Certified Product Manager® Workshop


The objective of the Certified Product Manager Workshop is to provide the training and knowledge to achieve certification as a “Certified Product Manager” through the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) .  The workshop includes the certification exam on the final day.

The five-day Workshop focuses on the entire product lifecycle – product inception through launch through obsolescence/refresh.  The Workshop provide valuable training in addition to exam preparation.

Workshop Overview

Product management is the function responsible for championing new products throughout the front end of the product lifecycle, from inception through launch.  It is the “go-to” function that orchestrates internal activities and ensures the best possible outcome for the product. In this course, participants will learn best practices in product management that they can apply in their organization to improve the success rate of their products.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand the “best practices” in product management and how they can apply to the organisation
  • Develop a more robust strategy for the product and product line
  • Manage the front end of the product lifecycle more effectively (idea, concept, development, test, launch)
  • Prepare to take the exam to become an AIPMM “Certified Product Manager®”

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for anyone involved in the product management function, working with internal resources to ensure successful product /service definition, design, development and launch.

  • Product Managers, Senior Product Managers and Regional Product Managers
  • Product Line Managers, Group Product Managers
  • Product Development Managers with responsibility for the Product Management
  • Senior Management responsible for the product management function

Course Outline:

1. Overview of Product Lifecycle Management

This section provides an overall view of the product lifecycle and discusses the role of product management and product marketing in managing the product from cradle to grave.

2. Understanding Goods and Services

Effective product management starts with a deep understanding of the product. In this section, you will discuss:

  • The definition of a product and the different levels of a product that exist from the customers’ perspective
  • The various core benefits that a customer seeks and why these are critical to the product manager
  • Why factors beyond the product itself often have the greatest impact on buying decisions and customer satisfaction
  • Different types of products and how these differences impact the nature of the product requirements

Action Learning Exercise: Determining the different levels of a product

3. Product Lines and Product Mix

Rarely does a product stand alone – it is part of a product line, and the line is part of a product mix.  This section discusses each and describes the role of product extensions in increasing market coverage.

4. Market Strategy

Product marketing must be aligned with the company’s strategy to get the best results. This section covers:

  • The overall strategy and mission
  • The business portfolio
  • Product/market expansion

Action Learning Exercise: Product/market expansion

5. Competitive Strategy

Here we examine the various strategies a company can use to fight or co-exist with the competition, together with the pros and cons of each.

  • Understanding competition and its impact
  • Choosing the right marketing strategy to gain competitive advantage

6. Key Product Decisions

There are many decisions and considerations facing the product manager when he/she is defining the product. This section examines the different elements of a product and how each must be considered explicitly.

  • Product attributes
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • Support
  • Relationship to the brand

Action Learning Exercise: the Product/Brand Audit

7. Market Segmentation and Product Positioning

It is important for your product to be positioned clearly in the minds of your customers and prospects, since fuzzy or poorly articulated positioning may cause them not to take the next step in the purchase process.

  • The importance of market segmentation in determining your product positioning
  • How and when to position your product
  • The warning signs that positioning needs revising

Action Learning Exercise: Positioning a product

8. The Product Lifecycle: Inception through Launch

Product management is responsible for the first half of the product lifecycle – inception through launch. This section reviews the stages of the product lifecycle with a focus on the critical first stages.

  • The stages of the product lifecycle and the key activities within each
  • A methodology for managing the development process that is in widespread use today
  • A proven approach to screening ideas and the common mistakes that are made at this important step in the process

Action Learning Exercise: The new product development process

9. Preparing For the Launch

In addition to marking the transition from development to commercialization, the launch is also the typical handoff of the product to product marketing from product management. Both functions need to be intimately involved for the transition to run smoothly. This section reviews:

  • Overall activities associated with the product launch
  • Internal launch preparedness
  • Ensuring a smooth transition to production

10. The Extended Value Chain

There are many companies ultimately involved in delivering the solution to the customer, each with a specific role to play. This section examines the value chain from the perspective of:

  • The direct value chain for your product
  • The extended chain of companies delivering the complete solution to your customers
  • How to develop and nurture your extended value chain to leverage your company’s internal resources

Action Learning Exercise: The extended value chain

11. Branding

The brand is often the most powerful tool used in marketing products, and it provides a context for product and marketing decisions.

  • The strategic decisions involved in shaping the brand
  • Brand equity, positioning and sponsorship
  • Naming considerations
  • Brand development

12. Consumer and Business Buying Behavior

To successfully manage (and help the sales force manage) the sales funnel, product marketing managers need to understand customer buying behavior.

  • Factors influencing consumer and business buying behavior
  • The buyer decision process
  • Stages in the adoption process, and what is required to move the buyer to the next stage

Action Learning Exercise: Customer Buying Behavior

13. The Marketing Process and Marketing Mix

Successful product marketing requires the careful orchestration of all factors leading to successful sales.

  • The marketing process and the crucial steps in product marketing
  • The classic 4 Ps, plus three more essential for success
  • The marketing plan
  • Organizing and implementing the marketing function

14. Integrated Marketing Communications

With the recent proliferation of communication channels including social media, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that your customers and other stakeholders are receiving consistent messages.   In this section, we will address:

  • The various channels of communications available to you and your customers
  • The problems that arise with the conventional approach to marketing communications, and an integrated approach that overcomes those problems
  • The key steps within an integrated marketing campaign
  • Determining campaign objectives and the appropriate types of messages to achieve those objectives

15. Market Channels and Distribution

There are often one or more intermediaries through which the product flows in getting from the vendor to the customer.

  • The role and value add of the intermediaries
  • The various forms of consumer and business marketing channels
  • Channel design decisions
  • Channel behavior and the problems to avoid
  • Marketing logistics considerations

16. Pricing

There are many considerations when setting product pricing, including its influence on customer and competitive behavior, and the statements it makes about product positioning. In this section, you will cover:

  • Common pricing strategies and pricing best practices
  • The various factors to consider when setting or adjusting the pricing

17. International Considerations

In today’s global economy, most companies transcend national borders.  Many businesses are deciding when and how to expand globally, others are subsidiaries or distributors of global companies operating locally.  Here, we discuss:

  • Considerations for expanding to new geographical markets
  • Structuring the marketing operations to achieve the proper balance of global standardization and local control

18. Product Management Tools

This section provides a review of several popular tools and techniques that have proven helpful to product managers, including:

  • Pricing strategies for new products
  • Competitive forces
  • Sources of customer input and feedback.

19. General Questions and Deferred Discussion

While most questions are addressed during the workshop itself, which is highly interactive, some lengthier issues may get deferred until this point in the course.  In addition, as time allows, we can explore other topics of particular interest to the participants.

20. Certification Exam

The exam will be administered during the final day of the program.