Two Words That Turn A Product Manager On: “Real Time”

by drjim on July 18, 2011

Every Product Manager Wants It, And They Want It Right Now…

Every Product Manager Wants It, And They Want It Right Now…

I’m willing to bet that if you got a bunch of product managers together and had them all sit in comfy chairs, lean back, close their eyes, and then you asked them what one thing in the world they most wanted at that moment, they would all tell you the same thing: real time marketing data. Well, ok, maybe not all of them. But there would probably be one of them who would say this (the rest would have fallen asleep because they are all overworked). Just what the heck is this “real time marketing data” stuff?

What Is Real Time Marketing Data?

Sure we all think that we know what “real-time” means, but what would real-time marketing data really look like? Ultimately, this is the type of data that allows a product manager to make a quick turnaround on customer leads no matter how they show up.

The smart folks over at MIT have recently completed a study that took a look at how quickly customers want a company that they’ve contacted to get back in touch with them. It turns out that a product manager can boost the odds of turning a web-based contact from just being interested into being a potential customer by 21x if they respond to the inquiry within 5 minutes as opposed to taking 30 minutes.

The key here is that it’s not just sending a response back to an interested party – or even picking up the phone to talk to them quickly. Nope, you’ve got to do more. What you have to do is to find ways to actually strike up a conversation with them that they will find meaningful. In person this may be easy to do, via the web or over the phone it can be much more challenging.

How Can Product Managers Use Real Time Marketing Data?

All of this real-time response stuff means that product managers are going to need real-time data in order to pull it off. This means that you are going to have to turn to one of the many real-time data software packages that currently exist.

These types of tools can provide you with a lot of background when someone contacts you via the web. This information can include how they got to your web site, what they looked at while they were there, etc.

The availability of real-time marketing data holds another benefit for product managers also. When you are running a marketing campaign to support a new product launch or promotion, you’d really like to know how things are going.

In the olden days, you’d take the time to try to get everything just “perfect” before starting the campaign and then you’d just have to sit back and keep your fingers crossed and hope that everything went well.

Here in the 21st Century, the availability of real-time marketing data has changed all of this. Now you can monitor what’s going on and get constant feedback from the market as to how your campaign is being received. What this means is that you no longer have to get everything correct before you start a campaign – instead you can make adjustments as the campaign unfolds.

What All Of This Means For You

Product managers are busy people; however, they need to realize that their customers are busy people also. When a customer reaches out to you, a product manager needs to have set up a system that allows the company to quickly respond to the customer’s request.

Thankfully modern real-time data software solutions allow a firm to monitor all of the different ways that customers can contact them. This allows product managers to monitor how marketing campaigns are going and even allows them to make real-time adjustments to their product marketing strategy.

The world continues to move faster. This means that product managers not only have to keep up, but we also have to learn how to stay on top of what our customers want. The tools that can provide us with real-time data now allow us to dynamically react to changing market circumstances. “Real-time” has become the two words that every product manager loves to hear…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that the product manager should be responsible to responding to customer questions or should another part of the company do this?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every product that you are put in charge of developing comes with an unwelcome addition – risk. We all know that risk exists and in fact many of us have developed ways to identify risk, quantify risk, and even manage risk. However it turns out that there is something very important that very few of us have been doing – calculating how much risk a new product has and what it’s going to cost us.

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