Product Marketer and Business Case

Question: "Why, in the PMTK Action Model, is the Product Marketer responsible for the Business Case as opposed to the Product Planner?

While I have read the theory from a Blackblot perspective, it does not seem to make sense, at least within my organization, that the Product Marketer is responsible for the Business Case (when the Business Case is for a new product) - why not the Product Planner?

The Product Planner provides the initial market information that gets a product concept through scoping and is then, if it moves forward, is responsible for the Market Requirements Document (MRD). Bringing in the Product Marketer to justify the market opportunity when asking for human resources and financial investment seems like an unnecessary (and impractical) handover.

At my organization the Product Planner is an anchor in the Product Definition Team with the Product Architect, Technical Lead and Product Developers; and performs a contributory role in the parallel Go-to-Market Team with the Product Marketer, MarCom and Presales/Sales Engineer. So at my organization the Product Planner presents the Business Case and then moves on to the MRD if accepted. What is the Blackblot recommendation in terms of how these activities work?"

Answer: The Blackblot Product Manager's Toolkit® (PMTK) methodology is a systematic, non-mathematical, managerial approach to the planning and marketing of new products, and life-cycle management of existing products. The term "non-mathematical" implies that product management belongs to the realm of social-sciences and not exact-sciences. Accordingly, all processes, concepts and tasks in PMTK are considered and evaluated on the basis of logic and rationales.

There are several arguments why in the PMTK Action Model, the master work model in PMTK, the business case is a task in product marketing that falls within the responsibilities of the product marketer.

Product Planning is focused on building domain expertise, gaining acute market knowledge and documenting the market problems in the Market Requirements Document (MRD). The character of product planning and the mindset of a product planner role are formalized and deterministic.

Conversely, Product Marketing is focused on guiding business and marketing activities which attempt to foretell and alter human behavior. The character of product marketing and the mindset of a product marketer role are conceptual and probabilistic.

Writing a Business case, the examination of a potential market opportunity on a product level, is a task that intrinsically poses amorphous questions that demand estimation, conjecture and a resolution process. It therefore makes sense that the task of writing a business case by its own design belongs to the product marketing discipline and within the responsibilities of the product marketer.

The PMTK Task Model synchronizes the various PMTK templates with the Blackblot Product Management Team and Product Definition Team concepts. The goal of this model is to help managers assign tasks to the appropriate team roles by defining the owner, writer and contributor(s) of every PMTK document.

Following is the PMTK Task Model's specific entry for the business case:

PMTK Document (O)wner / (W)riter Contributor(s) Audience Audience Dept.
Business Case – Examination of a potential market opportunity on a product level. • Director of Products (O)
• Product Marketer (W)
• Product Planner
• Product Architect
• Sales Engineer
• Internal • Development
• Executive Management
• Product Marketing
• Product Planning
• Program Management
• External • Investors
• Partners