Categories
Technology and Innovation

Three Important Roles of a Product Manager

In the digital world where customer engagement is premium, creating great products matters more than ever. With both digitally transformed tech and non-tech companies striving to deliver digital products, Digital Product Management has emerged as a new function in the digital world.

The job description of Product Managers (PM, for short) is ambiguous – it differs across companies and industries. To know the important roles of a Product Manager, we must know what Product Management is.

WHAT IS PRODUCT MANAGEMENT?

Product Management is the process of managing the lifecycle of a specific product of a business. It cuts across the phases of idea generation, product development and product marketing. It is a function at the heart of an organization as it strives to balance the needs of providing the customers’ wants and creating value for an organization as much as operationally possible.  

Now that we technically know what Product Management is, let us discuss the roles of a Product Manager. 

THREE IMPORTANT ROLES OF A PRODUCT MANAGER 

  1. Product Strategy 
  2. Team/Stakeholder Communication 
  3. Managing the Product Lifecycle 
PRODUCT STRATEGY 

A product strategy is a high-level plan describing what a business hopes to accomplish with its product, and how it plans to do so.  Product Managers develop the product strategy for execution.

TEAM/STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION 

Product Managers persuasively communicate the product strategy using a product roadmap to key stakeholders across their organizations: Executives, Investors, Development Team, etc. They sustain ongoing communication across their cross-functional teams throughout the development process and beyond. They also ensure all decisions made concerning development, marketing, etc. reflect and support the product strategy. 

MANAGING THE PRODUCT LIFECYCLE 

Product Managers manage the lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. 

At Lead Resources, assisting businesses and organizations to build sustainable digital products is our forte. We offer consultation and incubation services to technology and non-technology startups. For more information, you can contact us at info@leadresources.com.ng or call 08097777094. 

AUTHOR

Itua Emmanuel is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources and a Digital Marketer and Product Manager at Lanepact Ecosystems, a tech solutions organization that aids individuals and organizations to build sustainable solutions. Itua Emmanuel is also a business enthusiast and during his free time, he watches anime or reads a book.

Categories
Technology and Innovation

The Future of Digital Marketing

Statistics show that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digital services peaked all over the world. Because human contact became grossly restricted, digital services proved to be essential as they allowed individuals, small businesses and organizations to explore new ways of offering value to their customers remotely. This led to the compulsory incorporation of digital marketing as a strategy to acquire new customers and harness existing ones.

As the use of digital services increased, so did the search for digital marketing experts. Microsoft carried out research on the skills in high-demand by organizations in the “new normal.” Just as expected, digital marketing emerged as one of them! As a result, Microsoft invested $25 million in crafting out LinkedIn Learning Pathways – playlists of courses on those high-demand skills including Digital Marketing. Lead Resources, the first innovation hub in Ogun state, Nigeria, also created an internship programme for youths who seek mastery in these skills.

This proves that Digital Marketing can and will evolve. The aim of this article is to create an awareness of the changes that are possible in and through digital marketing, and why you should harness it now.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE FUTURE CHANGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING?

  1. AI and Automation
  2. Micro-Influencer Marketing
  3. Vlogging
  4. Voice Search and Visual Search
AI AND AUTOMATION

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming dominant in business. It is taking over the execution of many simple jobs such as communication, product recommendation, email personalization, etc. This will persist till it becomes the norm. Therefore, it is important for all persons, particularly digital marketers, and organizations to become familiar with AI by engaging it in their everyday tasks. Integrating AI will accelerate growth, reduce staffing costs and give one’s business the edge to stay atop.

Automation is not new in digital technology however it has become germane in running digital campaigns. In the long-term, it will be beneficial for digital marketers who embrace it now.

MICRO-INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer marketing is not a new concept and it remains a great way to market your product to customers through someone that you trust. However, due to its high success-rate, influencer marketers charge much more for their services such that it has become very expensive for small and medium-sized businesses to hire them. As a result, micro-influencer marketing was born. Micro-influencer marketing refers to brands partnering with medium-sized influencers (influencers who have 7,000 – 30,000 followers in their niche) to promote their products to their followers using organic advertisements. Medium-sized influencers are popular but are not loaded with sponsorships hence, they offer more affordable services.

