Positioning is one of the most significant activities in product marketing. As a product marketer, you have to know how your product differs from others, in order to describe it in a way that your market will pay attention.
But you really need to step back a bit. It’s critical to build the product in such a way that you’ll be able to draw a distinction with other products in the market. In a sense, you have to know how you want to talk about it, before you know what to build.
In the case of a startup, you’re figuring both things out at the same time. What’s that interplay like?
Hopefully, you’re not getting started too late!
Product teams exist to assess opportunity and capitalize.
Product managers are tasked with finding market problems that are pervasive within a certain target market, and that people are willing to pay to remedy. Then, once found, to guide the development of a profitable solution to those problems.
Market problems can be solved with new service offerings; new features; new partnerships; or new products. Given limited resources, however, product teams can’t pursue every opportunity. They must prioritize.
What’s your product vision?
As a product leader, you already know that the most powerful way to align the independent teams you need — user experience, product marketing, sales, executives, etc. — without any authority is a compelling product vision.
Adam Nash refers to a strong product leader as a force multiplier. People respond if you paint an image of a place worth going, and a credible plan (your product roadmap) for getting there.
Have a product in customers’ hands?
Get ready for an unending river of feature requests! A common problem among product management professionals is how to handle requests from clients and prospects in various market segments, along with strategic initiatives. “They’re all good ideas!” Handling feature requests combines several distinct problems:
- Tracking requests, usually including the submitting party and the date.
- Identifying the underlying problem.
- Prioritizing the changes to the product.
Good to Great
I reread a classic recently, and (only partly) because I haven’t posted enough recently, I want to share some of the book’s most important lessons.
I recently read a copy of the book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant. As many have observed previously, this is a great source of inspiration and food for thought, and well worth the investment of time from product managers.