How Did You End Up Here? There was a void in your roadmap. Your competitor launched a new product. You had extra budget that needed to be spent. Whatever the reason, there was a gap and the pressure to fill was too great to resist. The good news is that you responded by shipping. You got something out the door and made a big deal about it. Isn’t shipping always a good thing? The bad news was the result. Your customers response varied from “meh” to “yuck“. The market ignored you. Or worse, the market did respond with a “WTF?” and … Continue reading You’re Trying Too Hard
In this episode of the Start with the Customer Podcast, I am honored to be joined by Scott Sehlhorst, of Tyner Blain consulting. Today’s topic is on comparing products. Scott has been working on a blog series on how product managers can use comparisons to make better products. Scott has finished the eight part series and due to its length, over 16,000 words, we decided to cover over two calls. Continuing this conversation where we left off, we discussed identifying and prioritizing target customers, building your competitive set, and scoring your evaluation. I hope you enjoy the call and would love to hear your feedback! You … Continue reading Start With The Customer Product Marketing Podcast #11 – Comparing Products Part 2
In this week’s edition of the Start with the Customer Product Marketing Podcast, I am honored to be joined by Tim Johnson, of It’s About Value, and Scott Sehlhorst, of Tyner Blain. Our topic of the call was how to get a job in product marketing or product management. Tim and Scott both share their advice and experience on transitioning into the role and what they would look for when hiring now. We also touch on some of the expanding responsibility of a product marketer and the growing need for customer engagement. You can listen here: or download from iTunes and from TalkShoe Show Notes: Runtime: 39 minutes How … Continue reading Start With The Customer Product Marketing Podcast #10 – Getting a Product Job
In this week’s edition of the Start with the Customer Prodcast (a product focused podcast), I am excited to be joined by Jim Holland, of the Product Management Tribe, and Scott Sehlhorst, of Tyner Blain. To start the call off, we addressed the hot topic of product ownership and the responsibility of the product manager. From there the discussion moved into product portfolio management and ownership of the multi-year strategy. Finally, we touched on maturing the product management process inside start-up organizations. I think this was a really great discussion with lots on the theory and practice of product management. I hope you enjoy the … Continue reading Start With The Customer Prodcast #5 – Roles and Responsibilities
I am very excited to share the following interview with Saeed Khan. If you are following along at home, Saeed is an expert product manager that shares his knowledge at the “On Product Management” blog. Saeed recently talked at Product Camp Boston on the topic of building product management organizations and joined me to introduce the topic. In this discussion, Saeed covers the need for a scalable approach and the role of product management in the organization. For some reason, the Skype video was a little wonky but the audio does a great job capturing Saeed’s insightful points. Enjoy the conversation and make sure to check out Saeed’s full presentation from Product Camp … Continue reading On Product Management with Saeed Khan
Interesting chain of posts this week. First off, Fred Wilson started it with two provocative articles challenging marketing and its effectiveness in startups. Fred is obvioulsy taking this very personal: I believe that marketing is what you do when your product or service sucks or when you make so much profit on every marginal customer that it would be crazy to not spend a bit of that profit acquiring more of them (coke, zynga, bud, viagra)….I’m angry at the marketing profession for these transgressions over the years and it spilled out into my post. I’m not proud of that but … Continue reading Hey Startup Marketers, Let’s try not to Suck. OK?
I can’t resist posting this. Sorry, but I just can’t. There is common analogy that product planning and development is like parenting. If you have ever spent a year or more working to bring a product to market, the analogy makes even more sense – from the ups and downs during development to the final release out into the wild, it can be an emotional journey. Continuing the analogy, the product I was working on was the quintessential definition of a problem child. There were many occasions where everything that could go wrong did. It took a lot of sweat and patience to … Continue reading Parting Thoughts – My Last Product
Paul Gray from Brainmates recently wrote a blog post on Five Questions Product Managers Should Ask Their Customers. In his blog, Paul lists them as: What are the reasons that first led you to buy our product? What problems does our product solve for you? What do you like most about our product? What do you like least about our product? If you could change one thing about our product what would that be? While these questions make sense, I’d like to offer a slightly different approach that might be more beneficial and rewarding: Don’t start with your product. Most organizations … Continue reading What You Should Really Ask Your Customers?
I am will willing to bet that the physics of inertia isn’t a topic that comes up regularly in your product strategy discussions. John Moore, recently covered this topic in regards to word of mouth marketing and I think it is directly applicable to product planning. On the topic of inertia, John writes that to build word of mouth momentum, you need to encourage your customers to talk or it won’t happen. If you can leave your customer happy, the greater the odds that they will want to tell others about their experience.
I had a chance this summer to do some retail shopping outside the U.S. to look at how our products are sold. It was fascinating to experience the non-U.S buying process and I came away with a laundry list of things we need to improve on. Rohit Bhargava covers the importance of doing this activity in his recent article, “Forget Eating Your Own Dog Food – Just Try Buying It …“: You need to experience the entire process around buying it to really understand your customers. That means you need to shop around. You need to go into a retail … Continue reading First Impressions Count