VLOGGING

Vlogging is more popular than ever. It has a personal feel and gives room to empathize with one’s audience on a deeper level. However, vlogging can also be a practical marketing strategy. For example, vlogs can be used to live-stream special business events, share posts of business conferences, etc. Vlogging can assist in creating a strong brand image, making solid business-to-customer relationships and getting better engagement from your target audience.

VOICE SEARCH AND VISUAL SEARCH

With individuals owning voice-enabled devices and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, optimizing your digital marketing content for voice search is one of the best things you can do.  

As regards visual search, Google has taken things to a whole new level. Google has introduced LENS, a visual tool that allows users to take a picture of an object or landmark to discover things such as where to find the object or landmark.

Things that can be recognized by Google LENS include:

  1. Books
  2. Plants
  3. Animals
  4. Apparels
  5. Barcodes
  6. Home goods
  7. Business cards
  8. Landmarks or building
  9. Event flyers or billboards

This will ultimately revolutionize the way we search. Do you agree to the list above? Drop in the comment section what other changes we may see in Digital Marketing.

REFERENCE

Bizsites, The Future of Digital Marketing, 2020.

AUTHOR

Itua Emmanuel is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources and a Digital Marketer and Product Manager at Lanepact Ecosystems, a tech solutions organization that aids individuals and organizations to build sustainable solutions. Itua Emmanuel is also a business enthusiast and during his free time, he watches anime or reads a book.

Categories
Human Capital Development Technology and Innovation

LEAD Resources Commemorates World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) 2020

On 15th July 2020, LEAD Resources joined YALI and NACCIMA to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD). WYSD is designated by the United Nations to celebrate skillful youths who channel their competencies towards causes that benefit the society. By so doing, WYSD creates awareness about the value of youth skills development.

LEAD Resources commemorated WYSD by hosting a seminar themed, “The competencies the youth should develop to leverage on COVID-19 era opportunities.” The speakers at the event were Alhaji Popoola (Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs) and Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources).

WYSD
LEAD Resources Commemorates WYSD 2020

How to Leverage Your Skills for Growth

Alhaji Popoola was the first speaker at the event. He taught, “How to leverage your skills for growth.” He stated that he was particularly pleased that the event was commemorated at a time where many have lost hope in Nigeria. The aim of his presentation was to help the youths identify skills (often regarded as useless) and determine how to make the contribute their quota by engaging their skills.

He explained that many youths regard their skills as irrelevant for income generation. He gave an example of a friend that loves to iron who established a laundry business that is scaling. Leveraging skills for growth begins by identifying one’s skills. He suggested that youths ask themselves the following questions to identify their skills:

  • What can I do effortlessly?
  • What do I derive joy in doing?
  • What are my parents and grandparents good at?
  • What skill do I believe can make me a better person?

Next, he emphasized the principle of apprenticeship. Submitting to a mentor helps one refine a crude skill to the end that it becomes money-spilling. Everyone needs to follow successful mentors to know the ups and downs to generating income from their skills as well as what made them successful.

He gave the following tips in submitting to mentorship:

  • Understand that building a brand takes effort, patience and determination.
  • Allow your mentor to determine the time-span of your apprenticeship.
  • Note the points that your mentor makes at every opportune time.
  • Determine to be a voice in your choice industry.
  • Avoid bad company and societal influence.
  • Connect with people of like minds.

He informed the youths that his organization, NACCIMA, pools information about relevant opportunities such as:

  • Training with GIZ for the growth and commercialization of tomato and chili pepper.
  • Access to CBN COVID-19 response loan (as well as multiple kinds of loans).
  • Aso-oke textile production in an organization in South Africa.

He encouraged the youths to connect with organizations such as his, play their roles and benefit from the influx of information to develop their skills and/or scale their businesses.

