Product Management vs. Product Marketing

Industry pundits claim that 9 out of 10 product releases are failures in that they don’t meet their goals. I don’t know if that is the exact stat or not, but I bet itis not far off. I do believe strongly that most releases are ill-conceived. Countless release cycles are wasted on products that are either not useful or not usable. There are many reasons for these bad products, and each article I write is intended to address some aspect, but I have long argued that the root cause of these wasted releases can most often be traced to how the role of product manager is defined at your company, and the capabilities of the people you choose for this role.

行业专家称,发布的10个产品发布有9个是失败的,因为它们没有达到目标。我不知道这是不是一个确切的数据,但我敢打赌它离我们不远了。我坚信大多数产品都是构想拙劣的。无数的发布周期都浪费在无用或不可用的产品上。这些糟糕的产品有许多原因,我写的每一篇文章的目的是解决其中的某些方面,但我一直认为,这些版本浪费的根源通常可以追溯到在你的公司是如何定义产品经理的角色,以及你选择的这些人的能力的。

I have been meaning to write this article for over a year now.  It is a topic I have been thinking about for a long time, but one that I consider critically important as it gets to the core of what the job of the product manager truly needs to be. It is hard to write because I know how tough it is to try to get an industry to change the way it thinks of roles, and even to change the nomenclature it uses in talking about these roles.

我打算写这篇文章已经一年多了。这是一个我思考了很长时间的话题,但我认为这是一个非常重要的话题,因为它涉及到产品经理真正需要的工作的核心。这很难写,因为我知道让一个行业改变它对角色的看法,甚至改变它在谈论这些角色时使用的术语是多么困难。

Before we get started, to explain this issue I will have to define some terms, fully aware that these definitions will contradict their use in many companies.  I define the role of the product manager first and foremost as the person responsible for defining ?in detail ?the product that the engineering team will build.  I define the role of product marketing as responsible for telling the world about this product.

在我们开始之前,为了解释这个问题,我必须定义一些术语,充分意识到这些定义将与许多公司的用法相抵触。我首先将产品经理的角色定义为负责详细定义工程团队将要构建的产品的人。我将产品营销的角色定义为向全世界宣传该产品。

More about each role below, but as you can see, these are extremely different jobs.

下面是对每个角色的详细介绍,但是正如您所看到的,这些是非常不同的工作。

To be clear right from the start, I argue that every product needs a single, accountable product manager, responsible for the product definition (the combination of product requirements and user experience that describe the product to be built).

为了从一开始就明确,我认为每个产品都需要一个担负责任的产品经理,负责产品定义(描述要构建的产品的产品需求和用户体验的组合)。

However, unfortunately, all too often when I begin working with a company I encounter one of three different situations:

然而,不幸的是,当我开始在一家公司工作时,我经常会遇到三种不同的情况:

1) there is a product marketing or product manager titled person responsible for the high-level product requirements, and then the product goes straight to engineering by passing detailed product requirements and the many tough decisions that go along with that (and also very often bypassing user experience design, but thatis the topic of an earlier set of articles)

有一个产品营销或产品经理职位名称的为人负责高规格的产品需求,然后就通过详细的产品需求和许多艰难的决定来直接开始工程化 (也经常绕过用户体验设计,但是那一组之前的文章的主题)

2) the product definition role is split between a product marketing person responsible for the high-level business/product requirements, and a product manager person responsible for the low-level product requirements

产品定义角色分为负责高级业务/产品需求的产品营销人员和负责低级产品需求的产品经理

3) a product marketing person is asked to cover both roles (and the company sometimes calls these people product managers and sometimes product marketing)

产品营销人员被要求同时担任这两个角色(公司有时称这些人为产品经理,有时又称产品营销)

Let’s discuss each of these three problem situations:

让我们分别讨论这三个问题:

– Marketing-driven Product

营销驱动产品

This situation is pretty easy to spot. The rest of the product team views this person as is he marketing resource?that might be useful for creating data sheets, training the sales force, and coming up with the naming and pricing, but in terms of defining the product, this person is largely discounted and ignored. There are plenty of Dilbert cartoons portraying this person, and wehav’e all known this type of product manager. While these people might be great at marketing, they are in way over their heads in trying to define in detail a useful and usable product. In this situation, hopefully someone else on the product team steps in and performs the true product management function, sometimes a lead engineer, sometimes a designer, and sometimes a manager. If that person has the skills, and also the bandwidth, the product may still succeed. More often, however, the product is in trouble right from the start.

这种情况很容易发现。其他的产品团队认为这个人是市场资源吗?这可能对创建数据表、培训销售人员以及提出命名和定价有用,但就定义产品而言,这个人基本上被忽略了。有很多呆伯特漫画描述了这个人,我们都知道这种类型的产品经理。虽然这些人可能很擅长营销,但他们在试图详细定义一个有用且可用的产品方面却力不从心。在这种情况下,希望产品团队中的其他人能够介入并执行真正的产品管理功能,有时是首席工程师,有时是设计师,有时是经理。如果那个人有技能,也有广阔的能力,这个产品可能仍然会成功。然而,更常见的情况是,产品从一开始就有问题。

My first exposure to product management was with this situation, and it initially kept me from wanting to have any association at all with this role, but then I met a guy that showed me what product management was really all about. So then my reaction was to rename the role to something different, but that is a battle I soon realized had its own problems, so instead Ihav’e worked to highlight the successful product managers and work to redefine the role around these people.

