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Transforming How Product Teams Work

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How LoJack's New Product Saved Faye Jones

By Neil Baron

Lojack is an acknowledged technology leader, with well established skills selling and marketing to the auto industry. However Lojack encountered significant hurdles when it introduced into the medical device market a bracelet designed for locating missing persons with Alzheimer's, autism or other cognitive impairments. In this fascinating case study, Neil Baron shares methods he used to help Lojack overcome obstacles and accelerate market adoption for its new product line.

The SaaS Customer Lifecycle: Seven Pitfalls

By Paul Ressler, The Cirrostratus Group & Jim Naro, CustomerCentric Selling

Successful SaaS providers know that selling to the right people and nurturing long-term relationships is one of the keys to profitability. A trial-and-demo approach can be easy and cost-effective, but may lead to acquiring customers who provide fewer up-selling and cross-selling opportunities and are more prone to customer churn. This article exposes common pitfalls that licensed software vendors fall into when move to SaaS and skip essential conversations about customer’s business needs and objectives.

You Can't Innovate Like Apple

By Alain Breillatt

When what you teach and develop every day has the title "Innovation" attached to it, you reach a point where you tire of hearing about Apple. Without question, nearly everyone believes the equation Apple = Innovation is a fundamental truth. Discover what makes them different in this insightful article published by Pragmatic Marketing.

How to Prosper as a Product Manager

Based on the research of Mohanbir S. Sawhney and Rajesh K. Tyagi

Posted June 2010 in the Kellogg Insight Focus on Research

Product managers are essential to a company’s efforts, yet the position is fraught with frustration. Often the strategy-oriented job they thought they had accepted becomes lost among the rest of the position’s demands. This excellent article summarizes academic research by two professors who explore the circumstances that affect, define, and ultimately determine a product manager’s effectiveness.

Product Revenue & Profitability Goals -- Are they Counterproductive?

By John Mansour

Published 11 January 2011 on the Proficientz website

Organizations with multiple products targeting the same markets force product teams to compete for resources and sales force mind share. By setting market goals instead of product goals, you can accelerate growth and profitability. John Mansour of ZigZag Marketing shares some simple and yet powerful exercises you can do to take a market segment view across all product portfolio.

Minimize Switching Costs to Maximize Value

By Jeff Lash

Posted on April 28, 2010

Writing a business case? Trying to estimate the market share your company’s new product will realize? Too often, product managers underestimate the reality of switching costs. In this insightful article, Jeff Lash outlines often-overlooked switching costs and provides guidance for identifying potential barriers to product adoption and ideas for overcoming the obstacles.

Five Steps to Map your Competitive Differentiation

Published on Isurus Market Research and Consulting Website

How do you define and measure competitive differentiation? The answer can mean the difference between winning accounts or failing to gain market attention. In this article, Isurus Market Research outlines a systematic approach to help you consider a combination of attributes rather than focusing on one trait.

How Thomson Reuters Lightens Up its Product Lines

By Peter Longini

You don’t have to be a bleeding-edge technology start-up to support genuine innovation, to make yourself memorable to customers, or to have a good time. The venerable Thomson Reuters information service formalized a way to make it happen while pleasing some of the world’s most famously unsmiling clients. Product Management Director Michael Koppelmann explains how they did it.

Educating Your Sales Force for a Successful Product Launch

By Alan Houser

Transferring knowledge from Product Management and Development to Sales is critical to a successful launch. How do you win the hearts and minds of the sales force? In this idea-filled article, a panel of product and market strategists exchanged best practices, tips and techniques.

Product & Marketing Priorities

By John Mansour

Published by Proficientz Product Portfolio Management on 7 December 2010

Market segments, not individual product strategies, are the best way to establish strategic priorities for product and marketing spend, when looking at two basic questions: where is the short-term revenue coming from, and where is the long-term revenue coming from.

How to Build a Better Product -- Study People

By Bary Alyssa Johnson

Published 9 May, 2006 in

We've all heard of the importance of buyer persona in product development. Ethnography, the field of corporate anthropology, places people at the center of the development process, and goes to the natural environment of real people as a way to design for and connect with customers. In this article Johnson walks through examples of how cultural dynamics determine product needs.

Malaku Created iPhone RaceSplitter

By Matt Henderson

Published 14 March 2011 in Signal vs. Noise, a weblog by 37signals about design, business, experience, simplicity, the web, culture, and more.

Makalu Interactive took the first steps in moving from a client services to a product company with the successful design, development and launch of RaceSplitter, a race timing iPhone app. Here, Matt Henderson speaks to their process and the importance of the complete user experience and the very successful launch.

Maximize Product Profitability as the Market Changes

by Lee Shaeffer

Published 14 October 2009 in the AIPMM Product Management Library of Knowledge

As the market for your product matures, have you made the most of a commonly underexploited opportunity – enhancing the product by turning your product into a complete solution for the customer? In this post , Lee Shaeffer reviews basic product-to-solution steps, thinking through the entire value chain, with a case example from mobile.

I Did Everything Right, but why...

By Deepthi Bathina

Published 1 December 2010 in

Prepping to present a business plan to key stakeholders? Don’t skip the ‘meeting before the meeting’, or you might find your initiative shot full of holes. Deepthi Bathina, author of 360° Biz Blog, shares her hard-won lessons plus excellent templates for detailed or short-version business plan.

Looking Around the Corner at the Future

By Christine Crandell

Chessboarding" and "Forward Viewing" are powerful market intelligence tools, which can enable a company to anticipate where its markets and competitors are headed and to prepare itself accordingly. In this article, Christine Crandell, eVP and CMO of Egenera, Inc. explains how to apply these techniques to become profitable faster, make better decisions and operate at lower costs.

Link to Blog Post - "Product Management in Agile Projects"

Recommended by Mark Delfield

This great interview of Greg Cohen, author of "Agile Excellence for Product Managers", from the Accompa blog provides metrics on time and effort, and for customer counts, so that Product Managers can assess the costs of adopting more "agile" practices. For example, if you are thinking about redefining the PRD in an agile framework, this post can help.

Book Review: Take Charge Product Management

By Steve Starke

Greg Geracie has written a book intended to help product managers understand the discipline of product management and guide them, step by step, through the process of becoming product leaders. What I liked about this book was that it was not written in a reference format. Instead it was written through the eyes of an engaging fictitious product manager, Sean Knight. It was very easy to relate to the character and follow the journey that Sean was on. Although Sean is a fictitious character, it was clear that Sean's experiences were based upon the author's real-life experiences. As a result the author's guidance is tangible and directly applicable to the corporate world and not based on theory.

Buyer Personas: Where (and How!) to Start

By Jeremy Victor

Earlier this year, I wrote a post, Humanize Your Marketing With Buyer Personas, because of what I feel is lacking in a lot of B2B marketing today. That is content – read marketing material of any kind – that is created and crafted in a way that is makes a personal connection and demonstrates a real life understanding of the people to whom the company is trying to market.

Convergence of Product and Portfolio Management

By John Mansour

It's not that Product Management 1.0 principles are wrong. They're just not working as well as they used to. Why? The market landscape is significantly different than it was years ago when formalized product management was much younger. If the product management function is to be influential going forward, the basic principles need to be applied more from a portfolio perspective than a product perspective.

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