My Job Is: Product Manager

21 Oct , 2016  

Dominic Bowker, product manager for Control Techniques, explains a bit about his role with the company.

Name: Dominic Bowker

Position: Global Product Manager

Department: Control Techniques – Strategic Marketing

Location: Newtown, Wales


Education background:

I started as an apprentice electronics engineer and worked my way up, completing degrees in electronic engineering, and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA). I have been sponsored for each of my degrees, which I have completed while working.


Career background:

Having worked in a number of large drives engineering firms, most notably as a Customer Support Engineer, a Project Manager, and a Product Training Instructor, I joined Control Techniques eight years ago as Product Training Manager. I was then promoted to Global Product Manager, my current role, moving from the Marketing Communications department to Strategic Marketing.


When did you join the company, and in what role?

I joined in 2008 as Product Training Manager and oversaw a reorganisation and rebranding of Control Techniques’ training offering, as the ‘Control Techniques Academy’. My main objective in this role was to ensure that as many of our customers as possible (both internal and external) understood how to get the best out of the products we make and sell.


Describe your current role and that of the department in which you work?

As a Product Manager, I am part of the Strategic Marketing Department in Control Techniques. It is a business role that involves analysing and using market intelligence in order to ensure that products produced by Control Techniques meet market needs, are competitive within the sector and are profitable.


Your key responsibilities?

I am currently focused on the ‘General Purpose’ end of the drives market. I am responsible for Unidrive M100-M400 in particular – and for the whole lifecycle of these drives from inception to obsolescence. This includes ensuring they are priced and promoted effectively, have the right features and capabilities to meet market requirements and realising opportunities for market growth and development.


Task you do the most in your role?

My role involves a great deal of analysing and presenting data to decision makers, automation centres and distributors in order to advise on the strategic direction of the company and communicate decisions throughout the business.


Task you enjoy the most in your role?

Being part of the collaborative decision-making process and determining the company’s strategic direction, including analysing problems and finding solutions. I also enjoy presenting and communicating ideas, information and strategy about our products.


Main challenges?

One of the main challenge I face is bringing together the many strands of Control Techniques’ business to ensure our products are the best they can possibly be and ensuring that I have buy in from all parts of the business to facilitate changes.


How are you measured?

Migration rates, product sales and special pricing requests are all indicators of how well the products I am responsible for are doing in the market.


Worked on any projects you’re particularly proud of?

The development and marketing of Unidrive M since its inception has been the project I have been most proud of. We used market research analysis and methods during its development that were new to the business.


What personal/technical characteristics or skills are crucial to your role?

My role requires a wide range of skills, from technical engineering knowledge through to business analysis techniques. I have a comprehensive background in drives, along with technical and business degrees and 25 years in the sector. It is also essential in my role to be good at presenting and communicating with sales teams and senior management.


What opportunities are there for progression?

I have enjoyed good career progression within Control Techniques, having been promoted from the role I was hired to do to a role that I had always wanted to perform. The Product Manager role is well known as a great introduction into a wide variety of new roles – with many company leaders having been a Product Manager at some point along their career path.


Advice for anyone considering a future in strategic marketing?

Go for it! It is a great job with lots of variety. In order to be successful in the field it is important to think outside the box, ask difficult questions, be sensitive to customers and their needs, and really understand the market. If you have a combination of communication, strategic and technical skills, it is the ideal role in which to use them in order to influence the future and direction of a company for the better.


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Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield