How can a Product Manager capture real insights that lead to better market positioning
As a Product Manager you might talk about the importance of defining a “value proposition” as part of your Product Strategy. Often this value proposition is no more than a short elevator pitch that is used to position the company and its products to the outside world on a website or other digital platform – this messaging can speak more about your company and product than the challenges of your target market. For that reason many potential customers just fail to understand that what you are selling is relevant to them.
However, before creating this kind of external messaging it is so important that you capture market observations and take time to understand what you are seeing and hearing so that you generate meaningful insights that will help your business to clearly articulate why you are relevant to your target market.
Often companies who create technical products have lots of domain expertise and a clear view of the technical strategy for the product but they are not as confident when it comes to market research and aligning with the needs of their target markets. Often they don’t have clarity about which specific markets they are targeting and they can take a “scattergun” approach to their sales and marketing process.
If your target customers cannot understand how you can help them then they will struggle to understand why they should invest in your product or solution.
So what exactly does value proposition mean?
It is a detailed representation of:
- The prioritised market segments that make sense for your business
- The main buyer personas for this target segment
- The key problems & needs of a defined market segment for which you have a proposed solution
- An assessment of the competitive landscape
- An articulation of how you really solve problems for your market
- The unique selling points for your solution
- The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your solution
How will a clear and detailed value proposition help your business?
- Support the creation of external market messaging that resonates with your targets clients
- Support sales engagements and targeting of new customers
- Help engineering to better understand the customer’s needs & wants so that they can create products that customers love
This representation of the value that your organization can deliver for a targeted market segment is hugely insightful across your organisation – particularly for sales, engineering and marketing. It also informs your product vision and strategy.
How can IntegratedThinking Help?
I have over 30 years’ experience working with scaling and established organisations across multiple sectors and disciplines.
I currently work with organisations like Enterprise Ireland, Technoology Ireland, UCD Mentoring for Scale and Trinity College to support their clients to take a more “commercial” and “strategic” approach to how they drive client focused solutions to market and grow market share:
- I have been a Senior Business Mentor with Trinity College’s International Growth Programme and design and develop programmes for Executive Education in Trinity Business School – specifically in the areas of Leadership Development and Innovation
- I am a Strategic Marketing Coach/Mentor with Enterprise Ireland’s Strategic Marketing Review Initiative (SMR)
- I have been an Executive Coach and Mentor with Ibec’s Product Management forum
- I am a Business Mentor with the UCD’s Mentoring for Scale Initiative
- I was VP of Product Management in a large multinational technology company
- I bring tools and skills that you may not have internally from my many years of working as a mentor
- I can moderate discussions at a leadership level and coach/mentor the team – often asking questions the business is afraid to ask itself
- I will provide a structured approach to capturing insights for your business that will help you to focus and articulate a stronger value proposition
- I will help you to get things done and to focus when you are strapped for time or resources
- I can provide supportive executive and team coaching skills – often so important when crucial conversations need to happen at a leadership level
I see myself as an insight detective – using tried and tested coaching skills and tools that help businesses to explore and focus on key market opportunities that will drive revenue for their business.
- I offer a free consultation with new clients – this allows you to get to know me and helps me to understand your requirements more clearly – rapport is so important!
- My approach is relevant across all sectors – I have worked with organisations across many sectors including environmental, not-for-profit, health and life sciences, food, electronics, software, environmental, fintech and education services.
- I am mindful that most organisations are resource strapped and time poor so I always work in ways that can work around these constraints – I prefer short (less than half day) workshops that deliver value quickly
- I instill the mindset, skillset and toolset that will empower your people to own this process so that even when I am no longer involved your strategic marketing journey can continue without me
- Our first workshop brings the leadership team together to help each member of the team to
- Reflect on where the business is at the moment (your mission)
- Articulate your current view on what you are hoping to achieve (your vision)
- Understand the key concepts of high performing strategic marketing or product management
- Consider the key gaps in your approach to strategic marketing or product management that might be holding you back
- If you are happy to continue following this first workshop then we can proceed to get under the hood a little more. We move on to work through the Market Positioning Canvas to help you reflect on your current market positioning – enabling you to identify specific areas of this positioning that needs more work:
- We only focus on areas where there are defined gaps so that I can help you to move forward as quickly as possible!
- If more detailed work is required on your market positioning then I recommend we follow a 5 Step process called Insight 2 Value that combines coaching & mentoring expertise with a clear methodology and toolset to support businesses to:
- Capture Insights: supporting you to capture, articulate and understand research and data on your current business context, future market opportunities, buyer behaviours and competitive landscape
- Focus: applying a methodology and tools to identify and prioritise key market opportunities that will drive revenue and enable you to clearly articulate your service/product/solution offering for these markets
- Position: creating a positioning statement that enables you to differentiate in a competitive landscape
- Validate: Applying Voice of the Customer (VoTC) techniques to enable you to validate your market hypothesis through qualitative and quantitative research
- Communicate: Creating a compelling message that can be used in a target marketing campaign. Supporting you to create a Marketing Plan that will drive engagement with your target markets
My approach is consultative and collaborate and I strongly believe in approaches that help your business to align the disciplines of engineering, sales and marketing. I have the foundations and understanding of how products are designed and engineered but I know the importance of an aligned approach across the organisation. For those of you in the Technology Sector, everything we do will help you to create relevant business requirements (Business Epics) for the product or solution development backlog – aligning strategic marketing and solution development (engineering).
“Working with Siobhan enabled us to really understand the market we are addressing and the problems and needs of our customers – we learned to recognize the huge benefits that can be achieved from an “outside in” approach to product management. As a result, we have strengthened our value proposition”Bill Walsh, CEO Aspire
“Siobhan strongly informed our strategic discussions for growth. The structure of her engagement and the thinking behind it has very much helped me in my high-level discussions with investors. Highly recommended”Des O’Mahony, CEO Bookassist
“Our sessions with IntegratedThinking have instilled our strong believe that if you understand your customers and your market then you can build products that sell themselves. The team here in DSI really enjoyed the in-house product management sessions and are continuing to apply the practices learned.”John Murphy, CEO DeCare Systems Ireland
“Having worked with IntegratedThinking we now have a much stronger link between commercial strategy and product delivery. We have a clearer understanding of the key benefits that product management can bring to a startup organization”Grainne Barry, Director, Salaso
Please feel free to contact me via email email@example.com and I will be happy to prepare a short proposal to outline an approach that will provide more detail on the transformative steps of my process.