AMA WITH LINDA
On 7th October, 2020 we had Linda Amadi as our PM guest on our bi-weekly #ProductDiveAMA.
Linda is Senior Product Manager, Media and Marketing Platforms at Terragon Group. She is a highly motivated professional focused on helping businesses solve their problems, leveraging technology. An Ad-tech marketing expert with a passion for digital growth, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Lagos and over 5 years of experience leading software teams in building a variety of products across different sectors including Ad-tech, Data, Telco-VAS and Marketing.
As will be seen, she came very well equipped to share her experiences in her niche of Product Management and also very motivated to share her journey of transition with the up and coming members of our community.
ProductDiver: You graduated with a computer science degree, why didn’t you go into software engineering? Why did you choose product management?
Linda: I started out as a software engineer, I knew that my passion was drawn towards creating products and not developing the software. However, I’m a better product manager because I developed my technical skills. I am able to clearly think through my products before sharing it with the engineers. This has helped us to build products better.
ProductDiver: Being a Senior PM in media and marketing, how would you describe your journey into product management so far? Any lessons worth sharing?
Linda: Product management is a journey. No one knows it all but remember that as a PM your responsibilities cut across your team members (Devs, UI/UX, Business). You should always be mindful of your teammates because without them, you can’t create that great product you have in mind.
ProductDiver: Can you give examples of Media and Marketing platforms for us to kind of understand the products you manage. Is it the likes of LITV?
Linda: At Terragon we have different platforms.
1. Offline platforms are applications that enable businesses to reach customers offline. Typical examples are SMS, flash messages, USSD.
2. Online platforms are applications that enable businesses to reach the right customer at the right time online. I built a DSP that enables Agencies to reach end users via different channels. Examples are mobile apps, websites.
DSP means Demand Side Platform. It’s a real time bidding application for serving ads.
ProductDiver: How much of a difference is it being a PM in an advertising industry as to being a PM in other industries such as Fintech, Edutech etc?
Linda: As a PM your focus should be on the Persona who is using your product and what are the problems that you’re trying to solve. It’s a matter of understanding your users and building accordingly.
ProductDiver: You started out as a Software Engineer, how did you transition into Product Management?
Linda: It was quite easy. I read up on things I needed to do. I took a few courses and tried to apply them.
ProductDiver: As a female PM, do you face any challenges when working with your team?
Linda: You definitely face issues with projects, features , team mates… But it’s not about my gender. It’s about the job. We get it done or nothing.
ProductDiver: Please how smooth was your transition and how long did it take you to get your first PM role?
Linda: I started out as an engineer in the same company where I’m now a PM. All I needed was the right team members and learning how to improve myself daily. You should always learn to improve things that exist. Always ask yourself questions as to why and how things are built.
ProductDiver: Please I would like to ask for tips on starting out in a product management role. I’m a fresh graduate interested in product management but every opening I’ve seen even for associate roles require experience. Please how can you advise me on this?
Linda: My advice is to seek an intern position for that same role. It doesn’t matter about the title. The experience is always the same. Learn skills that you can include in your CV .
ProductDiver: How can I take up PM roles in my current industry (digital marketing) as an aspiring PM?
Linda: Product Management is about solving problems. Look for a problem and ask yourself if there are any solutions in the world that can solve this problem? if your answer is NO, then work with companies who can give you the opportunity to solve that problem. I hope this helps.
ProductDiver: With the effects of COVID-19 still rolling around across businesses in the different verticals, how do you stay motivated especially when there is little to no usage/activity on your products?
Linda: It’s true that COVID-19 has affected a lot of businesses but other businesses are thriving. The question for you is why are customers not using the application. Roll out surveys, ask questions and try to refine the application. Product Management is all about alpha/beta testing. Don’t stick with the same mindset forever. You need to understand your customers and the best way to understand them is to ask questions.
Follow her on LinkedIn as Linda Amadi and on Twitter @ms_lyndees.
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