Behind a successful product is a team responsible for developing and implementing a winning product roadmap and adoption. Product marketing managers drive this team.
Product marketing is an intersection of marketing, product, sales, and customer success teams that help collaborate with each other and achieve tangible results. This makes product marketing the heart of a tech company in driving consistent revenue through product adoption.
So if you’re looking to transition into product marketing or are curious if it’s the right career path for you — this article will answer all your questions.
What is a product marketing manager?
A product marketing manager (PMM) is a person responsible for planning and implementing the product’s positioning, messaging, and branding.
Their ownership does not end once a product is launched. Post a launch or a go-to-market strategy completion, product marketing managers ensure sustained revenue through consistent product adoption in the market.
So why is a product marketing manager important for any product-based company?
- To keep multiple teams in sync and operate in tandem.
- Build a consistent communication medium without any gaps between teams or individuals involved in the product’s launch or development.
- Coordinate activities between teams so that everyone’s on the same page.
Product marketing manager roles and responsibilities
Product marketing managers come with a whole lot of responsibilities on their plate, hence their importance. Here are some vital roles and responsibilities of a typical product marketing manager:
- Program management — Coordinate different teams, such as sales, marketing, and product, and organize their activities.
- Operate in a loop and communicate across all channels — Product marketing managers are responsible for putting information across all channels and bringing everyone involved on the same page. They also get back the needed information through a consistent feedback process and use it to improve the processes further.
- Conduct in-depth research — Product marketers help conduct market and competitor research, among others, and get feedback from stakeholders.
- Product messaging and positioning — Develop fitting product messaging that customers can relate to by curating high-quality content. Product marketers also help position the product in the market in such a way that it stands out from its competitors.
- Help with copywriting and designing — This is a highly critical responsibility of product marketers and managers as copywriting and designing correlate with faster product adoption.
- Offer marketing channel expertise — Product marketing managers and product marketers come with the marketing expertise of at least one channel. Their expertise will help them make efficient GTM (go-to-market) plans, coordinate with other marketing teams, and identify areas of improvement.
- Guide in achieving organizational goals — Product marketing managers ensure everyone’s in sync and do not deviate from the product brief or product requirement document. They help in generating and scaling product go-lives and shipping processes.
- Generate product demand and realize revenue — Demand generation is critical for revenue realization, and product marketing managers help generate sufficient demand for the same.
8 key skills of a product marketing manager
You’ve seen the wide range of roles a product marketing manager is responsible for. And it comes as no surprise that such massive responsibilities are only possible with a specific skill set.
Below are some critical skills that a product marketing manager or any product marketer must possess:
1. Product building — Key skill involved: Researching
Identifying and defining an ICP (ideal customer profile) and a target market while working with product managers.
2. Measuring market size — Key skill involved: Problem-solving
Product marketing managers help measure the product’s potential market size and analyze the market’s willingness to pay.
3. Positioning — Key skill involved: Management
This is a critical skill of a product marketing manager and is put to use prior to product building.
4. Messaging — Key skill involved: Storytelling
Have you ever visited a product-based company’s website and had no clue about what they do? Product marketing managers could’ve helped them communicate their offerings better (What problems does the product solve? How is it different from the competitor’s? Etc.) and develop a strong content plan.
5. GTM execution — Key skill involved: Communication
Product marketing managers own the GTM planning and execution activity. Therefore, they must be good at collaboration, analyzing returns, and collecting feedback.
6. Understanding customers’ requirements — Key skill involved: Consumer psychology
Product marketers and managers must be skilled enough to understand customer dynamics and need to draw customer-centric conclusions for a great product marketing strategy.
7. Sales enablement — Key skill involved: Collaboration
Empowering the sales enablement team through the right resources and data.
8. Writing case studies — Key skill involved: Lead generation
Product marketing managers oversee conducting customer interviews and writing powerful case studies that help in generating top-quality leads.
A few other vital skills of a product marketing manager:
- Showing empathy.
- Conversion rate optimization.
- Asset development.