He wrapped it up by emphasizing that in this digital era, businesses become seamless, efficient and worthwhile when digital competencies are integrated in the administration of one’s skills. He said, “If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”

“If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”

Alhaji Moruf Popoola, Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs

The Competencies the Youth Should Develop to Leverage on COVID-19 Era Opportunities

After acknowledging the efforts of NACCIMA and YALI in raising skilled youths especially in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources), the second speaker for the day, took the stage at the WYSD celebration.

He started out by pointing out the fact that following the outbreak of COVID-19, a new era has emerged. Due to the restricted movement of all peoples for over 90 days, it is scientifically proven that this new lifestyle has been formed. He gave examples of how convergences happen online via the use of networking tools as opposed to unnecessary physical meetings.

Therefore, he highlighted the need to develop necessary competencies to thrive in this new era. He gave the following framework for personal discovery:

Self-Discovery – Self-Development – Self-Mastery – Self-Actualization

He said, “There are two types of people in life: Those who live with purpose and those who don’t.” In addition to the simple steps given by the first speaker, he gave the following steps to personal discovery:

  • Understand why you are here.
  • Identify where you are going to.
  • Have confidence in your convictions.
  • Determine how to arrive there (character and competence).

He said, “Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.” He gave the example of the situation the Nigerian teachers have found themselves in: the inability to teach in classrooms and get paid. He explained that teachers in this age can thrive by sharing knowledge using new age tools and techniques to leverage their skills.

“Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.”

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources

Purpose is an intersection of the following:

  • What you love doing.
  • What you are good at.
  • What the world needs.
  • What you can be paid for.

Furthermore, he taught the concept of the virtual realm. The virtual realm is the realm between the physical realm and mental realm. For example, people wrote on paper tangibly but now write on devices intangibly. The former exemplifies the physical realm while the latter exemplifies the virtual realm.

He made the audience understand that this is the new normal for the new economy, the digital economy. He gave the elements of traditional economy:

  • Resources, e.g. Raw materials.
  • Secondary, e.g. Manufacturing.
  • Tertiary, e.g. Real estate.
  • Quaternary, e.g. Education.

He also gave examples of the elements of the digital economy:

  • Resources, e.g. Big Data.
  • Infrastructure, e.g. Data Carriers.
  • Services, e.g. Software-as-a-service.
  • Customers, e.g. IoT, eCommerce, eLearning.

The Business and Sustainable Development Commission gave a projection that a staggering $12 trillion & 380 million new jobs will be enabled by the digital economy in 2030. Especially in Africa (the continent with the largest and youngest workforce), the youths need to develop the new age skills to create solutions, play in the Digital Economy and make Africa great.

He taught that regardless of what a person studies, he or she can find a niche in the virtual economy. He highlighted that the critical areas and business imperatives that Africans can engage among the 17 global goals:

  • Food & Agriculture.
  • Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics.
  • Health.

Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.” Mr. Kehinde Sogunle explained that the problems we created in the traditional economy and physical space can only be solved in the digital economy and virtual space.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.”

Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

Furthermore, he encouraged the youths to choose to contribute to the global goals by leveraging technology. He explained that they will get value if they resolve to attain them.

After it was established that accelerated acquisition of knowledge and skills is required, he taught that it is wise to subscribe to the offerings of transition organizations such as LEAD Resources that help raise a new breed of competent youths that can take the world by storm.

He said, “Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.” He stated that the required competencies for the digital economy are:

  • Digital Literacy.
  • Financial Literacy.
  • Business Enterprise Literacy.
  • Talent Management.

“Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.”

