When looking for a successful VP, Product Manager, consider the following attributes when developing a job description as well as during the interview process:
Market Strategy Expert
A successful product expert will show “Demonstrated success in positioning and launching differentiated products that meet and exceed business objectives”. A sound strategy starts with Voice of Customer research. Having strong understanding of VOC defines your entire product strategy. VOC is a must have for any Product Management leader.
The ideal candidate will have a “…deep understanding of how a product is sold and the channels they are sold into.”. Product placement is essential element of any product strategy. Understanding the distribution channels and how to position your products for sell through is critical element of Product leadership.
Marketing Program Guidance
Find someone who has spent at least part of their career immersed in the world of marketing so they have an understanding of how those programs are developed and which ones make sense for your company’s specific needs. Executing concise programs inside your distribution channels is critical to drive sales. Clearly strategizing, executing and analyzing the outcome of these programs is critical to driving sales.
Look for the ultimate team-player, someone who has “...the ability to influence and work collaboratively with sales, marketing and Product Management…”. Product management is really the point person between engineering, operations, finance and sales, so collaboration and communication are paramount.
Subject Matter Smarts
Whatever industry you are operating within, find someone with “…expertise in the particular product or market. This should include specific industry or technical knowledge…”. Product management leaders are turned to by sales and the customer as the product knowledge experts. They have to have detailed answers that can help close deals or meet the need of the end customer.
The ability of this role to work with the VP of Brand Marketing is the key to success in the current market as well as looking to the future.
“Branding and product marketing are strongest when they work hand in hand. Syncing both functions in your organization can strengthen your brand while potentially increasing product sales.”