What does a Product Strategist do? Responsibilities, Skills & Career Path
The role of a product strategist has evolved. A decade ago, product strategists existed in the world of product management. It was a position focused on planning, product visioning, market research, and customer interviews.
Product strategists spend their time across industries, driving demand for expertise. Although the role has evolved, it focuses on strategic thinking and spotting future trends.
It’s safe to assume that we have a lot of knowledge about the product manager’s career! After all, Stephen Cognetta, one of our co-founders, worked as a product manager at Google.
Let’s examine a product strategy director’s job path in more detail.
Who is a Product Strategist?
A Product Strategist is a hybrid of an architect and a marketer. They have deep technical knowledge of their domain and industry, but they also understand how to communicate that knowledge to other stakeholders in the company. This means they can think strategically about technology while communicating those plans clearly and effectively with other people across the organization.
Product Strategists are also good at understanding how all parts of an organization fit together — from engineering teams to marketing teams — so they can help them collaborate effectively on products or projects together.
What is Product Strategy?
Product strategy is all about creating a product vision and then aligning your product with that vision. A good product strategy aligns your team and stakeholders, creates a roadmap for your product, and defines how you differentiate from your competitors.
Product strategy helps you understand what you need to build and why you need to build it. It answers the questions:
- Why are we building this product?
- What problem does it solve?
- Who will use it and why?
- How will we measure success?
Product Strategist Responsibilities
Product strategy managers need to get involved in the day-to-day implementation of a product. Instead, they focus on the overall vision of the product and how that product fits into your company’s long-term strategy. They also create roadmaps for new products or updates to existing ones.
A Product Strategist with a product team can look at a business problem and develop an innovative solution that meets customer needs. They have an eye for detail and can think about all aspects of a company’s product line from both an internal and external perspective.
What does a product strategist do?
A product strategy director has several responsibilities, which can vary depending on the business.
Some of the responsibilities are:
- Research and analysis: The product strategist must be able to take a broad-view perspective of the market, competitors, and customer needs. They must be able to identify trends and opportunities and understand the impact of new technologies.
- Strategic planning: A product strategist is responsible for developing strategies to help companies use their resources most efficiently while maintaining their competitive edge in the marketplace. This includes tactics such as pricing, distribution, and promotion.
- Positioning the business for success: A product strategy director must understand how products are priced and sell them correctly in the market. They should also work with other business team members to ensure that everyone understands how each product fits into their role within the company.
3 Key Skills All Product Strategists Should Have
All product strategy managers should possess these three key skills.
A product strategist needs to be able to analyze data and draw conclusions from it. This means they must be able to collect data, organize it and find patterns.
The data can come from different sources, such as customer surveys, interviews, or focus groups. The product strategy director should be able to identify useful information from this data pool and use it for decision-making purposes.
Product strategists need to be both enterprising and entrepreneurial in their thinking. They need to think creatively about new ideas and concepts for products or services that will help their company grow. They also need an entrepreneurial spirit to initiate projects independently without waiting for their superiors’ instructions.
Communication skills are very important in any job, especially as a product strategy director who needs to communicate with customers, vendors, partners, and other organizational stakeholders. A good product strategist understands the importance of communication and knows how to best deliver messages in ways that people understand clearly, without any misunderstandings or miscommunications occurring along the way.
How to Become a Project Strategist
Product strategists are in demand, and you can get a job with the skills, experience and determination.
But how do you become a product strategist?
There are a few different routes to take.
Build Up Your Background Knowledge
The first step in becoming a product strategist is to gain an understanding of the field. This means learning about all aspects of product management, including:
- What products are, and why they’re important to businesses and customers
- The different types of products (e.g., physical goods, software) and how they’re different from services (e.g., accounting)
- How products are built (e.g., the product development process) and sold (e.g., pricing strategy)
- How users interact with products (e.g., user research methods) and what motivates them to use certain products over others (e.g., the user needs analysis)
Start Developing Your Product Management Skillset
Product management is an important part of leading products, but it’s only part of the picture. You’ll also need deep knowledge of design, engineering and business strategy — and the ability to synthesize all of this information into a cohesive plan for what a product should be like.
Several certifications are available for people who want to become more experienced in their field. For example, there’s the Professional Scrum Product Owner certification from Scrum Alliance or the Professional Certified Scrum Master certification from Scrum Inc. These certifications allow you to learn best practices in the field while showcasing your knowledge to potential employers and clients alike!
How much does a product strategist make?
Product strategists make an average pay of $62,150 in the US, with salaries ranging from $33,530 to $145,000. The average product strategist’s salary is $62,150 to $87,900, with the top 83% earning $145,000.
What is an example of a product strategy?
Zoom, the screen-sharing platform, has built its business with a simple product strategy. One function it provides allows you to share your screen with people online, and it delivers exactly what it promises. This is a very straightforward offering. But because of this simplicity, Zoom has built a highly successful business by serving customers who want a simple way to share their screens with others remotely.
Zoom’s strategy can also be applied across multiple customer segments. The company has expanded into more complex offerings such as video conferencing and application sharing — but these new features are built on top of the core product that makes up the core value proposition of Zoom’s business.
Product Strategist vs. Product Manager
Product strategist and product manager are two different positions in the product management group. The difference lies in the level of responsibility of each position.
Product strategists have less responsibility than product managers, but they are still responsible for helping with many aspects of the product development process. They can be tasked with developing business cases, defining features and functions that will be built into products, and ensuring that products meet customers’ needs.
Product managers are in more senior positions than product strategy managers; they are responsible for all the activities and operations involved in creating a product from concept to launch. Product managers also manage their teams of people, including research analysts and developers.
Developing a good product strategy is crucial for any organization. Without one, no business can afford to grow profitably. If you’re interested in stepping your job up from the trenches, becoming a product strategist can be one way. The flexibility of pursuing this line of work can also be attractive to those seeking more independence from their employer. If that’s the position you’re looking for, it might be time to consider becoming a product strategist.
A good project manager knows how to manage tasks, and a great project manager knows how to manage tasks with a team.
The Agile user story map & roadmap help you manage all the tasks you need to do; so you can be sure that everyone is clear about what needs to be done, when, how long each task should take, and what is expected of them.