Mark Brinda: Offering Management

Product managers at many incumbent tech firms typically focus on just one product line. Leading-edge companies, by contrast, take a more customer-centric approach, known as offering management. Mark Brinda, a partner in Bain’s Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice, describes how the two approaches differ and how giving more power to product managers can help companies drive growth.

Read the Bain Brief: Product Management in the Age of Disruption

Read the transcript below.

MARK BRINDA: Product managers at many B2B enterprise companies have actually been encouraged to think narrowly, to focus on their specific product area, to worry about shipping the product on time, on budget, and really to not go beyond the silo of their organization. And many leading innovators, especially in technology, think about this role completely differently. They think about product managers are mini general managers, who live and die by the results of their offering in the market.

They have end-to-end accountability of the entire experience, from discovery through to trial, to purchase, to the service and support, and ultimate extension and upgrade and renewal of purchase. And they're really viewed as visionaries, both within and beyond the company—people that command respect and influence of their peers around the organization.

At Bain, we actually call this offering management, not product management, to signify that really the accountability is about more than just the narrow product but about the entire offering and the experience. We've helped clients make the transition from narrowly defined product management to a more broadly scoped offering management capability by revitalizing their talent, reinventing the decision rights, management system, processes, tools and systems—you know, all come together to really make that happen. So if your organization has been losing share or struggling to inflect performance the way you'd like, I would say that offering management or product management should be the control point that you look to to drive the change you seek.

Read the Bain Brief: Product Management in the Age of Disruption