Senior level online marketers (aka digital marketers, interactive marketers, web marketers, digital CRM, etc.) need to have a strong understanding of product management to be effective.

It’s great knowing individual tactics but if you don’t see the whole picture, you are going to miss key elements in your strategy.  In order to see the big picture, it is necessary to have walked through the requirements development process for each.  In addition, today’s digital marketers should also have an understanding of the technologies that support your strategies and tactics.

For example, the following chart is a modified example a B2B focused online digital marketing organization I did some online consulting for recently. As the online marketing lead, or agency responsible for those activities, an accurate strategy can only come from intimate knowledge of these operations. In other words, you need to be able to visualize the operation like a product manager can do the same for a complex software application.

In this organization, there is a senior digital manager responsible for overseeing the entire operation with a few internal resources and several external agencies. I drafted this chart to show senior management what was involved with their digital marketing. Without PM-level requirements, many of these initiatives would likely fail in their objectives.

There are some initiatives that carry stronger needs for detailed requirements than others. For example, analytics and reporting became it’s own very detailed product due to the complexity of the operation and various levels of stakeholders.

In the end, knowing details within each category of operations will make you a better online marketer. A product-level requirements perspective of your strategy, tactics and operations will help build confidence that you understand each process and how it will be fulfilled.