Social media presents many opportunities and challenges for product managers. In this presentation brainmates outlines how how social media is being used by to help define, develop, deploy and maintain products and services.
Using social media in product management
Collaborative conversationsUsing social media in product management
white paper presentation | August 2010
Paul Alex Gray, Senior Consultant at brainmates has published a white paper on a topic that is highly relevant to product managers.
Overview of social media
Four functional applications of social media within product management
Three case studies representing different applications
The opportunities and challengesfor product managers
An action plan to begin using social media in your role
To get your free copy of the white paper please visit www.brainmates.com.au or email email@example.com
What is social media?
Conversations across boundaries
Sharing of ideas and opinions
Instantly accessible and spread virally
Owned by the audience
Facilitated through technology
Social Media is
5Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships. David Alston
Old world:I speak, you listen
New world:Many conversations
8Like it or notEveryones talking about your product
5 of the global top 10 sites are social media (Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Blogger, Twitter) source: Alexa.com May 2010
B2B and B2C marketers are increasing spend on social media initiatives faster than any other category. It will account for almost 18% of marketing budgets by 2014source: CMO Survey, American Marketing Association Feb 2010
Every negative comment shared via social media reaches 30 other peopleSource: Convergys Corp, Nov 2009
85% of social media users believe a company should interact with customers via a social media presenceSource: Cone Business in Social Media Study 2008
Social media is part of modern life
Social media implications for product managers
Product managers must join online conversations to understand what customers like, what they dont like, what they want and how they want it. This insight helps in the design, development and deployment of products that are relevant, compelling and competitive.
Paul Alex Gray, brainmates
Product managers define, develop, deploy and maintainproducts that:
1. Deliver more value than the competition
2. Create a sustainable competitive difference
3. Generate business benefit to the organisation
Now weve got social media that allows both B2B and B2C product professionals to engage in dialogue with individual customers and users to give them a much deeper, more nuanced understanding of the products and services being offered and in turn gain a deeper understanding of what customers like and dislike about the offerings
April Dunford, founder and principal consultant at Rocket Launch Marketing
Applications for product managers
brainmates has conducted research which suggests product managers use social media in four ways:
13Download the white paper to learn more about the four functional applications.
Visit www.brainmates.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Functional applications of social media
Monitoring & Listening
67% of product managers and marketers are already using monitoring tools
such as Google Alerts or Backtweets to find references to their products or
services and any references related to their market, customer segments or
As this function was so common, many expected to do about the same although
those yet to start using social media stated that this would be their stepping
66% of product managers and marketers use social media tools to promote and
share information about their products.
Most expected to significantly increase this in the next twelve months, mostly
through major services such as Twitter, facebook and RSS feeds although some
individuals are using niche networks or developing their own proprietary social
Promoting and sharing
Only 29% of product managers and marketers report that they use social media
tools such as Uservoice or Crowdsound to gather feedback.
The expectation was that this would significantly increase in the next twelve
months as organisations became more receptive to accepting feedback and
input in product development cycles and for existing products.
65% of product managers and marketers reported that they used social media
tools such as Wikis, LinkedIn Answers or Google Wave to collaborate with
The view was that this would also increase with a major focus being on involving
external parties such as suppliers, partners and customers.
The white paper provides detailed summary of three case studies in which social media has supported product development and ongoing product management and marketing efforts.
Download the white paper to read the full case studies. Visit www.brainmates.com.au or email email@example.com
As a new business with limited marketing funds, Shoes of Prey had to invest wisely to not only build brand awareness but also create demand for the product.
From day one we nurtured relationships with customers via social networking. Michael Fox, Director of Operations and Co-founder
The customers determine our product roadmap. They tell us which features they need most and provide feedback on all our ideas and developments. Its a collaborative effort that helps us ensure we delivery quality and value to our
customers Nicholas Muldoon, Technical Product Manager
Good social media focuses on what can be provided beyond the core product. Its about giving something back to others. Engaging and inspiring your fans and customers, your partners and suppliers and fellow producers Jared Gulian, Founder
Social media in action
Applying social media in product management
Effective product management requires practitioners to solve lucrative customer problems that drive significant value for businesses over a period of time.
Supporting the product management process
The brainmates Product Delivery Cycle provides a structure that outlines the activities and deliverables used in creating profitable products.
