Google puts their money where their customers’ needs are

Google Play promotion

A large part of my job as our company’s mobile product manager is acquiring and evaluating new devices as they hit the market. It’s critical for me to constantly evaluate how our mobile solutions perform on the hardware that our customers are using.

Today I was starting up our newest test device, a Google Nexus 7, and was pleasantly surprised when I received an email with the above offer: a $25 credit for Google Play, to be spent any way that I wished. I can use it to try apps, movies, books, or music.

The mobile ecosystem is rich and varied, so I’m impressed with Google’s gesture. It’s a gesture that goes well beyond software, hardware, design, and development: it’s a product gesture that is focused squarely on my human needs. The need to test a new device on an emerging platform and, more importantly, the need to try something new without having to spend more money. Google is reaching out and saying, “Hey, we acknowledge that this is new. We’re here to make it easier for you to give it a try.”

Great product management has companies and organizations focusing their creative and technical solutions toward fulfilling their customers’ human needs. To be successful, product management has to go well beyond great design and technical execution. As Google demonstrates, doing a great job of managing the very nicely-designed, well-built, and affordable Nexus 7 includes making it easy and stress-free to also test drive content from Google Play.

What is the equivalent of the $25 Google Play credit for your organization’s online products? It may not be a store credit, but I bet it’s something that is similarly outside the areas of UX, design, and development. It’s product management’s job to identify such opportunities to enhance user satisfaction, whether that role is a separate position or an effort that another role works into their responsibilities.

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