How To Use Web 2.0 To Be A Better Product Manager

by drjim on March 4, 2009

How Can Product Mangers Use Web 2.0 Tools To Market Their Products?

How Can Product Mangers Use Web 2.0 Tools To Market Their Products?

Right off the bat, I need to apologize for using “Web 2.0” in the title. It was a cheap trick to get you to read at least this far, but it sure seems to have worked. With all of that out of the way, hype aside, it sure does look like the Internet is  changing how a product manger markets his / her product. Does anyone have any rules about how this needs to be done?

Since the phrase “Web 2.0” has been so abused by now, we should probably take a moment and make sure that we’re all on the same page. I’m going to define Web 2.0 as simply being a new set of web-based tools that allow product mangers to build social and business connections (online), share information both internally and externally, and collaborate with colleagues and customers (online). Now how do you use these shiny new tools?

Web 2.0 tools offer product mangers a great way to convince customers to buy your product. The trick is that unlike traditional marketing you don’t talk TO your potential customers, instead you try to get them INVOLVED in a discussion with you. Sounds rather dangerous doesn’t it?

If you want to be able to talk to your (potential) customers, then you are going to need a Web 2.0 Wiki or Blog. Next, you are going to have to start writing – what can you tell people about your product that they may not already know?

Getting some interesting conversations going with your customer will start things off. Where things really start to get interesting is when your customers start to talk to each other. This is where product mangers can find out what new features customers are really looking for and what they don’t like about the current product.

In the old days, before Web 2.0 tools came along, product mangers had to use focus groups and surveys to get feedback from our customers. Now all we have to do is post a question on the Web and we can get instant feedback. Ain’t progress grand?

Are you using any Web 2.0 tools to market your product yet? How did you pick the tools that you are currently using? What has the feedback from your customers been so far? Leave a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou March 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

great post. This is something that I know needs to be done. Do you have any specific recommendations for a product for creating a wiki or a forum?

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Dr. Jim Anderson March 12, 2009 at 9:40 am

Lou: I’ve used the free (as in beer) PBwiki service and it’s worked out for me.

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