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Product Portfolio Management – Market Strategy vs. Product Strategies

market strategy

Going all the way back to my practitioner days, it was apparent then that as product management goes, so goes the rest of the organization. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise since everything revolves around the products.

My goal with this 10-part series on product portfolio management is to highlight the strategic ripple effect across engineering, product marketing, sales, including presales, customer onboarding, and customer success.

That brings us to the topic of a single market strategy versus strategies for each product and which approach has more strategic benefit to your organization.

Here’s the $1 million question.

Is it easier for your company to meet its strategic and financial goals by executing 10 individual product strategies for example, or executing one holistic market strategy for all 10 products that’s intended to drive growth in the most lucrative market segments for your portfolio (the company) as a whole?

Here are three big things to consider. The complete list is a bit longer, but this will get you off to a good start!

1. Resource Allocation 

Even if you have engineering resources to deliver on the full list of priorities for each product, which is highly unlikely, the question is, can marketing and sales successfully execute 10 product strategies and hit 10 sets of numbers? Throw in customer on-boarding for new customers and customer success on account management just for good measure, and their collective impact on recurring revenue (ARR/MRR).

2. Customer Value

Your target customers are concerned about one thing – executing on their strategic and operational priorities to meet their own business goals. None of your products on their own deliver the broad impact your customers are looking for. 

Here’s the thing. Product strategies view the customer in silos (by user) from the bottom up. A market strategy sees the customer organization holistically from the top down (the way they see themselves) and delivers value accordingly.

3. Brand Value & Competitive Differentiation

Every technology company touts the benefit of their platform and the seamless product integration, yet products are largely managed and marketed in silos. What most technology companies aren’t touting is business process integration and the value to the customer, the real point of differentiation. 

You shouldn’t expect your target customers to cobble together the value messages for each product and come up with the one thing that truly differentiates you. A market strategy does just that.

The Bottom Line on Market Strategy vs. Product Strategies

Here’s the bottom line. A market strategy aligns all disciplines and resources across the board to a single strategy that leads with customer value and outlines a coordinated set of tactics for execution that best support your organization’s strategic and financial goals. 

Now, take the number of products you have and multiply that number by the strategies and the execution tactics across engineering, product marketing, sales, customer on-boarding and customer success and determine how feasible it is to execute each one successfully.

When you’re struggling to hit your numbers and priorities across the organization keep changing, this might be the first place to look for root causes! You’re likely spreading yourselves too thin on all fronts.

If you think a product portfolio management model would be more beneficial to your organization strategically, let’s talk shop!

Becoming More Strategic

Subscribe to The Product Vibe or follow Product Management University on LinkedIn to make sure you get the 10-part post.

If the heat is on your team to “be more strategic,” check out our Portfolio Management & Marketing courses and contact us about a personalized workshop for your team.

by John Mansour on October 10, 2023.