Dear Product Managers, You Can’t Have it All

  I love this cartoon from Hugh MacLeod (GapingVoid). It is so simple but at the same time, so powerful. There are lots of ways you could interpret this message but I have been thinking about it in the context of product development. More often than not, you don’t have the time or resources to tackle everything. This means as a product manager, you have to make some tough choices of what not to do. Great products (and companies) intentionally leave out features that some customers find unacceptable. While this means that some customers won’t buy their product, it means they can … Continue reading Dear Product Managers, You Can’t Have it All

The Process of Finding Breakaway Ideas

If your goal is to come up with something new, be it for an existing product or a new to the world innovation, you are going to need a list of ideas to work with. The question is, how does one come with an idea in the first place? According to the the book, The Idea Hunter, if you are waiting for a time to start looking for ideas, you are too late.  “BREAKAWAY IDEAS COME TO those who are in the habit of looking for them” – The Idea Hunter While this sounds like a simple approach, the challenge is … Continue reading The Process of Finding Breakaway Ideas

8 Reasons to Like Likeonomics

I like Likeonomics and I think you will too. What is Likeonomics? Likeonomics is a book by Rohit Bhargava about being likeable and everything that goes into it (Rohit also wrote the book Personality Not Included which I would highly recommend). Likeonomics is based on the simple idea that, “People buy from people they like”. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a simple idea. In the book, Rohit breaks down what goes into being likable – truth, relevance, unselfishness, simplicity and timing. The idea being that if you can understand what makes a company more likable than others, you can try to … Continue reading 8 Reasons to Like Likeonomics

Start With The Customer Product Marketing Podcast #11 – Comparing Products Part 2

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

Are you Ready for the Zero Moment of Truth?

I recently caught a great post from Amy Taylor at the Brains on Fire Blog on the changing dynamics of consumers and retailers. Amy comments in her post, After my iPhone shattered, I went on the hunt for an indestructible case by throwing a question out to my Twitter followers. The name “Otterbox” was quickly Tweeted back by many. When I decided to invest in iPhone insurance, my social network (and their glowing recommendations) directed me to a company called SquareTrade. In these instances, my social network wasn’t just influential in my purchase, it was integral. This may sound like a … Continue reading Are you Ready for the Zero Moment of Truth?

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Last week, our top sales rep told us his secret sauce for repeatedly exceeding his quota. He summarized it as follow: “Look guys, just keep it simple” … Find how who has the money Find out how much they have Sell to them as fast as you can While they are many other best practices that he shared with us, his success recipe reminded me how much we, as marketers, tend to over-complicate things. We like to come up with a messaging full of superlatives and other buzz words, build as many strategies and campaigns as possible,  and produce countless … Continue reading Keep It Simple, Stupid

Check Your Assumptions

The first half of this year has been jammed packed with product launches and new marketing campaigns and at the end of the day, I haven’t had as mush time as I would like to blog. Now that I have had time to catch my breath, I am trying to do a little retrospective. Jim Holland put together a great post on the subject back in June that highlights some great questions to ask during a moment of pause. One area I would like to comment on is the subject of  examining your strategy and seeing if anything has shifted – especially … Continue reading Check Your Assumptions

A Marketing Reminder From Nokia – Stay Paranoid

Outstanding article in this week’s BusinessWeek on the fall of Nokia. It is a fascinating tale of complacency and complete disregard for a changing marketplace. From the article, Nokia’s initial reaction to the iPhone is the most embarrassing example of what went wrong. When Steve Jobs unveiled the device in January 2007, “it was widely disregarded,” says former manager Dave Grannan, who now runs Burlington (Mass.)-based voice recognition company Vlingo. “The attitude was that we’d tried touchscreens before, and people didn’t like them.” …As iPhone sales took off, Nokia remained strangely detached, say a dozen current and former executives. The company didn’t sit still, … Continue reading A Marketing Reminder From Nokia – Stay Paranoid

What is this About?

Here’s a deceptively difficult question for you to ponder (inspired by Steven Pressfield’s excellent latest book, “Do the Work“), What is this about? If you are working on developing a new product, can you answer? Can you do it without a ten page PowerPoint deck? How about to someone not familiar with your product line or industry? If you only had 10 seconds to explain in front of a room of potential customers buyers could you convince them? What is this about? Ok, so now that you get the point, take a look at how you are talking about your product in your … Continue reading What is this About?

On The Bright Side

Put simply, workplace optimism, if nurtured properly, can be a competitive advantage…Best Buy (BBY), for example, says a 2% increase in employee engagement at one of its electronics stores corresponds, on average, to a $100,000 annual rise in sales at that location. via Is Optimism a Competitive Advantage.