Applying Product Management Strategies to Digital Marketing

An objective without a strategy is just a wish

As a kid, I loved two things: video games and taking things apart to find out how they work. As someone who considered himself a “geek” throughout much of his life (I still do today) I never imagined I would find myself working as part of a digital marketing firm. In general, when I thought about marketing I imagined different ways to sell stuff. TV commercials, jingles on the radio, magazine ads and annoying pop-ups or banners on the sides of the websites I visited most often. All the things designed to capitalize on where you are and what you are doing in the hopes of inspiring a purchase of your products or services. I was never very “social”, I’m not apprised of the latest trends, and I’m most definitely not a salesman. However, in the post-college years of my career, learning about satisfying client needs and having achieved certain Product Management certifications, I have learned that there is more to marketing in the digital world than traditional “catchy” tactics.

The Stakeholder 101

Product Management is all about delivering what “stakeholders” want. Now you may ask yourself “What constitutes a stakeholder?” Well the answer is quite simple: anyone who has an interest in seeing the product grow and succeed in delivering what users want and need. This can mean clients, executives, support personnel or even salespeople. But the most important stakeholder of all is the client. If you are not delivering what clients need, then you are going to have unhappy customers and as I’m sure you can imagine, a difficult time selling the product to someone who doesn’t want or need it.

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What’s the goal?

So how does this apply to digital marketing? If you think about your customers and prospective customers, you want to deliver something to them that they want or need. While the more standard means of marketing cast a wide net in the hopes of inspiring a purchase, modern digital marketing practices can zero in on those customers most likely to want or need your services. So rather than developing a single, generic ad (such as a radio commercial) which may or may not speak to your target audience, you develop multiple very precise and fine-tuned tools (ad-sets, emails, contests and quizzes) which specifically target the people who are most likely to want and need your services or product.

It’s not about reaching as many people as possible in the hopes someone will be interested, it’s about finding the most interested people where they want to be found. It’s not about how awesome YOU think your product is, it’s about showing that specific, engaged follower how much they will enjoy the product you have made just for them.