Evolution of Product Management

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PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

THE ORIGIN:

The idea of product or brand management began at Proctor & Gamble in the early 1930s. ➢ All began with a memo directed to the head of the advertising department by Neil McElroy on May 13, 1931 and ran to three pages – considerably more verbose. ➢ McElroy was thus the obvious man to grow and plant the embryo of brand manager system. ➢ McElroy was heading the new soap product “Camay” which was directly in competition with Ivory. ➢ Camay presumably because management had foreseen that two brands competing for different segments of the same market would need different advertising and ultimately a competitive approach. ➢ Neil McElroy experienced internal company competition at the sharp end. ➢ McElroy was further the right man at the right time since he was one of P&G’s very brightest managers of the company and became Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defence. ➢ McElroy argued that the manager of a particular product should have overall line responsibility for that product – be, in effect, the chief executive of a one-product company, responsible for that product’s success in the market. ➢ Lever and P&G were two leading companies in world of brand marketing. ➢ Each company would probably have more than one product in the market, each aimed at a different group of consumers. ➢ Segmentation was the name of the game.

Internal competition and rapid growth in company size made product management or brand management a necessity. ➢ Giving each product its own committed advocate was the obvious way to combat the tendency for some products to be more favored by management than others, and to make sure that each got its share of resources and ideas and was able to compete effectively. ➢ Ivory was the most important brand and would have probably starved Camay at birth. ➢ As Companies developed more and more products they were inclined to lose each product’s individuality. All might get the same treatment. ➢ Only somebody whose concern was the success of one product alone could be trusted to think purely of success of that product alone. It actually reversed the trend towards specialization. ➢ Product management gave young managers the chance to prove themselves as general managers at a young age.

WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS?

Different Companies have different opinions about the job of product manager is that by no means all product managers have the same role and responsibilities.

Product Manager Job Description
The Need, Role and Responsibilities
Position Title: Product Manager
Reporting Authority: Product Manager will report to GM-Marketing & Sales or Marketing Manager or Group Product Manager. The Need of the Position:
An Organization’s health is determined by its top line and bottom line performances. For both the top line and bottom line performances to be good, Companies should have excellent sales of its entire product portfolio particularly the most profitable brands. Only a dedicated professional can help design this and develop profit making brands. These professionals are called Product Managers. So a Product Manager has become the key to selling products and building profitable brands(Cash Cows) and hence Product Managers(PM’s) play an important role in every Organization.

Nature of PM’s Role and Responsibilities

Job Description:

Product Manager is responsible for the business results of his products. This responsibility will extend throughout the product life cycle from development, launch, operation and thru’ end of product life. Product Manager has to plan and develop the marketing strategy for a single product or group of products. He has to liaise with various internal departments and external service providers, including production, market research, sales, finance, human resources, advertising, and public relations etc. Product Manager has to estimate the demand for...
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