It’s that time of year again when we look back on what we’ve accomplished and look forward to what’s yet to come. 2024 is already shaping up to be a fascinating and transformative year for product management, so let’s dive straight into the most important trends for product managers in the year ahead.
Here are some of our top predictions for product management in 2024.
There has been a substantial shift towards customer-centric product management. We expect this will continue throughout 2024 as the primary factor in most decision-making processes.
It’s been proven time and time again that customer satisfaction is the key to a successful product. Product managers must ensure customers get as much value as possible from every feature they build. This will involve heavy customer involvement during development to gather as much feedback from real users as possible. PMs should also put plenty of effort into market and user research to uncover key needs that your product could address.
Trying to achieve customer success doesn’t stop after release. PMs need to actively monitor customer satisfaction post-launch. Keep an eye out for any issues so you can get the team to resolve them straight away. Take note of feature requests, and respond to customer feedback to show you take their concerns seriously. This will help foster a close relationship with customers and improve customer success.
2023 was a huge year for AI. While some companies are still holding back or resisting the AI revolution, most have embraced the technology to help almost every aspect of their business.
At airfocus, we recognized the benefits AI could bring to our users and debuted AI Assist. The feature furthers our mission to simplify product management by offering a wide range of slash commands and powerful prompts to jumpstart your projects directly in your product management software, and more AI applications are on their way.
But timesaving and streamlining processes aren’t the only place AI will shine. Knowing how to use AI and Machine Learning technologies will empower product managers to unlock the true potential of their work, improve their understanding of customer trends, and make hyper-accurate data-driven decisions.
We’re also expecting the number of AI Product Manager roles to increase dramatically, with more types of AI PM emerging.
Alongside the rise of AI Product Managers, we’re expecting to see data play an ever more significant role in product management in 2024. For this very reason, many AI Product Managers come from data analysis backgrounds.
Businesses have access to far more data from various sources, including their customers, smart or IoT devices, digital platforms, and data about the marketplace. Product managers should use as much of this data as possible to make highly informed product decisions.
Product managers can use data to help with many product management tasks, including:
Product development: Product development can be guided by data to ensure the most important tasks get the attention they deserve. Data can inform prioritization, product design, resource allocation, and much more.
Planning launch strategy: Product managers can use data to tailor the product launch to best suit the target audience. This includes finding the best channels and timing to get your product into the right hands.
Monitoring performance and customer response: Data will play a massive part in your post-launch strategy. Use it to track usage, engagement, customer satisfaction, and performance. This will help product managers make continuous improvements.
Businesses need to put significant effort into the user experience as part of their customer satisfaction efforts. An excellent UX isn’t just something customers want — it’s essential. Poor UX can quickly send users to your competitors — and nobody wants that.
PMs should work closely with UX designers to understand how users interact with their products. The more insight you can gain, the better you can plan your UX and create functional, enjoyable products with real value for users.
Key things to consider when designing your UX in 2024 include:
User behavior: This will be your biggest influencer when it comes to UX. You need to respond to how users actually use your product to ensure it’s simple and intuitive.
Usability testing: Habits can change as time goes on. Continually test your usability to ensure your UX still works well for your customers.
Current UX trends: Is your UX on par with or better than competitors? Is it performing in the way users expect? Keeping track of UX trends will influence your UX design so you don’t fall behind the competition.
As the world of product management continues to evolve, so should your product managers. Businesses should be investing time and effort into up-skilling product managers so they can take on whatever 2024 has to throw at them. This will also help build more well-rounded product teams that can easily handle fresh challenges.
We’ve already touched on the increase in AI Product Managers, a trend we expect to continue through 2024. This might be slightly concerning for traditional product managers who may feel they will be left behind. Up-skilling your current PMs allows businesses to explore new avenues without needing to look for new hires. Plus, PMs can learn new skills to keep them up-to-date with the latest technology and trends, further increasing their confidence.
It’s not just about training purely product management-related skills — you must also look at related disciplines. Important areas to look at when up-skilling your PMs include:
UX design: Enhanced focus on customer needs requires PMs to understand UX design and how it affects customer satisfaction.
Marketing: Marketing is much more than advertising. PMs in 2024 need to understand the customer and market they’re building for.
Engineering: Understanding what is possible with the constraints you face is crucial to building a great product. Engineering skills can help PMs plan a realistic product while still creating a high-value product.
For a great place to start, check out Product Learn, where we have tons of actionable guides on everything you need to know about product management.
As we look ahead to 2024, Product Managers should be ready to embrace AI, leverage data, and place additional focus on the customer experience to ensure product success. Businesses need to up-skill their Product Managers to keep up with new developments and continue building great products guaranteed to bring value to users.
It’s important to remember that the world of product management is a very dynamic one. Businesses and PMs should expect the unexpected as new trends emerge throughout 2024. As always, the airfocus blog will guide you through these twists and turns with tips, tricks, and updates.
If you’re not already using airfocus, there’s never been a better time to get on board. We have a huge range of features that make product management easier than ever in 2024 and beyond. Get started for FREE today!