Product marketing manager job description and expected salary for 2023
The following job description will walk you through the day-to-day responsibilities of a product marketing manager sourced from some top hiring companies:
Product marketing manager job summary
A product marketing manager will oversee the development of effective marketing strategies and work in collaboration with product managers and marketing and sales teams. The manager must set up and lead the team of product marketers and possess in-depth knowledge of GTM strategies, research market trends, and understand product features.
Product marketing manager duties and tasks
- Strong communication and organizational skills to interact and collaborate with multiple teams at once.
- The ability to manage programs and prioritize tasks across projects and teams.
- Guide teams in finishing projects and campaigns.
- Oversee product messaging and positioning. And improve with consistent feedback loops.
- Train and craft product requirement documents and plans for sales enablement.
- Curate and develop content for websites and educational purposes.
- Conduct in-depth client and customer interviews to craft high-converting, lead-generating case studies.
- Possess project and program management skills.
- Work closely with product managers and marketing teams for faster go-to-market.
- Produce complex marketing plans for sales and marketing teams.
Product marketing manager qualifications
- A Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or other fields.
- At least 2 years of experience as a Product Marketer or in related marketing roles.
- Excellent project and organizational skills.
- Foundational campaign management experience.
- Strong communication and task prioritization skills.
Expected salary for a product marketing manager
A competitive salary for a Product Marketing Manager in India could be anywhere between 6 LPA to 32 LPA (the average being around 16 LPA) — which is more than an average technical manager’s salary.
The average salary for a product marketing manager in the USA could range up to $157,000.
Product marketing manager career path
Once you’ve served for at least 2 to 4 years as a product marketing manager, you could expect to be:
- Marketing Director.
- Senior Product Marketing Manager.
- Director of Product Marketing.
- VP of Product Marketing.
What tools do product marketing managers use?
Let’s check out the various tools product marketing managers use most often. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken down the tools based on a manager’s everyday responsibilities:
1. Tools for product building:
- Figma for attractive graphical designing-related tasks.
- Jira for issue/task tracking and project management.
- Segment to collaborate and share data with multiple teams seamlessly.
- Aha! to build an effective product roadmap.
2. Tools for demand generation:
- Marketo covers various others tools for marketing, sales enablement, and customer engagement.
- GoToWebinar to interact with internal teams and customers.
- Autopilot to automate demand generation strategies.
- Google Analytics for tracking and improving website traffic.
- Tableau to depict data visually and analyze metrics.
3. Tools for revenue realization
- Salesforce as a CRM software to perform marketing automation, analytics, and development.
- Clearbit to identify and understand customer needs and personalize marketing interactions.
- Paperflite to manage content related to sales and marketing, share, and track how consumers interact with the content.
- Outreach helps generate sales pipelines and execute more deals rapidly.
Differences between a product manager and a product marketing manager
There’s a never-ending confusion between the roles of product managers and product marketing managers — so much so that it’s a popular interview question.
The below differentiation should put an end to this confusion:
- Product management is a function and a critical component in a technology company that focuses on creating products and improving them over time.
- Product marketing is also a crucial function in a technology company that works alongside product management and is an intersection of the product, sales, and marketing teams.
- Product managers are involved in shipping new products and improving existing ones to keep up with market standards.
- Product marketing managers drive and sustain product adoption and look after revenue growth.
Major differentiating roles
- Communication: Product managers must communicate and collaborate directly with the development team, such as engineers and software developers. Product marketing managers, as we mentioned, communicate with the sales, marketing, and product teams.
- Primary skill sets: Product managers must be vocal about the product’s business value, identify customer pain points, document future product functionalities, etc. Product marketing managers shape product messaging and positioning, and set up campaigns for demand generation and revenue realization.
But there’s one core aspect of product managers and product marketing managers that’s common. It’s the customer and market research that must be done to understand ICPs and the target audience.
Career opportunities are many in the current digitally dominant world. Product marketing is one such position that keeps on giving.
The field has continually evolved over the years, and so have the required skills. And that’s why it is and will be among the highly paid and most sought-after professions in the marketplace.