With evolving technology and customer behaviour, many businesses have shifted to strategic product management to produce better products and achieve success. But what exactly is strategic product management?
In this article, you will learn what strategic product management is and what a strategic product manager does to shape product strategy and deliver delightful user experiences.
What is strategic product management?
It focuses on the elements of product development that are critical to long-term product success. It typically includes two types of activities:
- Inbound activities include defining product vision and strategy, setting product goals, developing the product roadmap, and planning the product launch.
- Outbound activities include market research, product discovery, and the development of differentiation and positioning strategies.
Product managers are responsible for carrying out both activities in such a way that they result in long-term product success.
What does a product manager do?
The following are the responsibilities of a strategic product manager:
1. Conduct Market Research
Strategic product management is built on market and customer research. It entails gathering and analysing data on existing products, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of competing brands and identifying target customer groups. This helps businesses understand their customers’ needs, effectively satisfy them, and provide an experience that separates the product from competitors.
2. Identify Opportunities
Extensive research helps managers identify opportunities for new features and products.
Product managers have a thorough understanding of the market and customer needs, allowing them to spot gaps that could be filled with a new offering. They can also identify incremental ways to improve the product.
3. Responsible for Product Vision
One of the most challenging aspects of the job is shaping and developing the product vision. Strategic managers must be able to visualise the future state of the product using market and customer research. It’s because product teams need a high-level goal to focus on and effectively measure progress.
4. Product Differentiation Strategy
Product differentiation entails identifying and demonstrating the product features that distinguish it from competitors or similar products manufactured by the same company. Without this strategy, it will be difficult for businesses to achieve customer fit and loyalty, let alone charge higher prices. This is because you will eventually create a parity product that can be quickly replaced if the wind shifts.
5. Product Positioning
Product positioning builds on product differentiation and helps businesses instil the product in the minds of their customers. This means it communicates to the world who the product is intended for, what pain points it addresses, and how it does so. It also tells the target customers how it differs and why they should choose it.
6. Shaping Product Strategy
The product vision drives product strategy, which defines how the vision is achieved in practice. Managers answer the three most important questions at this stage: what you’re building, why you’re building, and who you’re building it for.
The stage includes identifying specific user groups’ needs and innovative solutions to their problems.
7. Setting Goals
Setting goals is a big part of product strategy development. It defines specific objectives businesses need to achieve. The goal setting at the strategy level is typically more detailed than at the vision stage.
The main challenge in setting goals is to focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Here, managers focus on bringing about positive change in the lives of their customers, such as increased productivity.
8. Strategic Roadmap Planning
After establishing a product strategy and goals, managers look for individual solutions they need to develop to achieve the objectives. That is what defines a roadmap.
Roadmaps are extremely beneficial. It improves team communication and ensures that everyone is on the same page. They are also excellent for communicating goals and progress to stakeholders.
The above steps help execute production and create a product launch plan successfully. Managers also focus on feedback collection and analysis, an essential part of strategic product management. It allows them to gain a better understanding of user challenges and determine the best ways to overcome them. It also helps managers assess how satisfied users are with their product and how to improve it to provide an even better experience.
Now that you understand the roles of product managers, it is critical that you understand the skills required to become an effective product manager. To learn the necessary skills, enrol in the best product management certification course in India. The certificate course will help you gain real-world experience and develop skills and knowledge to build your career in the field.