When Times Are Bad – Product Managers Get Noticed!

Tough Times Call For Product Managers To Work To Make Their Products Visible
Tough Times Call For Product Managers To Work To Make Their Products Visible

The economy dips even farther down each and every day if you are to believe what you read on the front page of just about every paper lately. Product Mangers are finding themselves in tighter and tighter situations – what can we do in these tough times to make our products successful. Would you believe that you already have the answer?

Martin Roth and Richard Ettenson over at the Wall Street Journal have been doing some digging in order to find out how product managers can make the best of tumultuous times. They’ve interviewed lots of folks including product managers who live in emerging markets and who have to deal with inflation, hyperinflation, or even recessions.

What they found is that these folks have remembered the golden rule of product management: it’s always easier to keep customers that you already have instead of trying to get new customers. This means that when bad times arrive, these product mangers use their limited marketing dollars to draw their existing customers closer.

If you were planning on doing any broadcast marketing for your product on TV, on the radio, or even in magazines, then you might want to reconsider. This type of product advertising is generally geared towards informing potential customers. What you want to be doing is making your product(s) more visible and more available to customers who already know about them.

One key area that could have a great ROI (return-on-investment) for your product is customer service. You should always have good customer service, but when times get bad you should have great customer service. During tough times stop trying to up sell customers when they call customer service and instead start trying to help them make your product last longer. When things turn around, they’ll remember you and you’ll be glad that you helped them out.

What changes in your marketing plans have you made because of the current recession? What steps are you taking to retain your existing customers? Are you doing anything to improve your level of customer service? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.