Your opinion, although interesting….

….is irrelevant.

After NIHITO, this is actually my 2nd favorite Twitter-sized lesson from the folks at Pragmatic Marketing.

For would-be-Product-Managers with an engineering or technical background – grounded in logical thinking – you would think that this would resonate.

What this lesson is preaching, is that to be an effective Product Manager or Product Marketing Manager, you have to get out there and validate your beliefs.  You have to back up statements like “this feature doesn’t work right” with the input of having talked to or visited some sampling of customers / users.

But even developers and engineers have egos.  And it’s very easy to think “I know what the product needs better than the users do.  After all, I designed it.”  There is a case for not building product purely based on user requirements – you need other forces to drive innovation.

But all your work – from requirements, to specs, to sales training slides and case studies – should be  based on facts you’ve acquired – not just your opinion.  In the case of Product Marketing, the recent term I’ve heard is “evidence based marketing”.

Is this approach to Product Marketing / Management effective?  Yes.  I can think of several examples when I’ve been able to validate a marketing message of kill an unnecessary feature request by talking to a customer.  When you make the time and effort to back your  thoughts up with facts (and this will involve travel budget), it does work.

And that’s not just my opinion….

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