What does 2024 have in stock for product managers? And what challenges will they face?
That’s what our article explores!
Let’s check out 11 predictions on product management trends in 2024.
- The integration of AI and ML is likely to increase but not all companies will leverage it successfully.
- More companies will use product-led tactics to lower their costs and streamline the sales cycle.
- The importance of product analytics for decision-making is likely to increase even further. This will include the use of predictive analytics to forecast user behavior trends.
- Product teams will have to use both quantitative and qualitative customer feedback to fully understand customer needs and wants.
- Due to the rise of new technologies, there will be more demand for PMs with specialist expertise.
- More organizations will try to develop the product ops function to streamline the product management process.
- To thrive in 2024, companies will have to prioritize creating excellent customer experiences.
- Ethical considerations about such aspects as AI objectivity or impact on user well-being will occupy more of PMs’ bandwidth.
- Teams will use augmented reality for user onboarding, UI & UX design, testing, and research.
- More customers will expect inclusive product design and companies will have to accommodate it to expand their customer base and reach.
- The main challenges for PMs are going to revolve around the increasingly competitive landscape, data privacy and security concerns, and financial constraints.
- To see how Userpilot can help you tackle the challenges and exploit the opportunities of 2024, book the demo!
11 product management trends and predictions for 2024
What trends should product teams look out for in 2024? Here are a few predictions from industry thought leaders.
1. Greater integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies
Artificial Intelligence has been a part of the product management landscape for at least a couple of years now. It’s not hard to predict that the integration of AI and ML into products and their application to enhance product management processes is only going to accelerate.
This, however, doesn’t mean that all companies will manage to successfully leverage these technologies to better satisfy customer needs and drive product success.
Here’s what Dr. Bart Jaworski, Senior Product Manager at The Stepstone Group, predicts is going to happen in 2024:
2024 will be a year of AI extremes. Some companies will find success with it and double, even triple down, but even more will realize that they have ridden a hype train and created expensive, but meaningless additions to their products for the sake of trying to keep up. For every AI success story, there will be 4 stories of useless features.
2. Companies will work towards becoming product-led
The concept of using the product as the primary driver of growth isn’t new.
Partho Ghosh, the VP of Product at SecurityScorecard, believes that even more companies are going to embrace the PLG mindset:
More companies will start to understand the difference between PLG as a motion and being ‘Product-Led’. More companies will start building better products to simply use human capital in more important areas in an effort to be efficient.
For example, we may expect companies selling complex products to enterprise clients, which have been traditionally sales-led, to incorporate elements of PLG into their processes to shorten the sales cycle and lower their customer acquisition costs.
According to McKinsey, more and more companies are already happy to spend $500k-5M on single purchases via self-service channels, and this trend is likely to accelerate.
It’s also easy to imagine that companies will take advantage of such PLG tactics as self-service support lessens the burden on their support teams.
3. Decision-making will be backed by valuable insights from data analysis
It’s difficult to imagine a SaaS product manager making decisions based on intuition and hunches in 2024. With modern product analytics tools, it’s super-easy to access detailed data on user interactions with the product to make informed decisions.
As these tools are getting more intuitive and user-friendly, even non-technical team members at all levels will be able to make data-driven decisions independently. This is going to accelerate data democratization processes within organizations.
4. Streamlined customer feedback systems will take precedence
He believes teams will have to leverage both quantitative and qualitative customer data to create products that truly meet customer expectations.
Speaking of qualitative and quantitative decision-making, due to the continued extraordinary growth of the global addressable market, the quantitative side has been getting unprecedented attention with tools and resources, and that is all good.
What’s not good is that too many product teams get so focused on the data, that they stop spending time actually talking to their users and customers, which really is essential if we are to understand why the data is what it is, which is so often the key to achieving the outcomes we need.
5. A rise in product manager specialties
Aakash Gupta, a product growth expert, formerly at Apollo, Affirm, and Google, predicts that there will be less demand for general product managers. Instead, companies are going to look for product leaders with specialist expertise.
He attributes this trend to the growth of advanced technologies such as AI.
The rise of things like AI has made it more clear than ever how important it is for PMs to have functional specialization. Tuning large-scale LLM models is very different than core product for a news feed. In theory, they’re similar. But in practice, the PMs who have direct experience tend to outperform those who don’t.
Examples like these continue to proliferate throughout product management. So we’ll continue to see fewer ‘General PM’ searches at big tech and start to see a shift towards specific PM searches – AI PMs, API PMs, Consumer PMs, etc. Overall, PMs will have to grapple with specialization or see slower career growth when job hopping.
6. The product operations role will become crucial
The role of product operations is to streamline and optimize the product development process. They do it by improving cross-functional collaboration, managing data analysis and sharing, maintaining the tool stack, and creating best practices and standards for teams to follow.
Büşra Coşkuner, a product management coach, believes that the demand for product ops will be on the rise in 2024:
Product Ops is becoming a serious thing. Companies will try to implement the product ops team/role. Some will fail and rant against it, some will be successful and become advocates.
