If you're in the New York area, you'll want to check out these two upcoming networking opportunities.
On May 7, the Software Product Management Meetup session will be hosting Javier Suarez, management consultant and train-the-trainer graduate on Stage-Gate, who will be discussing this long recognized new product development process by Robert Cooper. Learn more here.
On July 18, come to ProductCamp NYC at St. John’s University. This is a self organizing collaborative event that is designed be a fun, rewarding and a unique experience. ProductCamp is a great opportunity for participants to learn from, teach to, and network with professionals involved in the Product Management, Marketing, and Development process from the New York City Metro area – and around the world! Details here.
It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder. --Moody
Here's an interesting decision. The VP of Marketing at Robin's company passed responsibility for promotional support directly to the salespeople, re-allocating the entire lead-generation budget to the sales channel. Each sales group had a budget for programs in its territory, allocated at roughly $4,000 per year per sales rep.
A director of one sales territory went around the room and asked each sales rep how he planned to spend the $4,000. One said, "I plan to exhibit at the biggest conference in my territory." Another hoped to run a full-page ad in an industry publication. Another decided to create his own web site.
Robin thought, "Are you kidding me?" Apparently, her salespeople have no idea what promotional marketing costs. A $4,000 budget won't pay for a booth--much less get it into a show. What kind of ad can you place for $4,000? Salespeople are truly shocked to learn the cost of all the printed materials they so casually throw away.
Yes, product managers and product marketing managers should help sales people but not one at a time; marketing is about helping all sales people. Instead of each sales person being responsible for marketing in their territory, as in this case, the marketing department should be helping them all with cohesive programs across all territories. One web site, speaking engagements in the right venues, sales tools and customer collateral targeted to the buyer personas, ebooks leveraging the company's distinctive competence... with one common theme in all programs.
Instead of helping sales people individually, product managers and product marketing managers should be helping them collectively.
What can you do today to help your sales channels connect better with buyers?
For that matter, I'd be willing to give up all my security and privacy, letting my iPhone replace my wallet, watch, spectacles, and... keys. After all, I always have my phone. Don't you? Here in the backwater U.S., we're just discovering what the rest of the world has been doing for years.
Here's a success story on personas and their problems. Skullcandy makes headphones designed for snow boarders.
Because they involve their personas in the product design, they get products that snow boarders want to buy and they tell their friends.
To the tune of $85M in revenues.
Lessons: Immerse yourself in your personas and their problems and
you'll design a remarkable product. But it's not just about design, it's about careful marketing through the right distribution channels.
We've been working with our friends at Enthiosys to create a new seminar on agile product management and it's now ready for market. We announced it on Twitter today and we've prepared an ebook on the topic in concert with the launch.
Living in an Agile World is available now for onsite sessions and is on our public seminar calendar beginning in June.
Facebook posted some amazing stats in their press room this week:
More than 200 million active users More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older Average user has 120 friends on the site
What are you doing with Facebook? Some people (including me) are using Facebook as a family and friends bulletin board; others are using it as a business networking portal. Product managers and product marketing managers should be spending time in Facebook as well as LinkedIn and Twitter if only to understand what all the excitement is about. And you can add Pragmatic Marketing to your social media experience too.
time I tried to initiate change in my company, the organizational antibodies
come storming in to attack me. -- A tired executive
Trying to do the impossible in your company (or your personal life)? These
tips from Daniel Tenner might help. He
In large corporations, almost everything new is impossible. Try to do
anything new, and typically you are met with dozens of reasons why it can't
be done. As a consultant (which I was throughout my time in the corporate
world), however, you've been hired to get something specific done, so you
don’t get to echo the "it can’t be done" line back to your
client. Your job is, effectively, to do the impossible.