Digital Product Manager

What Is a Digital Product Manager?

A product manager is responsible for driving the development of products to market success. A digital product manager holds this responsibility for digital products. These include software tools, apps, or any product developed and used electronically.

What Are Digital Product Manager Skills?

To succeed as a digital product manager, you will need several of the same core skills required in any product management position. Digital products are different in fundamental ways from physical products. Because of this, you will also need several extra skills to be a successful digital product manager. Here are examples of both sets of skills.

Skills all product managers (including digital product managers) need.

1. Strategic planning

All product managers need the ability to see the big picture. Then use that ability to set plans and goals for their cross-functional team.
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2. Prioritization

Product managers in even the most well-funded companies work with limited resources. They also have limited time to devote to any project. That is why they need the ability to identify the right initiatives to focus on and add to their product roadmap.

Dive Deeper:

Read Product Roadmaps: Planning Your Strategy ➜

3. Research and analysis

Whether overseeing physical or digital products, successful product managers need outstanding research skills. They need to find relevant data and turn it into information that can help improve their products.

Skills digital product managers need.

Digital product managers must also develop another set of skills for overseeing digital products. For example:

1. Rapid iteration and deployment

Digital product managers today have little choice but to embrace agile principles. These principles favor delivering working products to users frequently. This means digital products must develop the ability to rank small updates. Because the ranking ability is important to push updates out to customers on shorter timescales.

2. Design thinking

The user experience is an essential component of a digital product. The best software or mobile app will fail if its interface and user experience is frustrating or confusing. A digital product manager must learn how to create an intuitive product experience.

3. Understanding usage data

Digital product managers have an advantage over product managers who oversee physical products. They can track how people use their products and learn what’s working and what isn’t. Digital product managers must become skilled at reading and interpreting these product analytics. Because they must leverage these insights into the ability to improve their products.
[Free report] 2021 State of Product Management ➜

What Are a Digital Product Manager’s Responsibilities and Job Description?

The specific responsibilities of a digital product manager will differ in each company. But you can expect to find at least the following responsibilities on their digital product manager job description.

  • Lead the development of a digital product (or a suite of such products).
  • Analyze the market to make sure the product continues to offer advantages over its competitors.
  • Understand the user persona and buyer persona and develop unique value propositions for both.
  • Monitor, analyze, and act on key product analytics.  Continually improve the product, increase retention rate, and boost customer lifetime value (LTV).
  • Create and prioritize the strategic product roadmap.
    [Free report] 2021 State of Product Management ➜

Digital Product Manager vs. Digital Project Manager

People often confuse the product manager with the job of a project manager. Although these titles sound and look nearly identical, the roles are very different.

Digital product manager

The digital product manager is a strategic position. The role focuses on product vision, major goals, identifying product-market fit. As well as coordinating a cross-functional team to steer in the same strategic direction.

Digital project manager

This role is largely tactical. The digital project manager oversees the steps and resources needed to complete a project in the defined scope, on time, and using the resources and budget allotted for the project.

These two roles can and should work together to drive a successful digital product to market. Then to continuously improve the product over time.

Related Terms

digital transformation, product management vs. project managementagile frameworkuser experience, A/B test, adaptive software development (ASD)

Download the Career Guide for Product Managers ➜