TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGER

The technical product manager is responsible for the life of an innovative product, from its functional design to its commercialization. It assesses market needs, expresses them to R&D teams and supports the launch of the product.

MAIN ACTIVITIES

Market analysis and technological and economic watch

  •  Provide or have provided technology watch functions to detect major market innovations and permanently situate the company in relation to potential competition.
  •   Analyze and / or order the studies necessary to identify market expectations: end consumer needs, ergonomics, best uses, price, design …
  •  Provide feedback from all of the company’s business departments on market expectations : customer service, sales management, studies, research and development management …
  •   Anticipate the constraints and / or new regulatory possibilities in connection with the legal department.

Product definition and design

  • Define a product positioning in line with technological and economic challenges, and taking into account the company’s development strategy.
  •  Carry out or have carried out technical feasibility studies of the product.
  •   Carry out a market study which will validate the estimated economic performance of the product to be launched.
  •   Set up a business plan to ensure the future profitability of the product in the event of launch.

Product development and interface with study, research and development teams

  • Define precise functional specifications and ensure proper translation in terms of technical specifications with the development teams.
  •   Follow the product development plan (product « roadmap ») with the R&D teams.
  •    Follow the development progress in line with the imperatives of commercial launch: the « time to market « .
  • Validate the adequacy of the development according to the specifications defined upstream, in particular in terms of use and added value on the market.
  • Correct the product according to the launches of competing products on the market.
  • Ensure budget monitoring and permanent adequacy of resources to set objectives.

Piloting and support for the commercial launch

  • Contribute to the development of the promotion and marketing strategy: prices, distribution channels, communication …
  • Formalize and / or validate all of the technical documentation and all of the product’s added value on the market: technological performance, new services, new uses, price …
  •   Ensure internal communication, particularly with sales teams to support the product launch.
  • Ensure permanent monitoring of customer, market and commercial performance returns in order to correct any malfunctions and / or improve product performance.

POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES

The technical product manager can take on the role of program manager or R&D project manager, ensuring functional management of the study, research and development teams involved in developing their product.

It can also intervene throughout the promotion and communication chain around the product. Its role is then more focused on the media and advertising actions on the one hand, and distributors on the other hand, in order to ensure the best economic performance (turnover, market share …) for the product.

Finally, he can transform himself into a pre-sales engineer, if necessary, capable of making technical presentations of his product to prospects, customers, in the press or at conferences.

VARIABILITY OF ACTIVITIES

The scope of action of the technical product manager varies depending on the size of the company but also on the technical complexity of the product.

  • In large companies, the functions are generally very divided and the technical product manager will mainly manage the upstream marketing elements: product definition, economic and financial feasibility study, interface with technical teams. It does not intervene in the launching and promotion stages which are the responsibility of teams more oriented towards the market and communication. 
  • Within a smaller, SME-type company, its scope of action will expand. His role is very central in the company and he positions himself as coordinator of all stages of development. He is responsible for launching the product, in contact with partners for promotion (distributors, communication agencies) or with the company’s communications department. It acts as a spokesperson for all of the media that request it (specialist press for example). 

On products requiring significant technical resources (at certain car manufacturers for example), the technical product manager can occupy a direct function of coaching development teams. He is only responsible for certain modules of the product. His position is halfway between that of a product manager and that of an R&D project manager.

HIERARCHIC REATTACHMENT

  • Marketing director
  • Director of studies, research and development

PROFILE

Degrees required

  • Double diploma: bac + 4/5 technical (engineer, Master), accompanied by a 3rd cycle marketing / commercial (Master)
  •  General or specialized engineering school in the field of business activity
  • Technical 3rd cycle (Master) specialized in the field of business activity
  • 3rd cycle in marketing, type Master of business school, or Master marketing
  • Business School

Double training is very appreciated for the positions of technical product manager: ideally an engineering training coupled with a 3rd cycle in marketing.

Duration of experience

2 to 5 years’ experience is generally required to access the function. However, it can be accessible to young graduates who are then hierarchically attached to a more senior product manager.

REQUIRED SKILLS

Technical skills

  •  Good knowledge of the different elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion, distribution, in order to support the product in all stages of design and marketing
  •  Knowledge of the main principles of project management: specifications, specifications, schedules, etc. in order to ensure effective dialogue and monitoring with the study, research and development teams
  • Good general knowledge of the company’s activity sector in order to constantly identify competitive advances and market needs in terms of new products or uses
  • Strong technical culture in order to communicate effectively with the study, research and development teams and to imagine the feasibility of a product from the design phases
  • Fluent in English so as not to limit product development to a French-speaking market

Skills

  • Creativity as well to imagine new possible applications as new functionalities corresponding to a latent market need.
  •  Analytical skills to relay concepts through in-depth market research.
  • Pragmatism, in order to assess the positioning of the product both on technical and financial criteria, and taking into account the company’s strategy.
  • Strength of conviction and communication skills, because the technical product manager is required to present his product internally and externally.
  • Organization and sense of time to coordinate the activity of the various departments.

REMUNERATION

Young executive: between 35 and 55 k €

Confirmed setting: between 55 and 80 k €

OTHER TITLES

  • Product manager
  • Product Marketing Engineer
  •  Product Engineer
  • Product manager
  • Product Marketing Manager