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Product Marketing Manager: Definition and required skills

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A product marketing manager is an expert in their company’s products and is responsible for increasing awareness and sales of those products among their customer base and the target market.

One of the challenges of jobs in product management and product marketing is that most people — even these experts — are unsure where their responsibilities begin and stop and where they may overlap. This difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that product managers and product marketing managers have many responsibilities across organizations and sectors.

A product manager and a product marketing manager may struggle to take ownership of a particular role in certain companies. Simultaneously, another critical function may fall between the cracks because neither product management nor product marketing is accountable. Inadequately defining product management and product marketing duties might jeopardize an organization’s capacity to produce the finest possible goods and successfully sell them.

What is product marketing?

Like digital and conventional marketing, product marketing entails bringing the product to the target market and ensuring it reaches the relevant customers.When we hear the word “marketing”, we immediately think of terms like social media, email campaigns, and blogs. But the product marketing function encompasses so much more!

Product marketing strategy is located at the crossroads of product, B2B marketing, and sales.

product marketing manager vs product manager
Image from: red-gate.com

What is a product marketing manager?

A Product Marketing Manager (PMM) is the one who is responsible for promoting the product’s value to the marketplace. In comparison to the product manager, the PMM is primarily concerned with the consumer and market.

The Product Marketing Manager conducts a competitive analysis of the product’s rivals and comprehensive market research. The PMM will be at the center of all communications regarding and across the product, and will thus play a critical role in placing that product in the market.

The primary product marketing manager role is to explain the product’s value to the market. In addition, a PMM’s tasks include educating sales representatives on how to promote the product, generating marketing materials that convey the product’s characteristics, and devising marketing tools and strategies to attract new sales leads and prospective customers.

Product marketing manager responsibilities

Product management is becoming more significant in the present competitive economy and with expanding consumer needs. In the pursuit of consumers, businesses conduct extensive customer research to ensure that their goods completely fulfill their consumers’ demands.

Developing a high-quality product, on the other hand, is only half the struggle. To be successful, businesses must portray their product in the most positive light possible. Therefore, product marketing managers are skilled in defining a product’s value and crafting a story around that value. Their tasks may include the following:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Market research
  • Creating strategies for product launches
  • Creating campaigns for digital marketing
  • Collaboration with product teams to improve designs
  • Creating a unified marketing vision
  • Managing the creation of customer-facing communications
  • Supervising outbound marketing efforts via channels like email, social media, and others.
  • Marketing strategy optimization and refinement
  • Developing sales message tactics
  • Creating advertising and promotional material
  • Partnering with influencers in marketing
  • Product education for salespeople
  • Evaluating the product narrative’s and value proposition’s efficacy
  • Supervising the product marketing team

 

What each PMM performs is determined by their company and area of competence. For example, many product marketing managers are customer-focused, and their primary responsibility is to assist product marketing specialists. They collaborate to create and validate product design and launch plans based on the marketing manager’s feedback.

Other product marketing managers solely responsible for generating and delivering the product story; they are not involved in product planning. In all situations, however, PMMs collaborate closely with design engineers, marketers, data analysts, customer support teams and salespeople, since they all benefit from user and market research findings.

product marketing strategy

Product marketing manager vs product manager

The difference between product marketing managers and product managers is not black and white since each company defines these jobs differently. In general, however, product managers (sometimes referred to as PMs) are solely accountable for the success of a product and oversee the whole development life cycle of that item.

Given the uncertainty surrounding both jobs, you might be excused for mistaking product managers (PM) with product marketing managers (PMM), as many, many people do. While there are some parallels, both PMs and PMMs are all-arounders capable of working well across development, marketing, and sales. Both are responsible for product releases, and both jobs need coordination across many departments within an organization to guarantee a successful product launch.

However, what distinguishes a PM from a PMM? Apart from the additional M? The simplest explanation is that Product Managers assist in the creation and definition of products, while PMMs oversee the go-to-market strategy.

The product marketing manager role oversee the work of designers, engineers, brand experts, and marketers, as well as any other professionals engaged in the process of developing, releasing, and marketing a product. Their leadership influences what is created, how it is built, and what happens after production.

Product marketing managers are focused on how the customer’s needs and expectations fit into the product development lifecycle. They are accountable for ensuring that the company understands what customers want, that the product being developed satisfies those requirements, and that all external marketing communicates its value.

PMM

Required skills for the product marketing manager role

The Product marketing manager’s responsibilities are divided into four categories:

Knowledge

Product marketing knowledge establishes the groundwork for market success. It is the high-level planning, organizing, and researching that occurs before the launch of a product. The PMM possesses a thorough understanding of target markets and the most effective methods of product introduction into each market. In addition, they build market strategies through market research and competition analysis.

Strategy

The Product Marketing Manager’s objective, in collaboration with the marketing communications department, is to persuade customers to demand your good or service through to sale. This can be defined as forming a product marketing alliance. As a PMM, you should be an industry expert, and familiar with marketing ideas and strategies for developing a sales-generating marketing communication sequence.

Positioning

The product marketing manager, in alliance with the product manager, defines the product positioning that expresses the value proposition. This is reinforced through the message, which connects each feature to a specific consumer advantage.

Sales

Sales experts persuade people to purchase the product. Thus, they create market momentum. To do so effectively, salespeople require exceptional sales tools. For instance, they frequently require effective product training, a strong product presentation, and an enticing demonstration. A product marketing manager understands the sales tools salespeople require to accomplish their duties, which points to stress to increase the effectiveness of the sales pitch.

great product marketing managers

Product marketing managers must significantly possess a strong understanding of marketing principles (such as market research and customer statistics), content creation, and the product development lifecycle. Additionally, PMMs must possess superior listening and communication skills and an aptitude for spotting trends. They should be able to:

  • Recognize the product’s roadmap throughout its lifespan
  • Conduct successful market research initiatives
  • Create a smart marketing strategy for your products
  • Responsible for overseeing integrated marketing initiatives
  • Collect and analyze business requirements while using cases
  • Recognize and convey customer requirements to stakeholders
  • Analyze rivals and customers using research and analytics technologies.
  • Manage the launch of new products
  • Produce compelling product tales or assist others in developing them
  • Create and deliver sales and support staff training presentations.
  • Sift through massive data sets to uncover trends in product usage and perception
  • Create product positioning tactics based on competitive and customer data.
  • Determine influential individuals in pertinent industries
B2B sales team

Final words on being a product marketing manager

The PMM will discover product attributes to accentuate via advertising after evaluating the product and analyzing the marketplace. This can be flexible, particularly if there are many markets. Additionally, the PMM will be responsible for communicating to customers the benefits and advantages of important product features.

Apart from communicating directly to consumers, the PMM will also perform product demos, give lectures, and organize exhibits. It is critical that the PMM does more than just advertise the goods. They are accountable for establishing a common understanding of the product across the broader market.

The product marketing manager is difficult to fill since many businesses cannot afford a full-time product manager. The position itself requires a great deal of effort. As a PMM, you’ll work with a variety of departments and will be engaged in all stages of the product development lifecycle.

If you believe that being involved in every aspect of a product’s creation, refining, and launch sounds incredible, a product marketing manager may be the right job for you.