Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recap: What Product Managers Must Learn from Brand Management w/ Mack McCoy

By Cindy F. Solomon 
Also posted at  

Please retweet: 8/29 Recap: What Product Management Must Learn from Brand Managers w/ @Mack_McCoy #prodmgmt

At our most recent, Aug 29 Global Product Management Talk on Twitter, Mack McCoy  led us in an inquiry into Product Managers’ Appreciation Of Brand Impression.  Following is an edited recap of the tweets.  Listen to his full discussion here:
Use this as a jumping off point to blog your insights and responses.

Mack McCoy says, “If you think you’re just selling a product, you’re wrong!  Customers have moved on. They see BRANDS as services and products as a component of the relationship they have with a variety of brands at any given time. Everything is migrating into a service. Customers still buy individual products, but their experience IS your brand impression - the product is important but it’s only a part of their entire relationship.”


Please welcome @Mack_McCoy, Global Product Marketer for Discussion On What Product Managers Must Learn from Brand Management to Succeed.  Mack McCoy is Co-Founder, Executive Director, & Director of Social Media for Product Camp SoCal and Treasurer & Founding Board Member of Orange County Product Managers.  Mack has more than a decade of experience in product marketing, business transformation, product management and quality assurance focused in the Internet and Telecommunication industries.

Q1 How is customer experience defined in your organization?
  • Reason for first question "it always starts wi/ customer! Step back: do people understand brand vs. product mgmt?" asks @Mack_McCoy  
  • @mack_mccoy Brand Manager asks more fundamental ques - what is the pain the customer is trying to solve?  What are consumers trying to do/solve by buying ur product or service?
  • @mack_mccoy brand management makes & maintains a promise to the customer 
  • Brand Management def - broad: develop promise for brand 2 embody, make promise & maintain the promise 
  • @Mack_McCoy  Apple has done a consistent job of delivering on brand promises. Excuse the fanboy, but reason why Apple succeeds is they keep promise to customrs. #prodmgmt in tech has a tendency to focus on technology instead of the customer.  #prodmgmt should look to#brand management to create exceptional customer experiences
  • ErikaLAndersen @Mack_McCoy: Can get so caught up in product/launch, lose sight of what customer values Question: is customer experience and brand experience the same thing? 
  • @Mack_McCoy says Cust Exp is subset of brand exp, it drives brand experience. Cust Exp feeds brand exp - all messaging...There is more in brand experience eg: messaging.  look at cust exp from acquisition thru billing...
  • ErikaLAndersen @Mack_McCoy: customer experience is biggest part of the brand experience. Thanks! 
  • cindyfsolomon @ErikaLAndersen brand management success is measured by customer impression, experience and resulting behavior 
  • @Mack_McCoy #prodmgmt should establish & maintain emotional connection with customer when developing prods & services 

Q2 Where does customer experience begin and end when you think about your products/services?
  • @Mack_McCoy #prodmgmt should be thinking about brand & customer exp comprehensively so u can to stay top of mind 
  • BreSwim Customer experience begins at first impression whether online or elsewhere 
  • brainmates Good #prodmgmt should consider all touch points. When deploying tech, don't lose sight of humanity. 
  • ErikaLAndersen @Mack_McCoy: So you're not limiting cust exp to jst prod use, but from 1st ad, set up, etc? 
  • ErikaLAndersen Shld user test not only prod design, but setup, uploads/downloads, everything customer does w/ prod
  • @Mac_McCoy - cust exp should be defined first & foremost by the customer not by the Product Manager
  • cindyfsolomon @Mack_McCoy to @ErikaLAndersen Yes, Absolutely. Its about trying to understand what is the pain you are solving 
  • @Mac_McCoy We r fundamentally trying to sell something so we need to understand why people want to buy 
  • ErikaLAndersen According to Don Norman: Design at three levels, visceral, behavioral, & reflective 
  • @Mack_McCoy ethnography, anthropology, customer surveys - all this info provides info about customer so we build best prod 
  • ErikaLAndersen Visceral: first impression; Behavioral: Using product; Reflective: thinking abt it later 

Q3 In your company/position, who’s responsible for the overall customer experience? Who’s really in the driver’s seat?

