Product Managers Need To Know Who Their Internal Customers Are

Product launches are one of the most difficult things that product managers are called on to do. The reason that they are so difficult to do well is because no matter how detailed of a product development definition you’ve created, there are still a large number of moving parts that are involved. It can be very easy to focus on the target customers who you are hoping will select your product. However, it turns out that there are even more types of customers that you should be worrying about: internal customers.

Sales

Let’s face it: your product will never be a success if the sales team does not go out and sell it. What this means for you as a product manager is that you need to make sure that you take the time to communicate with your sales teams long before the product get launched. Get this right and you’ll have an important addition to your product manager resume.

This is an area where you need to make sure that you are not guessing. What does your sales team really need from you? You could end up creating all sorts of presentations and brochures for them; however, if this is not the way that they sell your product then your time will have been wasted.

Instead, you need to have a talk with sales. Find out how they expect that they will be selling your product. If it’s possible to do so, go out with them and shadow them as they visit customers. Discover what customers want to know about your products and then equip your sales teams to provide it to them.

Support

Right after support, the next internal department that is going to contribute the most to the success of your product will be your support team. Once the product has been sold, these are the people that will be getting the calls directly from the customer in order to get answers to questions and to get issues resolved.

One of the most important things that a product manager can do is to make sure that the support team has plenty of advance notice about a new product. You need to ensure that there will be no surprises. They need to know what the product does and any limitations that you know about before it goes out the door.

In addition to making sure that your support team knows what is going on, you need to make sure that you’ve reserved enough time for them to get trained on your product. You want them to be intimate with how the product works before they get the first call from a customer about your product.

Finance

One department that many product managers forget to think about as an important internal customer is the finance department. This is a mistake. The finance department helped your product to get off the ground, it’s now critical that you keep them in the loop as the product is launched.

One area that will have the interest of the finance department has to do with the decisions that you make during the product launch regarding pricing. The initial pricing of the product, the proposed discounts, and the actual discounts will all have an impact on the company’s bottom line.

Before, during, and after the product launch you need to be working with your finance department. The two of you will have to be watching your profit targets, and the product costs so that you can ensure that your product will be profitable.

What All Of This Means For You

There is no one thing that will make a new product a success. Ultimately it comes down to a number of different, but interconnected, items. All too often a product manager can focus on the customers who will be buying the product and forget about the internal customers whose support is needed in order to make the product a success. Working closely with these internal teams should be a part of every product manager job description.

There are many different internal groups who make up your internal customers. The sales teams are among the most important. You need to work closely with them to understand what they need from you and to provide them with it. The support teams will have the most contact with customers who purchase your product. Make sure that they know what the plan for launching the product is. Finally, your finance team is not always considered when launching a product, but they can be key to making sure that you have any additional funding that you need and supporting your next product launch.

No, being a product manager is not an easy job. However, understanding all of the various parties from whom you need support in order for your product to be a success is a key step in being a successful product manager. Make sure that you take the time to meet the needs of your internal customers and they’ll be willing to help you to make your next product launch a success.

Full Color Prints That You Can Use to Advertise New Products

Advertising is one of the factors propel a new product as the top player in the market. Although not the sole element to make the commodity a successful production venture, it can make a significant difference in its sales record. One of the most commonly utilized media for advertising are full color prints. They not only offer vivid images but affordable visuals, as well.

There are several full color prints to choose from. They come in different sizes, different page numbers and at different costs.

1. One-sheet ads

These are the least expensive of the selection. These are one-sheet, two-page ads that include postcards, flyers and brochures.

Postcards, albeit the smallest of the three, are a popular choice partly due to the offered resilience of its thick paper material, and its small size. It is now used a lot for direct mailing campaigns.

Flyers and brochures are pretty much the same in terms of stock type but they are easy to distinguish due to their difference in size and folding. Flyers are the smaller ones and are not folded. Brochures, on the other hand, are usually folded into several flaps. The appeal of brochures can be enhanced with the type of fold used, some of which include gate fold and accordion fold.

Since they have bigger spaces and are divided into compartments, brochures can contain more information than flyers and postcards.

2. Multiple page ads

These include newsletters and catalogs. Newsletters are a good way to showcase news, product launches, updates and other fresh information. As for catalogs, they are used for disseminating comprehensive information about the product, even about the company profile and other related and relevant data.

Calendars are also an avenue to advertise but they serve the primary function of date registries rather than materials for advertising.

3. Large format ads

There are a number of options for large visuals: those that are suitable for outdoor use, and those that are ideal for indoor areas.

For store and establishment interiors, images the size of movie posters are frequently employed since they provide wide and crisp visuals. Some posters are coated with aqueous solutions that give off a light sheen on the surface of the stock used, while some are inks are ultraviolet (UV) coated. UV cured posters have intense luster on the surface, and they have water- and fade- resistant prints. Caution should be taken when opting for UV coated posters since when exposed to spotlights and other very bright light sources, the surface reflects the light so the images cannot be seen properly.

Options for outdoor ad materials include billboards and vinyl banners. Billboards are those very big ads that you see by the road side. These have the advantage of visibility and appeal. Banners are the smaller and cheaper version of billboards. These are posted with the aid of grommets to which strings are attached.

Both are made of vinyl, a durable and flexible synthetic material that does not easily tear and are waterproof.

Other outdoor ads include adhesive posters which easily stick to smooth and flat surfaces. There are also window clings which adhere to glass statically. Both materials can be removed and replaced.

Full color prints are a practical choice for advertising since they have a host of options for stock types and also have a range of price choices to suit your budget.

Drive Tons of Traffic to Your New Product the Right Way

Some people who try to break into the world of online marketing walk away millionaires. Others try their best and invest lots of money trying to launch a new product or business, but seem to fail time after time. Wouldn’t your rather belong to the successful group? The question is: what is the secret of those who are most successful at online ventures? The answer is more straightforward than you might think. It’s all about having a access to a huge audience. Millions and millions of people know when these people launch a new product thanks to the super affiliate networks that they belong to. Other marketers promote them, and they promote other marketers, building a loop that has incredible profit potential.

The trouble is that it is really tough for a online startup to get a foot in the door with these super affiliates. Since most people who are just starting out have no audience to speak of, it’s really difficult to convince a super affiliate to accept them into the network. They simply don’t have anything to offer that the super affiliate needs… or do they?

The first thing you have to understand is that this is not a situation where quantity is greater than quality. To wit, if you constantly bombard super affiliates with lame offers than you’ll get turned down time after time, and they won’t want to hear from you again. You’re going to need to have a quality product. This can easily be attained by going to a site such as Elance, GetAFreelancer, or Guru. When you have a good product, it’s time to pitch your offer to the big boys.

More than likely, most will probably just ignore you if you’re an unknown. Either way, what you need to convey is what your joint venture will go to help out your partner, along with the potential to join up with you for your next product (since this one will be so popular you’ll have more money to put into the next project). One important thing to remember is…be persistent. If you don’t receive an answer, keep trying to get in touch. If they say they’re not interested, fine…ask them why that is. Don’t pester them, but make sure that they take notice. One of them will eventually want to talk more about your product. Once they’ve accepted your pitch, then any new product you want to sell will have an audience of millions.