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Product Marketing Managers
This entire site is essentially for Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) since, as the owners of the product, they need to know everything here. By the way, even the VP of Marketing is a product manager–the “company” is his product, and the PMM’s own the product lines.
Product Management Topics (click link to continue)
- Qualitative Research
- Quantitative Research
- Research Plan
- Business Intelligence
- Competitive Analysis
- Business Models
- Product Positioning
- Market Requirement Documents
- Launch Plans
- Counter Strikes
Product Manager Definition
Product Marketing Managers are the same as Product Managers. I add the word “marketing” to clarify that “this” product manager sits in marketing (one of the four P’s of the marketing mix is “product”). There are also Product Engineer Managers that manage the development of the product–but they do not define it. Marketing determines what goes into the product, Engineering determines how it is developed.
The success or failure of a company is often dependent on how this position is understood and empowered within the organization. If the company understands that the product is “owned” by Product Management (a mini GM) and that it is within this role that the customer requirements are identified, product features are developed, compiled and positioned, and then launched–then the organization has made the first step toward creating a market driven product.
In the optimal situation, there is a Product Manager and a Product Marketing Manager. Of the 4 P’s of the Marketing Mix, The Product Manager is technically capable and owns the product and ensures it is developed according to market needs (correct features, on time and on budget). The Product Marketing Manager deals with the business aspect of the Pricing, Placement and Promotion. The Product Manager is typically the senior of the two and is competent in “ALL” aspects of his product (he or she has to be–or he will not know how to take the other aspects into consideration in defining the product (based on how it will be positioned, priced, promoted, and sold). I often have the Product Marketing Manager reporting to the Product Manager.
However, surprisingly, I have only had the luxury of having two people in the overall product ownership at one company. Everywhere else, there was a single product manager who was responsible for everything. This is a difficult role since the correct candidate must be technical enough (within a high-tech company) to be respected by engineering, but must not be such a “tech weenie” that they are not expert at all of the business aspects of the product.
I require my product managers to be expert in all aspects of product management and product marketing and usually assign them the title of product marketing manager to emphasis that I expect them to know and own all 4 Ps. Within their role, Product Marketing Managers need to a) define, b) develop and c) launch their products.
Product Management Job Description
- Click here to see a thorough description of the duties of a product marketing manager.
Product Management Training
The 280 Group helps companies define, launch and market breakthrough new products by providing Consultants, Contractors, Training and Templates. The have been so kind as to provide a PDF entitled, “Product Marketing Versus Product Management” which further explains the roles of product management and product marketing.
Their website contains a LOT of valuable resources for product management and product marketing, plus they have some terrific “Toolkits” for Product Management, Product Roadmaps, Best programs, Developer Programs, MRD Outlines, Feature Matrix and much more.
As a Senior VP at several multi-billion dollar companies and numerous start-ups, I have always struggled to find world-class Product Marketing Managers. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of well rounded PMM’s available. For this reason, I am usually required to train whoever I’ve got–and most training initiates with a course at Pragmatic Marketing.
I have talked with the President and CEO of Pragmatic Marketing, Craig Stull, and he has graciously given me permission to link to content directly on his site (actually, I am linking to www.productmarketing.com (an alternate site that is used to house content)). I especially enjoy the articles that discuss the challenges of product marketing management within a corporate structure.
- Role of Product Management. Who does what within the organization.
- The Product Management Triad. Not all titles mean the same thing in each company.
- Titles and Responsibilities. Own the requirements, own the positioning?
- Time for product management. Between helping development, marcom and sales, when can you do product management?
- Where should product management be in the company. Empowering product managers.
- Writing the market requirements document. Title is evident.
- We built it but no one came. The old “Field of Dreams” marketing problem (usually an engineering problem)
- He who owns the compiler wins. How to persuade engineering to build what the market will buy.
- Get results or get approved. The politics of building credible marketing.
The Pragmatic Marketing site has several other articles. Please feel free to visit at www.productmarketing.com to see more. Many thanks to Pragmatic Marketing for allowing us to link to their content. Click here and send an e-mail (subscribe) to sign up for the Pragmatic Marketing newsletter.
In addition, please check out the pre-screened links available for Product Management. In addition, check out the 690 page, 4th edition of, “The Product Management Handbook for Software,” by Rick Chapman. I have used this book extensively to help train my product managers and cross-train my marketing teams–I highly recommend it.