  • >@Mack_McCoy - Its diff for diff companies. Often Product Manager is in the middle. In small companies, its the Product Manager who drives customer experience 
  • BreSwim @cindyfsolomon Marketing in many cases. Often responsible for driving potential customers to become current customers. 
  • ErikaLAndersen Person who works with customers most, who has the empathy, should be driving 
  • liz_blink Is that not everyone?
  • @Mack_McCoy to @BreSwim Shouldn't we go further - once we have customer, want to keep and grow them. Could argue mrktg resp...we need to go further. How do we keep current customers? 
  • @Mack_McCoy its a triage if its a support issue - could fall to dev, eng when enhancing existing prods...
  • ErikaLAndersen I think marketing creates msgs to send out; person driving should listen more than speak 
  • brainmates RT @liz_blink: Is that not everyone? It should be! Unfortunately we forget about the customer in day 2 day biz…
  • @Mack_McCoy products will be successful whenever salespeople have excellent rapport w/buyer, company in B2B… emulate that "warm" relationship w/B2C transactions 
  • brainmates Great advice from @Mack_McCoy. If we want buyers to buy, we need to create an emotional connection throughout whole journey 

Q4 What drives your customers’ decision-making for buying/upgrading your products/services? Do you know? Should you care?
  • > 
    ErikaLAndersen @gander2112 says that all the time- that we must listen & observe more than telling/talking to recognize 
  • @mack_mccoy absolutely! To encourage brand loyalty mrktg can't be the only! Often 1st impression is from mktg 
  • Mack_McCoy @BreSwim Yes. Often many don't understand why brand exp is so important & their role in bldg it. 
  • BreSwim @cindyfsolomon @mack_mccoy Q: is it more difficult to engage employees in importance of brand experience than it is the customer?
  • @liz_blink: We act as if customers distract us from work! 
  • cindyfsolomon A4 - leading question - of course we care as Product Managers - its what drives us! 
  • @Mack_McCoy we think if we have all the check boxes, then we'll win but everyone says you must build comprehensive experience 
  • cindyfsolomon @Mack_McCoy Wholefoods does a good job focused outside on brand impression - but don't treat their employees well... 
  • ErikaLAndersen Think it'd help to give engs personas, ensure countless decisions they make reflect custs? 
  • @Mack_McCoy  older processes dehumanized data as it distilled down into features. Agile & personas return connection 
  • chrisboothe RT @brainmates: Good #prodmgmt should consider all touch points. When deploying tech, don't lose sight of humanity.
Q5 Where do you capture data about direct customer experience, feedback, perception?

  • @Mack_McCoy now golden age of voice of customer -info readily avail at reduced cost 
  • @Mack_McCoy 1. many tools agregating info from all sources 2. consumer/customer panel 3. solicit feedback - surveys 
  • @Mack_McCoy Social Media + Customer Panel + Surveys + Feedback + Customer Support Info = ways to get 2 customer 
  • @Mack_McCoy  Often info from customer support wasn't making it back to ProdMgmt & Engineering
  • cindyfsolomon Best source of info re: product, company, customers & history is #Customer  Support people & dept!
  • ErikaLAndersen @cindyfsolomon: Key for prod mgmrs: make friends with customer support 
  • liz_blink You should be allies anyway!
cindyfsolomon Thank you @Mack_McCoy for speaking today! Everyone's participation appreciated!  
Mack_McCoy Thank you! It was fun. 

NO Speaker next week - USA Labor Day Holiday - enjoy! Join us Sept 12 for @GregWhite of PCamp SoCal 

Please retweet: 8/29 Recap: What Product Management Must Learn from Brand Managers w/ @Mack_McCoy #prodmgmt

Global Product Management TalkTM is a weekly mini-product camp Socratic discussion (on Twitter) of pre-posted questions (on Facebook) with live audio of thought leader and co-hosts commenting (on Blogtalkradio). 
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