Director - Product Management
Information Resources, Inc. - Chicago, IL

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Director – Product Management

The Company:
Originally founded in 1979 as Information Resources, Inc. ( IRI), SymphonyIRI Group is the world’s leading innovative partner that helps clients transform insight into impact at every level of their organization across sales, marketing, merchandising, category/brand management and shopper marketing to achieve high performance and growth. Driving the transformation of the consumer packaged goods ( CPG), retail, and healthcare industries, only SymphonyIRI has the unique offering of intelligent people with deep domain expertise across a variety of different industries and specialties, the innovative solutions powered by predictive analytical models and breakthrough information processing and business intelligence capabilities supported by revolutionary technology platforms and the integration of unrivaled empirical information on markets, consumers and shoppers from virtually any source to deliver new levels of performance and growth.

The company has been providing market solutions for CPG manufacturers and retailers for nearly 30 years. In late 2003, the company was acquired by the industry-visionary company Symphony Technology Group, run by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani. That acquisition has been the catalyst for a major transformation. Since the acquisition, the company has focused on changing the value proposition for its CPG, retail and healthcare clients by striving for a ten-fold increase in the value its clients realize from its market information, analytic, strategic consulting and decision support software solutions. To support these efforts, SymphonyIRI has been focused on developing predictive, on-demand analytic applications designed to empower manufacturers and retailers to manage their businesses for profitable growth.

Currently privately held, SymphonyIRI Holdings, Inc. serves as a holding company for the equity interests of SymphonyIRI shareholders. Symphony Technology Group, a leading provider of enterprise solutions that enable maximum business performance in the consumer products and retail industries, is the majority shareholder of SymphonyIRI Holdings. With its vast client base, Symphony enhances SymphonyIRI’s collective powers of investment, industry expertise, research and development, global operations, and technology to address its clients’ needs.

Reporting Relationship:
The Director of Product Management for the IRI Product Management Group will report to a Vice President in Product Management.

The Director will occupy a position central to the expansion of the IRI Product Management business. He/she will build and “own” a suite of next generation solutions anticipatory of industry trends and, from a solutions perspective, drive expansion into new markets and new channels. While some of this position will focus on already-developed new solutions, the bulk of the Director’s time will be spent driving solutions through the full product life cycle.

The Director’s activities will vary but in general, he she can expect to spend 50% of their time on new product strategy and ideation; 25% working with Product Development and driving solutions at various stages through the new product pipeline; 15% working directly with the SymphonyIRI external client base; and 10% on project management/internal coordination.

The Director will be instrumental in driving the P&L for their solution suite and will work closely with the Vice President of Product Management to develop and implement short-term and long-term business plans drawing from prior experience and success with the application of classic product management principles and the incorporation of rich content.

While strong technical underpinnings are essential as is a “roll up the sleeves” work-style, the Director of Product Management is not a hands-on development role. Responsibilities encompass those of a start- up business and a business with established domain/industry equity and a solid investment/resource base.

Building strong internal partnerships will be essential for success. The Director will work substantively with Client Service, Business Insights, Retail Client Solutions, Technology, Sampling & Projection and Measurement & Science. He/she will work at all levels across SymphonyIRI.

Externally, the Director will work at all levels across Market Research, Marketing and Sales.

Other responsibilities include:
  • Ensure product line meets/exceeds profit/revenue targets; develop standard pricing schemes
  • Work internally and with external clients to develop product requirements
  • Develop business cases for new products and product extensions
  • Coordinate with Development to ensure on-time/on-budget product release
  • Serve as a Subject Matter Expert to field organization/external clients; assist selling their product; ensure Field Sales proposals for product delivery are consistent and profitable
  • Segment market; position product ( s) effectively in target segments; create crisp value propositions for each segment
  • Work across internal functions to identify/capture new market opportunities that anticipate or outpace industry trends; Drive product innovation with a sharp focus on commercialization and profitability
  • Educate and train Field Sales
  • Work with Corporate Marketing to establish product launch strategy; create white papers, marketing collateral and lead generation programs
  • Consumer Products Goods ( CPG) or Retail-oriented product marketing/management experience incorporating content expertise in one or more of the industries below:
  • Analytically/quantitatively-focused Market research supplier
  • Software company focused on B2B content-driven solutions
  • Survey/custom research supplier with a focus on on-line panels
  • A proven record of driving growth initiatives versus pure-play product maintenance
  • Established and demonstrable experience in the marketing of a solution or service with verifiable commercial relevance/success
  • Substantive experience managing a solution or service through the full product lifecycle; strong working knowledge or the product planning/release process
  • Strong market analysis/segmentation skills
  • Strong experience gathering and documenting requirements
  • Excellent executive poise, presence and presentation skills—up to the CEO level
  • Exceptional project management skills; able to maintain focus amidst competing priorities; experience managing multiple projects simultaneously against tight deadlines; proven ability to self-prioritize tasks/goals
  • Proven success exceeding business goals through leveraging strong collaboration and influencing skills
  • Established as a pragmatic thought/innovation leader with a high degree of marketing savvy; able to boil down complex content into simple terms
  • Expertise with product pricing/profitability analysis
  • A Bachelor’s Degree with a strong preference for a Master’s Degree

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