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources

He stated that LEAD Resources’ offerings for new age competencies include:

  1. Enterprise Development
  • Access to Finance through Business Enterprise Development
  • Start Up School Nigeria/Scale Up Academy

2. Digital Conversion/Leverage

  • Digital Quotient
  • Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ Programme
  • Digital Economy Conversion Programme
  • Turning Academic Research into Innovation

3. Personal Talent Management

  • Personal Assessment
  • Personal Digital Profiling & Management

4. Successor Generation Streaming Initiative

To learn more about these offerings, click here. He added some other relevant avenues for the youths to upskill such as:

  • IBM Digital Nation
  • Google Digital Skills
  • LinkedIn Opportunity

He gave the ten jobs in highest demand in 2020 and encouraged the youths to explore and acquire skills in these areas:

  1. Digital Marketer
  2. IT Support
  3. Graphic Designer
  4. Financial Analyst
  5. Data Analyst
  6. Software Developer
  7. Project Manager
  8. Sales Representative
  9. IT Admin
  10. Customer Service

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle rounded off with the parable of the sower in the Holy Bible. He encouraged the youths to have hearts that are fertile soils by choosing to develop their skills, acquire competencies and revolutionize their world, one day at a time.

To subscribe to relevant updates and opportunities for youths, click here.

Categories
Human Capital Development Technology and Innovation

The Core Offering of LEAD Resources: Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ (DEEM) Programme

ABOUT LEAD Resources

LEAD Resources is a strategic human capital development social enterprise with a focus on governance, enterprise and technology hinged on generating opportunities, stimulating innovation and creating solutions to address challenges in the polity.

ABOUT DEEM

The Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ (DEEM) programme is LEAD Resources’ intensive 3-month internship for graduates designed to equip them with practical knowledge of and competencies for the Digital Economy.

The DEEM programme provides measurable on-the-job training that yields performance allowances and commissions during the internship. The DEEM programme is the core offering of LEAD Resources.

The DEEM programme aims to develop talented youths by providing:

  • Awareness of the Digital Economy
  • Talent management
  • Industry-based projects
  • Guided work experience
  • Wholesome mentorship
  • Networking opportunities
  • Advocacy and ambassador opportunities

JOB OFFERS

Listed below are some of LEAD Resources’ partners offering business development, project management and executive assistance jobs. The DEEM programme provides a fast-track, intensive training to equip participants with the competencies required for the jobs below (and many more).

  • An Oxygen Production Plant: This facility is at construction stage and will be commissioned in Ogun state. The plant aims to supply sufficient oxygen to health institutions in Ogun state and environs.
  • A United States Health Diagnostics Device Company: This company seeks a digital health diagnostics representative to interface with hospitals, health management organisations and high-net-worth-individuals that require personalized healthcare.
  • A Precious Metals Buying Platform: This technology platform seeks regulators to manage transactions for solid minerals in Lagos while interfacing with the executives and service maintenance developers in Abeokuta.
  • A Domestic Gas Production and Marketing Plant: This company seeks executive assistants for profiling and accountability duties.
  • A Tertiary Education Management Platform: This platform seeks innovators and developers for:
    • A locally and internationally certified blended learning platform.
    • A robust university management platform.
    • An internationally recognized online assessment platform.

PHASES OF THE DEEM PROGRAMME

PHASE 1: CAPACITY BUILDING

This is the first phase which occurs during the first 5 weeks of the DEEM programme. It comprises a set of introductory classes and tutelage training on the following:

  • Introduction to LEAD Resources, our partners and projects
  • Introduction to LEAD Resources’ collaboration platforms
  • Mercer/Mettl personality profiling
  • Video-based reflections
  • Questions and answers
  • Digital Economy Competency roadmap learning
  • Delivery of 9 DEEM modules: Here, the competencies required for the Digital Economy are taught extensively in 9 modules by world-class facilitators who are professionals in these fields. The classes are highly engaging as all participants are required to share their views, lessons learnt and practical applications to real-life situations.

