B2B Marketing Consulting Agency Blog

#fail: 5 Ways to Fail Hard at Product Management

- July 9, 2020 2:38 pm


A dream is a really fragile thing and market research is a death sentence when it comes to really stupid dreams…

Product managers – sometimes referred to as product marketers – are responsible for incorporating the voice of the customer into the development process to produce something – sometimes referred to as a product – that somebody will want to buy, possibly.

What is the big deal exactly? 15-year-olds can do it. We live in a world where it is possible to whip up six-figure profits selling slime out of your parents’ kitchen.

So when you hear the so-called “experts” droning on about things like “product roadmaps” and “market research,” just remember that a dream is a fragile thing and market research is a death sentence when it comes to really stupid dreams like becoming a millionaire by selling rocks or blankets with arms.

A product roadmap is your ticket to a world in which there is no such thing as a Chia Pet or art made of moose poop. And sure, you could save yourself a lot of trouble with a little bit of strategy, but why would you? Dream big and let the Chia Pets fall where they may.

Here’s how, in no particular order:

1. Avoid the Dream Killers in Other Departments

Four Ps, schmees. Keep the marketing team at arm’s length. They tend to ask a lot of questions and get hung up on things like “target markets.” This is your dream, not a PowerPoint presentation. These guys wouldn’t know a dream if it bit them in their spreadsheets.

The best products emerge from the strength of a single vision, vigilantly defended against market research, industry trends, economic forecasts, channel partner advice or any so-called voices of experience. Just do you.

Cupcake Recipe

3. Make Up Your Strategy on the Fly

Product development is like baking – well, okay so it’s nothing like baking, but the point is you don’t need a recipe to get it right. Recipes are for cakes, not non-cake products like yours. Which is going to be totally awesome.

The same goes for product roadmaps, which is really just another term for “recipe.”

C) Don’t Formalize the Development Process

You could try to proceed using industry best practices, but you’ll end up spending months in research and development, quality control, and testing, followed by more testing. Where’s the inspiration in that? Boring!

And when you succeed using all of these tried-and-true methods, it will make the worst story ever. Who wants to hear you talk about all of the alpha and beta testing you did to get your product launch exactly right? No one, that’s who. You are a seat-of-the-pants visionary – and when your effort succeeds, it’s going to make an incredible story.

2. Blow Off the Channel Input

Understanding market and channel requirements is useful. But if you do it first, your channel partners may try to derail some aspect of your plan just because it isn’t a so-called “good idea.” You can always explain your thinking after the product is developed. They’re called “partners” for a reason. They have to sell your product no matter what, right?

yes meme

e. Show Up & Win, Like a Winner Would Do

Slow and steady may win the race – but it’s still slow. Better to rush forward with the faith that the best product always wins sometimes.

Even if you never reach the top of the charts, remember that 1% of 1% of a billion-dollar market is still a lot of money, relative to some other amounts of money.

Here is the Part Where We Kill Your Dream, But Only a Little

If, on the other hand, you want something with a little more strategy behind it, you need a product/marketing requirements document (PRD/MRD) that begins – and ends – with the marketing department. Without the other 3 Ps of marketing (Pricing, Promotion and Placement), your product is almost guaranteed to fail. (In the “traditional” sense of course; it’s probably still a really cool idea.)

Whether you’re contemplating a new product or service, you can’t expect to just show up and win, no matter how inspired your product is. If it was that easy, everyone would do it. But with the right strategy and guidance, you can turn inspiration into a product or service that kills your competitors’ dreams instead.

At Innovaxis, our team of expert B2B marketers works closely with you to devise the right strategy for your new products or services. Reach out to us through the link below to learn more.