Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wasson, Chester R.||Bell, James E., Jr.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Marketing


Marketing research


The study was undertaken to analyse the product manager system as an influencer of management decisions. The system is widely used among consumer oriented manufacturers marketing multi-product lines. A firm in the toiletries industry utilizing the product manager system was investigated. Specifically, the study answered the following questions: (1) what type of information does the product manager need to influence correct marketing decisions by top management? (2) how should the information gathered be evaluated? and (3) how can the product life cycle concept help in influencing management decisions? Research data were obtained from secondary information sources. Sources consulted included marketing texts, business periodicals and trade publications of the toiletries industry. The data gathered provided a meaningful description of the authority and responsibility assigned the product manager system. Evaluation of secondary sources also illustrated the importance of information and usefulness of the product life cycle concept in influencing management decisions. A case study investigated the deodorant market of the toiletries industry. Company A, a toiletries manufacturer marketing Product X, a deodorant product, was investigated to illustrate the problems faced and management decisions influenced by a product manager in a consumer oriented company. The case study section provided a meaningful application of the product manager system by illustrating: the actual need for information to solve a marketing problem, how data gathered should be evaluated and how the product life cycle concept can be used as a tool to influence management decision. The study positioned the product manager as an influences of management decision, having little authority yet charged with the responsibility of product growth. In this capacity the study concludes that: (1) the product manager, to influence correct marketing decisions, must be the most informed person about the product under management, the consumer for the product and the market in which the product competes; (2) information pertinent to the product, the consumer and the market, should be evaluated to provide a basis for the development and creation of a marketing plan to achieve growth; (3) the product life cycle concept is a valuable marketing tool to influence correct marketing decisions when used as a vehicle for information flow and as a determinant of a product's potential for growth. The findings evolving from an investigation of the toiletries industry are believed to be applicable to any consumer oriented firm utilizing the product manager system. As the economy becomes more consumer oriented a greater challenge will confront the product manager system. Increased sophistication in marketing techniques will be required and a greater importance will be given to the information needed by product managers in meeting the responsibility of product growth.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 117 pages




Northern Illinois University

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