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Worst Product Management Practices: Part 1

The "Sales-driven" Marketeer

I’ve kept this tattered Dilbert cartoon strip on my office wall since 1996.  It’d be a lot funnier if it weren’t so true.  Every marketer strives to be sales-driven.   However, that doesn’t mean that you should embrace a product management discipline that includes changing the product every time a new sales opportunity surfaces


product management cartoon

In my past experiences, 90% of those “if you just change your product, we’ll buy it” sales opportunities end up imploding by the time the changes in the product are complete, anyways.

Worst Product Management Practice #1: constantly shifting product priorities based on the most recent tactical sales opportunity.

Antidote:

Marketing where product requirements are determined by truly understanding which customers are being targeted, understanding their needs and their pain, and knowing what other solutions exist in the market place.

Bad product management practices typically emerge when product management exists in a vacuum – where product managers are unable to say with authority and confidence what the market needs, and why deviating from that is not something to be done lightly or often.  In the absense of an authoritative voice, opinions, whims and guesses will drive product direction.

Knowing the customer and the market needs to be based on a lot more than simply what the latest Gartner or Forrester report says.  Sure, analyst reports (and analysts) are great resources.  You’d be crazy to not leverage such assets.  But if you’re not out there talking to the “real thing” – the people who will be buying and using your product or solution, you’re not doing your job.  It’s the difference between reading a restaurant review and actually eating at the restaurant.  Me – I prefer doing both.

“Know thy customer”.  Possibly the three most important marketing words ever spoken.

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/SoftwareHollis. His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

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