PM's responsibility #1: Analyze Market & Competitors

I'll start this little blog post series about product manager (PM) responsibilities as we see them at Zemanta with the most important one, that is, keeping tabs on the target market and competitors. Regardless whether PM works for a start-up or a company with an established product-market fit, the PM should be in the know what's happening in the target market so that he or she can steer the product in the right direction and equip it with the right features to be successful. He or she should therefore be aware of market trends and industry news, he or she should know what's happening with both tangential and direct competitors and their products, how competition sells their products, how customers buy their products and why, and all other trends, news, and insights that shape the target market or are going to transform it in the future.

But being in the know him or herself isn't sufficient. If the PM is the only one in the company being aware of the market trends and competitors, he or she will feel pretty lonely and disconnected from the rest of the company who is less inclined or time constrained to keep track of what's happening in the wider world. Therefore it is one of the essential responsibilities of a PM to document competitive findings into reports and presentations as necessary to inform management, product owners, engineers, and sales, and to insure organizational understanding of competitors and competitive products. Or as an adaptation of a Kenyan proverb goes

If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together

This is part of series of posts on product manager's responsibilities as we see them at Zemanta.