplest (and wrong) things to do is to toughen up you product’s return policy.

SWAT Team Approach: Introducing New Products to Established Sales Teams

The SWAT team approach is more conservative. Take two salespeople and a sales engineer (technical presales) and have them dedicated to the new product for a limited period of time. Consider the expected length of the sales cycle and start there. Conduct sales enablement and then provide very close sales support. As deals close, the other salespeople will take notice.

The Dangers of Outsourcing Content Creation

Great Writing doesn’t Ensure Great Content (Great Management Does) – I’ve seen folks throw projects to outside writers with little direction and then they accept almost anything that comes back. Which is nuts!  A great case study, for example, is really hard to write.  You need to decide which parts of your value proposition the story will highlight, how to structure the story to best bring those points out, what quotes you will want to re-use from the story, what proof-points you would like to have to back up the value, etc.

I don’t care what you say, Glaminar is a great product name

Product naming just might be one of the most heated discussions when launching a new product to market or re-branding a portfolio. For most marketers, product naming is rife with frustration, disagreement and perhaps a little bit of fear no matter what is driving the need to come up with new product names. Urban legends have even formed around product naming ( Cheverolet’s Nova ), so there is definitely some stress around product naming – real and perceived.

The Value of Storytelling & Persuasion in Content Marketing

Highlighting and promoting stories that represent examples of persona archetypes making the transition from previous behaviors to the desired outcomes seems to me, a opportune method for persuasion with content. Those stories that are tailored specifically for the personas for each major segment of the target audience can provide the information and context needed to make fundamental changes in perception.

The Real Reason Companies Avoid Feedback

We Made 90% Happy, But Boy Is This 10% PISSED. You know trying to make everyone happy is a recipe for mediocrity and failure.  So if the vast majority of your customers like a certain feature or UX element, you did the right thing.  But that doesn’t make it less painful to hear that one user rail about how this is the worst thing ever and making his life worse.  Oof.

Your strategy is in your DNA

Just think about what happens if you instruct your staff to act outside the space defined by your corporate DNA. That cognitive dissonance, the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, produces high emotions. Staff become sick, they argue, burst into tears and do anything to try to defeat your instructions. Does that sound like culture or DNA?

Inside Product Management Politics

By virtue of the role, product management is often involved or dragged into some political situations. Whether you like it or not, your company reorganizes, product(s) are acquired, leadership changes, development has a great idea, a new competitor enters the market, a new channel partnership is formed or the CxO spoke to one of your most important customers.

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