The Brand, Marketing & Communications of Product Management.

While it can be said that Product management is a relatively new frontier in the tech career ecosystem brand and marketing communications have racked up centuries in its existence. For many reasons, product management entails that you possess integrated marketing communications skills and experience. For instance, creating your MRDs requires a lot of knowledge in marketing, communications, public relations, and media.

MRDs or Marketing Requirement documents are key to the product plan without which a product may not be well positioned for market suitability. In the MRD you define product vision, the competitive landscape, business analysis, revenue opportunity, and sales plans which may include acquisition and retention plans and all of these are functions of core marketing.

A dive into the product machine spectrum puts you through a sequence of expertise and skills that helps in achieving your MVP. At the core of product, management is product innovation and product marketing. Product managers typically drive this process by gathering data around customer needs, consumer behavior, consumer trends, and analysis. In turn, this information forms the basis for the creation of “user stories” and “user persona” these concepts are core to marketing and they have been practiced for ages and are also known as consumer insight.

As a product manager, envisaging your market in your product roadmap will be a critical success factor in launching a great product. How do traditional marketers do this? They carry out “Market Insight Analysis” or “Market Research”. This is exactly what all product managers do to ensure they build a product that is market-fit. Market insight or research may include market entry analysis, market structure, competitive analysis (SWOT & Product Differentiation), consumer insight, and the industry or sector-specific information.

Also, branding or brand management skills are a must-have for a product manager who knows his onion. A product, if new must create a brand posturing as a standalone, and if old, must maintain or uphold its brand structure when being iterated with new features. To add, branding is critical to product design or the UI/UX designs of every viable product. In essence, the branding skill cannot be overestimated for its importance in actuating PRDs and MRDs. For the PRDs or Product Requirement Documentation, branding should form the requirements to be considered for a product specifically when defining the product logo, design, and the entire brand asset. In the MRDs or Marketing Requirement Document, branding is key to the launch, packaging, awareness, and promotion of a product in the market.

In product marketing, either traditional marketing or digital marketing is an important part of a product plan. These skills will be tested either at the interview stage or on the job. Most product managers or product marketers carry out an A/B test even before a product is created to assess its viability or to pre-test its advertising performance before launch. Digital marketing is a subset of marketing that comes in handy in your product plan.

While many product-led organizations could run different internal models with regard to the role of Product Management and Product Marketing. Some organizations allow the product manager do the product marketing; some have product marketers who do the product marketing as part of the product team. However, as a Product Manager, you can’t have a birds-eye view and understanding of your product if you don’t possess critical knowledge in brand, marketing, and communications.

To close, once you are sure of your knowledge and expertise in brand, marketing, and communications, you need a few more skills to become an expert in Product Management and these are Project Management (Scrum master skill) which is important for teams who develop products in an agile environment, ideation and innovation skills, communications skills, leadership and management skills, business analysis and business intelligence skills.


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