I spent a fair amount of time one night last week and rewrote a product manager job description, trying to make it better reflect exactly what I think we’re looking for and also make it more conversational. The folks at Pragmatic Marketing had it forwarded to them off a Google alert for their name and liked it a lot. A Director at Pragmatic called me and said they forwarded it around the organization a lot late last week, and as a result, there was a lot of chatter about it.
Why the chatter? Turns out they think it’s a great example of understanding the buyer persona you’re trying to reach when marketing, and opted to include it in last week's Pragmatic newsletter that goes out to 45K subscribers per issue. Here's what the experts at Pragmatic had to say related to reaching buyer personas when writing a job description:
"Which job would you rather have? Product Manager? Or Product Whisperer?
In our seminars, we teach product managers and marketers the power of the buyer and user persona—a profile of that ideal customer. A persona includes a short biography, skill-set, technical literacy, and so on.
The effective marketer also uses the language of that persona in all customer communication. Instead of talking about flexibility, most customers respond better to designed for your business. While some personas desire scalability (or is it scaleability?), many personas prefer the only system designed for over one million transactions. For that matter, real-time—which means something different to developers than to marketers—might better be described as find out in time to make the right decision.
Personas have a style of learning and speaking—and it’s rarely. But industry gobbledygook isn’t only found in product literature.
Consider the typical product manager job description:
As a candidate for this position, you must be experienced in product planning as well as project planning and management; you should be a self-starter and be result-oriented; you should be a person who has better skills on communication, customer-facing and problem-resolving.
That’s why it's such a pleasure to read a job posting written in the language of product managers… or at least the snarky type of product manager this company is apparently looking for..."
Then they listed the job description I penned for the Product Whisperer - you can find it here.
Two lessons that I was reminded of based on rewriting this description and interacting with the folks at Pragmatic Marketing on it:
1) It always pays to spend the time to make our open spots stand out, and
2) The less conservative you are in your writing, the better response from the people you’re trying to reach. Spice it up, and the folks most likely to buy respond. Play it safe, and the danger is that no one notices because you couldn’t cut through the static. Why not choose to be different so the 10% you want to look do? Who cares if the other 90% don’t get it?
And believe me, the other 90% don't get it. Rewrite your job descriptions to remove all the buzzword crap and try to put a little flair to them, and you'll feel the negative nellies in the background. KD's trying to be cute, he's just marketing DAXKO over the job, blah, blah, blah. It's the threat of that type of reaction that keeps you from being creative.
I'm not trying to be cute by experimenting with this, I'm just trying to speak the language of the purple squirrel. He or she is out there, and this is the language they speak.
So, speak it already..