Product marketing in the age of the Internet is more of a challenge than ever before. Product life cycles have been compressed, available media outlets have increased ten-fold diluting available channel audience, and competition is international in scope.
Strong product planning is critical to the success of your enterprise, as room for error has dramatically decreased.
Questions for thought:
- Do you have up-to-date product portfolio data, with profitability metrics by product?
- Do you have corresponding product marketing plans dependent on product lifecycle?
- Do you regularly cull products which are not performing according to plan?
- Do your product plans correlate well with your key sales account lifecycles?
- Do you capture marketing and overhead costs by product for productivity metrics?
- Is your product marketing driven by your organizational structure rather than the needs of the marketplace?
Product development is an operational challenge. Product life cycles have compressed, necessary internal functional inputs to product development have increased, and the competition is international in scope. Today's product development professional needs to be well versed in all functional aspects of your business as well as the external environment, with a "systems-integration" bias.
Strong product development can increase the probability of successful product launches, by providing "operations-ready" products. However, product development has always been a "risky" proposition, in that success of a product or service is not guaranteed by proper execution of development. The marketplace always determines which products will be successful.
Strong product development provides products according to product roadmap definitions/requirements, on-time, on-budget, and with minimal functional variance. In that fashion, the post-launch marketplace sends a clear signal as to the product potential, without development risk being a key variable.
Questions for thought:
- Does your firm track metrics for product development based on schedule, budget, and functional variance?
- Does your firm have extensive parallel legacy systems due to merger or acquisitions?
- Can a product development be canceled early when schedule, budget, and variance issues reduce the business case viability?
- Are product development functional productivity metrics captured and managed?
- Is your product development driven by your organizational structure rather than the needs of the marketplace?