The Importance of Product Management to Companies
Within the last 10 years, the market has seen a dramatic change in how technology products are perceived. Companies used to only focus on individual products, but now, they have to focus on the entire Product Management life cycle.
Product Management is defined as the general business structure within a company that supports and manages all the activities related to developing, marketing and selling a product—or even over one–throughout its life cycle. Product life cycle management integrates people’s data, processes and business systems. There is no way to encompass all of Product managements' know-how into one article, however, there are key areas of focus that sums up why Product Management is important to Companies.
Figure 1: Standard Product Life Cycle
This image illustrates the 4 stages - Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline with “Digital conversion/transformation.” If the company’s products have not been completely phased out, then “Conversion to Digital” is the next wave. This does not mean that the product will advance and regrow in all cases, however if executed properly, the “Conversion to Digital” breathes new life into the product.
How is this done?
There is no shortage of explanations to why consumers are enthralled with having technology at their fingertips, but we know it’s a good thing if a company can re-invent its brand and bring products into the digital space.
Millennials read more than older generations do—and more than the last generation did at the same age - Neil Howe
As Product Managers, there are few that have not been affected by the availability of Digital Content for Products released by companies. The way content is delivered to consumers in the digital age has changed. The way customers consume its content has changed. Therefore, companies have to be intentional about its products and be flexible enough to adjust to customer needs/market change.
The main reason why Product Management is so important for companies today is survival. The management of products has been propelled into a landscape that will in most cases strive to attain new customers. Encompassed with new processes and integrated with different marketing techniques set to reach the new generations of customers while hanging on to their existing customer base. In other words, companies might have to cannibalize itself in order stay relative and competitive.
Figure 2: Product Life Cycle Visual (Digital Conversion)
The above graph concludes with an added phase of “Conversion to Digital.” Although, this is represented as an added phase to the Traditional Product Management Life Cycle. Companies transition their products from the decline phase into the beginning of the digital era. With this transition, more customers can be reached, it establishes unlimited selling potential along with increased longevity of the marketed products. Also, there is potential for new revenue with the introduction of complementary products if the company can be Agile enough to adjust to customer demands.
Technology is always changing, customers have an appetite for new products, and product competition is everywhere. Therefore, it is important for companies to take project management seriously, analyze all products in their portfolio, and either invent or convert to digital wherever necessary.