· 4 min read ·
As a product manager you need to make sure that you are always on top of what is happening in your industry. There is a ton of information available online. Sometimes it can become overwhelming!!
Our first instinct when we need information is to google it! But how do you make head or tail of everything that you find online? Is there a method to the madness - An easy way to synthesis all the information online. How often should we do competitive market research? How much time should a product manager devote to this activity among all the other things that they need to do?
A product manager should spend at least two hours each week doing market research.
Some tips before starting your research:
Public companies conduct online sessions once every few months to update investors. You can find the recordings of these sessions in the “investor relations” section of their sites. Copies of previous presentations are also available for download. These presentations contain information on:
It ends with a Q&A session with the CEO or CFO of the company. They provide valuable insights into the strategic thinking of the organisation.
Many sites like Capterra and G2 Crowd host reviews of products posted by verified users. Reading these reviews helps you understand:
Companies engage with reviewers in these forums. They offer insights and workarounds that can solve reviewers problems. Product managers can also find key problems that reviewers face with different products. They provide:
Gartner and Forrester publish reports on software products at regular intervals. Gartner magic quadrant lists out the existing leaders in the industry as well as up and coming challengers. Forrestor wave report looks at the current position and the strategy of the software vendors and places them in different positions. Both companies have an exhaustive evaluation process to create these reports
Tip: Oftentimes these reports are expensive. You can get parts of the report from the website of a software provider that is featured in these reports. These reports help drive traffic and generate lead for their sales team. So everybody wins!
Release notes offer insight into improvements that competitors make in their products. It also offers insight into how often they ship products.
These are available on competitor websites or their youtube channels. When you are starting a new product management role it is a good idea to go through these demos. They help you understand:
This often falls in the realm of digital marketing. But it is a great way for any product manager to gauge the interest across different parts of a competitor website. To analyse the competitor traffic do the following:
This will tell you what type of content is drawing users to competitor website.
Doesn’t work all the time but worth a shot! It can help surface third party applications that competitors are using. You can add these to the list of vendors to partner with.
To inspect a page do the following: