Skills & Talents
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Facts & Trends
Facts & Trends
- Product Managers Matter
- It would be difficult to think of any job which is more in the heart
of the company than that of product management.
Product managers are the key bridge between the innovators in a
corporations and the marketplace. Product managers will always be
important and face a great future.
- Product Management Associated with Procter & Gamble
- Product management developed in the 1950s and has been most closely
associated with early developments by Procter & Gamble.
Originally, P&G had products
competing against other competitors and against sister P&G
products. Today, organizations are more likely to have their
products working as a team and less as competitors.
- Tech Savvy Critical
- Talent with and understanding of
technology will be a primary driver of career success in the
future. Today's marketing graduate needs to have a comfort level
with web-based marketing techniques, demographics and potential.
An understanding of potential means to deliver online messages be
they through PC's, handheld devices or television derivatives
will be vital. Closely-related, of course, is the exploding area
of using data warehouses to better meet customer needs. Databases
and marketing messages easily meld on the web and create enormous
opportunities for the web-savvy.
- Marketing is Globalizing
- Product management is becoming more and more a global concept.
The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in international product
management, although much of it may occur locally in
international markets. A key strategic decision facing many
corporations is whether to integrate their product management
efforts. Companies like Nestle have artfully combined global and
local brand management. In Australia, for example, Nestle markets
global brands such as Perugina chocolates, Nescafe and L'Oreal
cosmetics. At the same time, it has developed local brands
attuned to the local market. In time, some of the local brands
may be exported elsewhere should market research indicate a
- Computer and statistical skills are vital
- Product managers are big-time consumers of research. As a result,
they must be good with basic math, statistics, and computer
analysis. Problem formulation, data collection, data analysis and
interpretation, and communication abilities are skills that will
be necessary every day in marketing research.
- Specialization and Customization on the Rise
- The world of the product manager is changing with economic growth as
well. As the economy grows there is increasing specialization
and competition in each
market niche. While this can initially complicate the matter,
specialization opens great opportunities to target specific
demographic groups. This idea has gained currency in the concept
of mass-customization where a company targets products
down to the level of the individual. Levi-Strauss, for example,
has begun selling blue jeans fit to each individual customer.
- Marketing is an Evolving Discipline
- The discipline of marketing is continuing to evolve. The heart of a
product manager's job has historically been illustrated with the
four P's, devised in the mid-1960s by Harvard Business School
Professor N. Borden. The P's are product, place, price and
promotion. Today, this basis marketing theory has been challenged
to include 3 other P's including people, process and provision of
customer service. Ken Hudson of the Original Thinking Company has
suggested instead the five i's: ideas, interactions, information,
imagination and interruptions.
Ideas are transformed information with the intention of creating
profit. Imagination drives the future of products. "Brand
imagination", for example, involves envisioning where a
brand could be in 5 years time and the action
today to make
the vision happen. Interruptions refers to the need to disrupt
familiar patterns of thinking and behaving. Growing market share
involves bringing customers around to your way of thinking.
Interactions involves the crucial importance of listening and
understanding what customers want.