我第一次接触产品管理是在这种情况下,它最初让我不想与这个角色有任何联系,但后来我遇到了一个人,他告诉我什么是产品管理。因此,我的反应是将这个角色重新命名为不同的名字,但我很快就意识到这场战斗有它自己的问题,所以我一直致力于突出成功的产品经理,并致力于重新定义这些人周围的角色。

– Two People, One Role

两个人,一个角色

This situation is also easy to spot, as there is no single product owner. A product marketing person (sometimes in this model called the business owner is responsible for the high-level business requirements, and a product manager is responsible for the low-level product requirements.The problem is that neither person truly owns the product, and more importantly, neither person feels and behaves like they are the one ultimately responsible for the product.Further, this model is based on a flawed view of software that believes that you can define high-level product requirements independent of detailed requirements and especially the user experience.When you have this model, the product managers become essentially a spec-generation service.It is a frustrating job that tends to stifle innovation, and rarely produces winning products.

这种情况也很容易发现,因为没有独立的产品所有者。产品营销人员(有时在这个模型中称为业务所有者BO,负责高规格业务需求,产品经理负责低规格产品需求。问题是,这两个人都不真正拥有产品,更重要的是,他们的感觉和行为都不像是最终对产品负责的人。此外,该模型是基于软件的一个有缺陷的视图,该视图认为您可以独立于需求细节,特别是用户体验,定义高规格产品需求。当你有了这个模型,产品经理就变成了一个说明书规格生成器。这是一项令人沮丧的工作,往往会扼杀创新,而且很少能生产出成功的产品。

Many larger companies with multiple business units evolve into this situation and then wonder why they can no longer come up with innovative products that their customers love.

许多拥有多个业务单元的大公司都演变成这种情况,然后他们会想,为什么他们不能再推出客户喜欢的创新产品。

– One Person, Two Roles

一个人,两个角色

The problem with combining the product manager role with product marketing is that it is very hard to find someone who can do both types of jobs well.Each of these roles is critical, and each requires special skills and talents. Creating a product is much different than telling the world about that product.I have known some truly exceptional people that can excel in both roles, but these people are very rare and as an organizational model it doesn’t scale. Further, for all but the simplest of products, the role of product manager as defined here is an all-consuming, full-time job, requiring a dedicated person.  If you ask the product marketing person to cover the product management role, even if the person has the skills and talents required for both, it is unlikely he will have the bandwidth to do both jobs well.

将产品经理与产品营销相结合的问题是,很难找到既能做好这两种工作的人。每个角色都很关键,每个角色都需要特殊的技能和才能。创建一个产品与向世界介绍那个产品是完全不同的。我认识一些非常优秀的人,他们在这两个岗位上都很出色,但这些人非常罕见,而且作为一种组织模式,这种情况无法扩大。此外,对于除了最简单的产品之外的所有产品,这里定义的产品经理的角色是一个消耗所有资源的全职工作,需要一个专门的人。如果你让产品营销人员负责产品管理工作,即使这个人具备这两方面所需的技能和才能,他也不太可能有足够的带宽来做好这两方面的工作。

This is most frequently a problem at enterprise software companies where supporting the sales force is a big job in itself, and there is a strong tendency for the product managers simply to pass along (perceived) requirements from the big customers, to the sales reps, to the product managers, and then to the engineers. Almost never results in useful and usable products.

这在企业软件公司是最常见的一个问题,支持销售团队本身是一个巨大的工作,并且产品经理有一种强烈的倾向,就是简单的从大客户那里传递(感知)需求到销售代表,产品经理,然后工程师。这几乎不会产生有用的和有用的产品。

It is important to recognize that there are reasons for each of the organizational models described above, but I argue that the companies are sacrificing far more than they realize.  They are wasting entire product release cycles.  They are creating products that customers don’t want, or must struggle with to use.

认识到上面描述的每个组织模型都有其原因是很重要的,但是我认为公司所做的牺牲远远超过了他们所意识到的。他们在浪费整个产品发布周期。他们正在创造客户不想要的产品,或者必须努力使用的产品。

The way out is to clearly define the distinct roles of product manager and product marketing in your company.  The product manager is responsible for defining in detail the product to be built, and validate that product with real customers and users. The product marketing person is responsible for telling the world about that product, managing the product launch, providing tools for the sales channel to market and sell the product, and for leading key programs such as online marketing and influencer marketing programs.

解决问题的方法是明确定义产品经理和产品营销在你公司的不同角色。产品经理负责详细定义要构建的产品,并与真正的客户和用户一起验证该产品。产品营销人员负责向全世界宣传该产品,管理产品发布,为销售渠道提供营销和销售产品的工具,以及领先的关键项目,如在线营销和影响者营销计划。

Please note that nothing in this article should be construed as claiming that the product marketing role is unimportant.  I have learned that it is, and great product marketing is extremely valuable.  But it has little to do with the product manager role that I have described here.

请注意,本文中的任何内容都不应被解释为声称产品营销角色不重要。我明白了,伟大的产品营销是非常有价值的。但它与我在这里描述的产品经理角色没有什么关系。

In general the product manager and product marketing person will communicate often and collaborate occasionally on specific topics, but there are two main interactions.  First, the product marketing person will be one of the several sources of input to product requirements owned by the product manager.  Second, the product manager will be one of the several sources of input to marketing messages owned by product marketing.

一般来说,产品经理和产品营销人员会经常就特定的话题进行交流和偶尔的合作,但主要有两种交流方式。首先,产品营销人员将是产品经理拥有的产品需求的几个输入来源之一。其次,产品经理将是产品营销所拥有的营销信息的几个输入来源之一。

By whatever title or organizational model, behind every great product, I promise you that you will find someone responsible for the definition of that product.   Remember that it doesn’t matter how great your engineering organization is if you don’t give them something useful and usable to build.

通过任何头衔或组织模式,在每一个伟大的产品背后,我向你保证,你会找到一个负责定义该产品的人。请记住,如果您没有给他们一些有用的和可用的东西来构建,那么您的工程组织有多棒并不重要。

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