A Product Manager plays an important role in a business and is generally considered the ‘CEO of the product’, with responsibility for the product roadmap and strategy for the business’s product and/or product line. The position of Product Manager involves product forecasting, marketing, and sometimes even profit and loss responsibilities.
The Product Manager analyzes the market and competitive conditions subsequently laying out a product vision that is differentiated from other products’ in the market. The Product Manager is tasked with the delivery of unique value based products based on the consumer demands.
This role encompasses numerous activities from tactical to statistical roles and acts as a cross-functional link; bridging gaps within the business between various functions and departments, most prominently between engineering, sales, and marketing, teams.
Objectives and Responsibilities of Product Manager
Consumer Experience: The primary role of the Product Manager is to ensure that the business has an intimate understating of the consumer experience in order to identify and fill product gaps, generate new ideas that grow the business’s market share, and the improvement of the consumer experience in order to drive growth.
The Product Manager represents the business by reaching out to consumers to solicit feedback on the business’s product.
Data Analysis: After interactions with consumers, the Product Manager analyses and evaluates the acquired information with various analytical tools. This is in order to identify the underlying reasons or facts of any product issues. The findings are then forwarded to senior product managers for further analysis and later for presentation to directors and stake holders.
Product Pricing and Strategies: The Product Manager, in conjunction with the Junior Product Manager, develops pricing and product positioning strategies. In addition, he is responsible for following up and ensuring the translation of product strategies into tangible results. The Product Manager prioritizes product strategies primarily based on their consumer impact.
Product Launches: The Product Manager is tasked with driving product launches. This is achieved through partnering with the Public Relation department along with other product management departments.
Collaboration: The product Manager works closely with the Engineering Department, The Public Relations Department during launches, among other cross-functional collaborations with product departments in the performance of his functions.
Also, once the Product Manger determines customers’ needs and desires, he liaises with the Product Analytics departments in recommending the research analyses needed in order to obtain critical market information. In addition, the Product Manager effectively relays information and makes responses to questions and inquiries posed directly by individuals or in small group situations; for example, during interactions with clients, consumers, managerial personnel, colleagues, and so forth.
Product Evaluation and Promotion: The Product Manager also conducts product evaluation and formulates promotional measures. The Product Manager also ensures that these promotional measures are consistent with the already established product line strategies and that the message of the product is properly conveyed. The Product Manager essentially works as a product evangelist; constantly working towards product understanding and awareness.
Recruiting and Staff Maintenance: A Product Manager also maintains the product management staff through recruitment exercises, orientation of recruits, and the training of existent employees. The Product Manager also maintains the product management staff by counseling employees, monitoring, and pointing out great performers for appraisal.
Management Assistance: As junior in the Product management department, the Product Manager is tasked with providing his seniors with information by preparing short-term as well as long-term product special reports, sales forecasts, and other analyses that enable the senior management to execute more complex tasks and assist them in decision.
Knowledge: The role of a Product Manager is constantly evolving and, because of this, the Product Manager in a business should constantly update himself on both professional and technical aspects of the field. This is achieved through the attendance of educational workshops, the regular reviewing of professional publications, the establishment of personal networks, and the participating in professional societies. This keeps the business up to date in the Product Management department, ensuring that it does not lag behind of the competition.
Required Qualifications of Product Manager
Education: Must have a degree in Business Administration, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, Economics, Marketing, or a work experience of the equivalent.
Experience and Track Record: The Product Manager must have had proven working experience of about 3-5 years in product management, experience in enterprise application, product positioning and forecasting, or consultancy in these fields. The Product Manager would be ideal if he additionally has a proven track record in successfully managing a product all through its lifecycle.
Creativity and Innovation: The Product Manager must be extremely creative and innovative in order to be able to come up with new and competitive products and marketing strategies. He also has to apply this creativity in presenting or communicating these strategies to the seniors in product management.
Ms Office: The Product Manager has to be extremely proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Communication Skills: The role of a Product Manager requires a lot of interaction, especially with consumers. Interaction also extends to senior product managers as well as other product department personnel in the business. These cross-functional interactions mostly involve presentations and exchange of ideas and, as such, a Product Manager must have excellent communication skills to facilitate smooth conveyance of information.
People Skills: Any contact between the business and the consumers should always be structured to be positive. The Product Manager interacts with consumers on a regular basis as is necessary for the performance of his duties. The Project Manager should, therefore, possess excellent people skills that facilitate smooth and positive interactions with the consumers that result in the establishment of long lasting relationships with the business.
Interpersonal Skills: Other interpersonal skills that are necessary for the execution of the Product Manager’s role are such as; good problem solving skills, being a team player, being detail oriented, being decisive, exhibiting comfort in a fast paced work environment, and being an initiative taker.