Melissa Perri and Denise Tilles have just published their new book on product ops and given the clout that the two authors have in the product community, it’s likely to popularize this function.
7. Greater emphasis on creating an exceptional user experience
To remain competitive in 2024, focusing on product functionality as the main differentiators won’t cut it. As features are very easy to copy by competitors, to gain a true edge, companies will be forced to prioritize delivering exceptional customer experience to drive growth.
That’s why we can expect SaaS businesses to invest in:
- Intuitive and user-friendly product design
- Self-service 24/7 customer support via captivating resource center resources and in-app guidance
- Personalized user onboarding
- Reliable bug-free performance
- Proactive customer success
8. Reliance on predictive analytics to forecast market trends and user behavior
Predictive analytics uses historical user behavior data to predict their future behavior. For example, behavior patterns of churned users can help you identify users at risk of churning and predict future churn. Thanks to such insights, you can act proactively to prevent it.
The process can be greatly enhanced by AI and machine learning algorithms.
Many analytics platforms are already embedding AI for this purpose, and we can expect product managers to take advantage of the new capabilities to improve their decision-making in 2024.
9. More focus on ethical considerations in product design and development
In 2024, product managers will have to navigate a landscape filled with ethical considerations. Such considerations become more significant as digital products become more closely integrated into people’s daily lives.
What kind of ethical concerns are we likely to face?
Things that come to mind include bias and fairness in AI/ML algorithms, cultural sensitivity, and the social and economic impact of the new technologies.
For example, widespread AI-driven automation can raise concerns about job displacements, while certain products, like social media, may have a detrimental impact on people’s mental well-being.
10. Increased adoption of augmented reality in product management
Augmented reality (AR) can be a game-changer in SaaS product management, offering innovative ways to enhance products, improve user experience, and streamline development and management processes.
How can product managers use this technology in 2024?
The sky’s the limit but some obvious applications include:
- User onboarding and education
- Interactive product demos
- Data visualizations
- UI & UX design
- Prototype testing
- Customer and market research
11. More inclusivity to enhance customer engagement
Inclusive product design will be vital for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones in 2024.
First, it has to do with the highly competitive landscape.
As the competition is increasing, companies are forced to seek ways to attract underserved target audiences. This could be by making their products more accessible for users with special needs. Inclusivity, in the form of localization, will also be essential to enter new markets.
Second, there’s simply an expectation for products to be inclusive and accessible to users from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse needs. Hopefully, this becomes the norm.
Challenges for product managers in 2024
What challenges should you expect as a PM in 2024? Here are a few we consider particularly relevant.
Navigating a fiercely competitive landscape
We already mentioned increasing competition above. That’s likely to affect how product managers work and the decisions they make in 2024.
In particular, PMs will face the challenge of differentiation of their products in an increasingly crowded and competitive market.
To succeed in such an environment, PMs will have to be adept at identifying unique value propositions, staying ahead of market trends, and swiftly adapting to changing consumer demands.
Data privacy and security concerns
As data becomes a crucial component of product development and customer experience, PMs in 2024 will need to navigate the complex landscape of data privacy and security.
This includes understanding and complying with evolving data protection regulations, ensuring ethical data usage, and implementing robust security measures to safeguard user data.
Financial constraints and resource allocation
In 2024, product managers are expected to grapple with heightened financial constraints, partly fueled by fears of a looming recession. That’s because such a challenging economic climate makes securing venture capital funding for SaaS companies more difficult.
Consequently, PMs will need to navigate these financial limitations by making more strategic and judicious decisions in resource allocation to drive innovation and growth while not neglecting the needs of the existing users.
How can Userpilot help product managers achieve a successful 2024?
How can it help your SaaS gain a competitive edge in 2024?
Create bespoke in-app customer experiences
With Userpilot, you can create in-app experiences tailored to the needs of your target audience.
Trigger surveys to collect customer preferences and feedback
Userpilot offers a feedback functionality that allows the product team to gather quantitative and qualitative customer insights at scale.
Creating the in-app surveys is easy, thanks to the template library and WYSIWYG editor. You can then trigger them at a specific time or contextually – when users complete an event.
Run product experiments for continuous improvement
Userpilot enables product managers to make informed product decisions by running experiments.
You can also leverage the UI patterns to conduct fake door tests to validate feature ideas.
Analyze product usage data for a deep understanding of user behavior
Userpilot has been developing its analytics features consistently since its conception.
In 2023, we launched trend analysis, funnel analysis, retention analysis, and custom analytics dashboards. This is going to continue next year, with the path analysis launch planned for Q1 2024, and predictive analysis later in the year.
Such powerful analytics features will allow granular customer behavior analysis so that PMs can develop better-informed product and marketing strategies.
When looking at the product management trend predictions for 2024, we can see that they will be a continuation of what we’ve already seen.
However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t be surprised by new market, economic and technological developments. As the landscape is highly volatile and uncertain, it will be more important for PMs to stay agile and swiftly respond to change.
If you want to learn more about Userpilot and how it can help you take advantage of the opportunities that 2024 brings, book the demo!