Social media can be used at multiple stages to support the definition, development, deployment and maintenance of products
Stage 1 - Idea
Key stage actions & deliverables Ideation and innovation workshops Interviews and discussions with customers Market analysis including foreign markets Market opportunity discussion report
Social media opportunities Listen out for customer demands Investigate market problems Ask market for feedback on ideas and concepts
Social media challenges Most vocal customers may not be representative of your audience Finding pertinent content amongst high volume of conversation data Balancing espoused market requirements with commercial constraints
Stage 2 Product Strategy
Key stage actions & deliverables Investigate concept and contrast market problems against organisational capabilities and competitive threats Conduct due diligence to determine feasibility Develop competitive analysis, product comparisons and business case
Social media opportunities Incorporate internal and external input and feedback on ideas Develop more rigid business case and platform pre-testing
Social media challenges Opening up to market presents competitive risks Challenging established processes and politics can distract stakeholders
Stage 3 Product Planning
Key stage actions & deliverables Identity and understand customers and articulate market problem Develop market segmentation and targeting, personas, use cases and requirements documents
Social media opportunities Validate assumptions and unearth new facets about market problems Develop more realistic personas Tap into customers, community, partners and others for early-stage feedback
Social media challenges Involving more stakeholders adds time and cost pressures Can create expectations that all proposed ideas will end up in final product leading to potential let-downs
Stage 4 Product Definition
Key stage actions & deliverables Articulate solution that will solve market problem and satisfy needs/wants Provide product requirements for development and other teams to build and deliver prototype and solution
Social media opportunities Validate features and benefits via internal and external stakeholder reviews Prioritise elements on product roadmap Provide guidance for internal colleagues who work on subsequent stages
Social media challenges Additional inputs can impact timeframe and cost of product definition and development Focusing on moving targets can distract team Finding balance between market requirements and commercial feasibility
Stage 5 Launch Planning
Key stage actions & deliverables Prepare customer facing messaging and ready teams for launch and ongoing support Develop value proposition, sales collateral, marketing launch plans
Social media opportunities Test marketing messages and ideas with evangelists and fans Compare with competitive offerings and position your product on its strongest points Develop pre-awareness and excitement in market
Social media challenges Getting messages to your target audience via the right social media channel(s) can be complex Pre-awareness can provide competitors with insight to your product and plans
Stage 6 - Launch
Key stage actions & deliverables Coordinate internal and external teams Manage product launch, maintain velocity and act on feedback quickly
Social media opportunities Maximise awareness within target audience and create buzz Tap into tools to spread word via conversations and engagement with customers Immediately capture and act upon feedback
Social media challenges Overly selling a product via social media channels can lead to backlash Not sticking to promises or assumptions by customers can lead to disappointment Products that fail to meet customer requirements will be mercilessly grilled
Stage 7 Day-to-Day Product Management
Key stage actions & deliverables Continue to refine and improve product Assist marketing, support, sales and other teams Provide in-life product reports, updates to roadmap and relevant collateral
Social media opportunities Engage customers and transform them into evangelists Alert customers of new features Listen to what people say about your product and take necessary action
Social media challenges Additional time and effort required to stay across social media In certain segments or industries, customers may still not be that connected into social media More responsibility and pressure for busy product management teams
There are thousands of social media tools
Focus on what youre trying to do first. Then select the appropriate tools.
Monitor & Listen
Share & promote
Choosing your tools
Starting your social media journey
Product managers should follow this model to integrate social media within their existing job functions and responsibilities
Social media action plan
Find the spaces where your customers, competitors, partners, fans and critics are talking. Listen to these conversations.
Set up monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, RSS Feeds and Collecta to monitor references about your product and market
Allocate time each day to learn more about how social media tools work and think how they can relate back to your strategic and tactical product management responsibilities
Watch & Learn
Talk & Listen
Try out relevant social media tools. Be cautious and quiet until you feel confident. Consider using tools personally before professionally.
Join the conversation by registering with relevant tools and communities. Provide comments when you can add value to the conversation. Dont sell your product.
Activate your professional accounts and provide useful information. Feel free to let the world know youre learning as you go. Honesty is greatly appreciated.
Ask customers for their opinion. Invite them to share openlyand honestly with you. Accept what they say and act on it.
Apply more functional goals such as testing concepts, announcing product updates and providing additional useful resources.
Introduce other members of your team and organisation to these tools and help to educate them.
Share & Engage
Start engaging others on a regular basis. Answer questions when asked. Share ideas, opinions and comments across all relevant social media tools.
Look for internal and external opportunities to use social media in other business functions such as customer service, operations, crisis management and community engagement.
Share and help others grow. Youll learn more and feel good too!
Facilitate & Encourage
Develop thought leadership around your product or service
Go out of your way to provide value to customers and the broader community.
Remember its not about tools and technology
Its about listening, connecting and sharing
The collaborative conversations of social media bring new opportunities for product managers to enhance customer knowledge and create more compelling products.
The changing nature of buyer-seller relationships means customers are more empowered and interact with each other using a range of tools.
Product managers must join online conversations to remain aware of evolving customer problems, needs and wants and to continue to define, develop, deploy and maintain products that satisfy customers.
The full white paper is available for free.
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Product innovation and design.
brainmates leads companies to define, develop and deploy customer-centric products and services.
Phone: +61 (0)2 9232 8147