Product management is needed in companies that have several products and brands where the need for integrated management of the product lifecycle makes the difference between success and failure. Hence, these companies need to create the post of a product manager who can help them manage the end to end product development in a seamless and smooth manner. The value of a product manager for these companies lies in the way he or she can take a holistic perspective of the product lifecycle and ensure that the products and brands are developed and marketed keeping the interests of the company in mind. Especially in companies that have multiple product lines and several brands, it becomes necessary to have a product manager for each of the products so that the focus on the specific product or brand is not lost in the melange of the several brands that the company manages.
Take for instance, the case of the world famous consumer giant, Proctor & Gamble. The company known as P&G has managed to be ahead of the competition by investing in the time and money needed to grow each product and brand.
The product managers for each of the products and the brands ensure that the bottom line focus on the product and the brand is not lost in the overall drive to push in as many brands as possible into the marketplace. The point here is that in the rush to be the first and the best, companies often lose their mojo or the will that is needed to focus on each brand and at the same time on all the brands. Hence, a product manager for each of the products or the product line can ensure that he or she makes the company stick to its core competence by focusing on the specific product or the brand and at the same time focus on the overall bottom line.
The value of a product manager in companies like P&G and Unilever lies in the way they can coordinate with other product managers across the company and ensure that the marketing and advertising is done in such a way that it reinforces the central message of the company without losing track of the need to emphasize the individual differences. Only when companies can integrate all the products and within the products, integrate the phases of the lifecycle can then ensure micro management and macro focus. This is the job of the product manager and hence such companies realize that they cannot do without a product manager who can play the role that is required.
Of course, a product manager alone cannot guarantee the success of the product and all the teams involved in the development and marketing effort have to contribute their bit. The point here is that the product manager by virtue of having the big picture focus can concentrate on getting the best out of the individual teams in the overall company and to smoothen the phases in the product lifecycle. Hence, product managers are a must for managing the top line growth and the bottom line profits.