Digital Product Manager – A Comprehensive Guide For 2021


You may hear the word ‘Digital PM’ thrown around quite often in technology circles. But, what does the term mean? They are referring to a Digital Product Manager.

Digital Product Managers are currently one of the hottest professions in the tech world. As tech-organizations embrace digital transformation, they’re actively hiring more Digital Product Managers to monitor current products and help launch new products successfully.

In this article, we’ll explore who is a Digital PM and what they do.

  1. Who Is A Digital Product Manager?
  2. What Does A Digital Product Manager Do?
  3. What Are The Responsibilities Of A Digital Product Manager?
  4. What Are Digital Product Manager Skills?
  5. What Are The Challenges Faced By Digital Product Managers?

1) Who Is A Digital Product Manager?

A traditional Product Manager is responsible for leading product creation to commercial success. In contrast, a Digital Product Manager is responsible for developing digital products like software tools, applications, etc. For example, a traditional Product Manager might be selling books, whereas a Digital PM sells eBooks.

2) What Does A Digital Product Manager Do?

A Digital PM oversees the Product Roadmap of a new digital product to launch the product from its inception. They manage current products using consumer and market data and improve them to cater to users’ needs. Digital PMs plan successful product launch campaigns by incorporating their creative vision and market-research skills. They reach out to the consumers and learn what they are looking for in digital products.

A Digital Product Manager acts as the mediator among consumers & technical teams and communicates consumer requirements, and translates them into a new product feature for the team to design. Digital PMs collaborate alongside a range of experts as they create their products, like Digital Content Managers, Content Production Managers, and Product Developers, to name a few.

3) What Are The Responsibilities Of A Digital Product Manager?

The Digital Product Manager’s unique roles & responsibilities vary in each enterprise. However, all Digital PMs are responsible for continuously designing a particular digital product. As part of that responsibility, the Digital PM serves as the customers’ voice when the decision on the plan and goals for the product’s future growth and its features has to be made.

They analyze the market and competitors so that the product does not fall behind and collaborate with Marketing professionals to attract existing and potential buyers to promote the product. The development and prioritization of product backlog is a vital responsibility for almost every Digital PM. It is imperative to keep the product backlog up to date and manage the consumers’ expectations for constant product success.

Here are a few other general responsibilities of a Digital Product Manager.

  • Drive the digital product development (or a suite of such products)
  • Analyze the competition to ensure that the product continues to deliver competitive advantages
  • Understand the user and the buyer personas and develop unique value proposals for both of them
  • Track, analyze, and perform key analytics of the products. Quality enhancement, optimize retention rate and boost customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Create the strategic product roadmap

4) What Are Digital Product Manager Skills?

The key to becoming a successful Digital Product Manager is not to possess profound knowledge in any one area but rather a capability we call ‘Digital Product Management Thinking’ (DPMT), also known as ABCD Thinking. DPMT in digital economics is defined as the capability to integrate Analytics, Business Model, Coordination, and Design Thinking.

Let’s explore a few prominent skills an expert Digital PM must-have!

  • Research & Analysis

A Digital Product Manager needs to have high-level research and analytical skills. They need to identify and transform relevant data into insights that can enhance their products.

  • Rapid Iteration & Deployment

Today, Digital PMs could only adopt Agile principles and values. These principles encourage the consistent flow of effective products to consumers. This means that digital products need to be able to classify minor updates. Due to the ranking ability, it becomes imperative to push updates out to customers on shorter deadlines.

  • Design Thinking

A significant component of any digital product is User Experience(UX). If the interface and UX are frustrating or confusing, even the best software or mobile app may fail. A Digital Product Manager thus must possess the knowledge to create an intuitive product experience.

  • Understanding Usage Data

Digital Product Managers have the upper hand over Product Managers who oversee physical products. They are equipped to monitor how consumers use their products and learn what does and does not work. For this, Digital PMs should be able to read and interpret consumer data. They need to leverage these insights in order to enhance their products to meet the consumers’ demand.

5) What Are The Challenges Faced By Digital Product Managers?

With the 4th Industrial Revolution, there is a plethora of Emerging Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, and Big Data that are influencing and transforming the consumers’ needs and expectations, thus, creating several challenges for Digital PMs to cater to the continuously shifting consumer demands.

Let’s take a look at a few of the challenges for Digital Product Managers.

  • Market Incorporation

Digital Product Managers and their teams are developing new features powered by emerging technologies at an expedited rate without incorporating them fully into their existing products.

  • Moving from Multi-Channel to Omnichannel

The need to constantly improve and strengthen their digital skills is a fundamental challenge for Digital PMs. In addition to the different digital touchpoints, Digital PMs now need to understand how to create an omnichannel for each part of the consumer journey. This aspect of synergy puts a whole new level of strategic needs at work.

  • Creating space for innovation

One challenge is finding time for creativity & innovation and creating an atmosphere that will allow creative juices to flow into the team members, but some say it is one of the most thrilling parts of being a Digital PM. But in reality, the weeds of other KPIs are easy to get lost-in, and creativity will slip off the priority list.


Now that you understand who is a Digital Product Manager and what they do, you can kick-start your career in the Product Management domain by simply enrolling in a certification course in Product Management. Jigsaw Academy and IIM Indore’s 6 months online instructor-led PGCP in Product Management is the right path for you. It is India’s first and only program that conforms to the 5i Framework of Product Management and comes with a Bring Your Own Project(BYOP) feature to provide learners with hands-on learning experience. To know more, check our website.


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