OVERVIEW OF THE 9 MODULES OF DEEM

PILLARS SELF ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY
PRINCIPLES Character Entrepreneurship Digital Economy Principles
PRACTICES Financial Literacy Business Models & Digital Transformation Emerging Technology
TOOLS Talent Management Digital Social Business Data Science & AI
GOALS CITI – Creative, Intelligent, Talented, Innovative Disruptive Leapfrog, Enabled, Valuable, Leverage, Scales
  1. Character –  This is the first course in the DEEM programme. Here, the participants learn, unlearn and relearn the pillars of character and the proper work ethics to breakthrough, thrive and retain relevance in the 21st century.
  2. Financial Literacy – This is a course wherein the participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage and grow personal and organizational financial resources. They are given insights into principles and measures for making the best decisions towards the achievement of financial goals.
  3. Talent Management In this course, the profile, skills and brand of each participant are objectively assessed. This is to the end that the participants reposition themselves (showcase their strengths and work on their weaknesses) while morphing into competent players in the Digital Economy.
  4. Entrepreneurship – Here, participants are enlightened on the principles of value creation and exchange. They are educated on the fundamentals of starting, sustaining and scaling organizations in the Digital Economy.
  5. Business Models & Digital Transformation – In this course, participants are given insights on harnessing technology for optimal business performance in the Digital Age. They are taught how to create digital business models.
  6. Digital Social Business – Here, participants learn how to acquire, build and retain customer relationships across various media channels so as to sell value and achieve desired goals. They are taught how to collect and harness big data for big profit.
  7. Digital Economy Principles – This course provides participants with guidelines and measures for operating as competent players in an economy that is driven by digital technologies. Participants are taught to play in the global economy regardless of the apparent limitations of their immediate environment.
  8. Emerging Technologies – This course introduces participants to the world of novel technologies such as Augmented Reality and Internet of Things to the end that participants learn to leverage them to be at the forefront of the Digital Economy.
  9. Data Science and Artificial Intelligence – The 21st century has presented the world with the 4th Industrial Revolution wherein data is king. Participants are taught how to harness big data so as to predict future outcomes and simulate desired customer experiences in any venture.

PHASE 2: EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

This is the second phase which occurs between the sixth week and tenth week of the DEEM programme. It involves the practical application of all principles learnt and competencies gained in the first phase of the programme hence deepening the learning experience. It covers the following:

  • Digital Economy Competency tasks and activities
  • Acquisition of professional badges and certifications
  • Individual and collaborative assignments within the organization
  • Engagement in internal projects of LEAD Resources for real work experience
  • Interaction, consultancy sessions and submission of feedback to facilitators

PHASE 3: MONITORING AND EVALUATION

This is the third phase which occurs between the eleventh week and twelfth week of the DEEM programme. This is the period for the review and assessment of all the competencies gained. Here:

  • The performance of each participant is assessed and recorded
  • A Mercer/Mettl learning and development assessment is carried out
  • Each participant is required to develop a personal action plan for career and/or business by the application of new knowledge and tools

PHASE 4: GUIDED ENGAGEMENT

This is the fourth phase which occurs during the 13th week of the DEEM programme. Here, each participant is guided into an appropriate career path. This phase provides the following:

  • An online forum for mentorship by facilitators and interaction with peers
  • Lifetime access to all lecture materials (recordings, lecture notes and books)
  • After graduation, retention of successful participants or referral to our partners and clients

FOR WHOM

DEEM is designed for graduates who have completed the mandatory NYSC year or will complete it in about 2 months. Therefore, the minimum qualifications are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or HND equivalent
  • NYSC call up letter or certificate

Other requirements include:

  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite and the Internet.
  • Proficiency in the use of English language (spoken and written).
  • Learning agility and zeal to upskill.
  • Critical thinking and stress management.
  • Ability to work under minimum supervision.
  • Communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to handle confidential matters.
  • Ability to develop SMART goals and prioritize accordingly.
  • A good laptop and smartphone.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

To apply for the DEEM internship:

  1. Register via the link: https://bit.ly/leadinternship
  2. Submit your CV and cover letter (letter of motivation) through the registration form.
  3. Note that the deadline for submission (for the third batch of participants) is 11:59 pm on Friday, 25th September 2020.
  4. Anticipate the response of the organization if shortlisted.

N.B: LEAD Resources is equal opportunity employer hence applicants of all genders, religions and races are encouraged to apply.

Got questions? Visit our DEEM webpage here.