Putting “Digital” into Digital Product Manager

Changes in the role of the product manager over past few years have been rapid. The rise of digital marketing, while targeted more towards the marketing professional and lead generation, has resulted in the potential for new methods in product management as well.

The changes that digital marketing provides are not so much in the functions of product management, but rather in the how the job is done. The four “P’s” of product management have not really changed, but the way to arrive at each of these functional areas has. The amount of data available at the product manager’s fingertips is immense and sorting through it becomes the challenge.  Consider the following three areas and how digital marketing can help sort through this information:

Gathering Product Requirements

  • Using on line surveys to gather input for product features. Surveys are a multipurpose tool that can not only help generate requirements information, but also create conversations with customers, prospects and peers.
  • A wealth of analytics are now available with instant access. The digital marketer thinks about analytics in terms of marketing campaign performance – product managers can use these analytics to ferret out product features based on the volumes of interest
  • On line demos using video not only help with promotion, but also to describe features. Think about using video to propose or mock up new features before they are implemented in order to get feed back. This can aid agile teams as well.


  • Soliciting input from the general public or prospects or customers via open or closed groups in social media networks may sound a little scary at first. But realistically, who better to tell you what the real value of a new feature or new product is? Transparency is becoming more critical in maintaining a great customer relationship.
  • On line surveys aid in prospect/customer communications, but also can be an invaluable tool for getting opinions on pricing.


  • Competitive analysis – The internet and websites have opened the door to vast amounts of competitive information.  Not only is product/service information available directly from competitive sites, but blogs and reviews are available by the truck loads. The real task here is sifting through all this data, prioritizing what’s important.
  • Product research using Adwords/AdCenter – If you think that PPC is only for the ad professionals, start thinking about it again. Analyzing keyword performance, using ad groups to test different product messages, and comparing things like page views/page viewing durations are only a few of the things to consider.
  • Cultivating social media groups gathering input from like minded people. For smaller companies, participating in social media groups oriented toward or supported by larger companies can provide a wealth of inside information.

These are only a few of the area that can help the digital product manager.  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Dick Sterry

Helping businesses grow through their digital presence.


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