Let’s imagine your job involves launching customer-facing products. They can either be physical items or virtual software applications. You’re required to collaborate with several different teams within the company to ensure the product is launched successfully and customers are happy.
Who are you? A Product Marketer or a Product Manager?
Both answers are technically correct. But if you’re interested in working in product development, you’ll need to understand the subtle differences between these two roles.
This article will help you make a clear distinction between product marketing and product management.
What is Product Marketing?
Product Marketing is the process of bringing an existing product to the market.
Marketing a product involves several steps including positioning, messaging, and launching. Product Marketers are responsible for helping the sales team understand the product, so they can effectively sell it to the target customers.
The process of marketing aims to create a high demand for the product, among the customers in the market.
Product Marketing includes product research, product story development, content creation, product launch planning, community engagement, and sales training.
Together with developing a buyer profile and understanding buyer motivations, a Product Marketer analyzes market data, creates strategies surrounding the product, and researches the competition.
These professionals work closely with researchers, designers, and customer-related resources in the company to get a clear picture of the customer requirements. They also work with other teams to develop communications for marketing and create access points where the customers can engage with the company.
The high-level goal of a Product Marketer is to find ways to acquire and retain customers for the company.
What is Product Management?
Product Management is concerned with developing a new product from scratch.
Everything from planning, forecasting, and design, to development, verification, pricing, and launch.
Product Marketing comes under the umbrella of Product Management. Product Management also includes research, defining the product vision, developing a strategic plan, communicating the vision to stakeholders, creation, and maintenance of the product roadmap.
One of the most important responsibilities of a Product Manager is to create a vision and develop a product roadmap. The vision is created by understanding customer demands. Pain points must be identified by conducting user interviews and analyzing market metrics.
Product Management is concerned with a broad range of high-level strategic goals. A Product Manager does not need to fully understand the low-level details of the manufacturing and development process. This responsibility is left to the engineers.
In larger companies, the management makes a divide between Product Managers and Project Managers. The latter works separately to assign projects, while the former is focused on identifying exactly what customer problems to solve, and is typically a part of an EPD (engineering, product, design) organization.
How to Get Hired As A Product Marketer or Product Manager
Apart from technical knowledge, to be successful in product marketing the following skills will help set you apart from the competition:
- Good communication skills to understand the practical and emotional needs of the customers.
- The ability to interpret large amounts of data, in order to understand how a product is being used.
- The ability to research customer data, competitive information, and company capabilities to strategize how a product will be positioned.
- Creativity and strong writing skills to craft a product story.
When it comes to product management, a good Product Manager should be able to:
- Conduct research and analyze data to understand customers and the market.
- Empathize with the customer to fully understand the problems they’re facing.
- Identify and highlight product features, and inspire the sales team with clear value propositions.
- Use business acumen to make analytical decisions about trade-offs and risks.
- Work closely with multiple different teams and guide them throughout the product lifecycle.
How Much Can I Earn As A Product Marketer or Product Manager?
The U.S. national average salary for a Product Marketer is $111,760 per year. The package may vary depending on your specific skills, experience, location, and industry.
On the other hand, the average salary for a Product Manager is approximately $109,000 a year. Again, compensation always depends on your experience, job location, and skills.
How to Learn Product Marketing or Product Management
To pursue a career in Product Marketing, some choose to earnyou generally need a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, although it’s not required. In this field, employers favor applicants who can demonstrate their skills with a relevant portfolio, regardless of their education credentials.
A related subject taken in high school or prep school such as Commerce or Internet Marketing can help you with the necessary foundational skills. However, most companies today prefer someone with a master’s degree in a related field or an MBA in Marketing.
Product Management is not taught formally in colleges or universities. There are specialized training programs on Product Management, both online and offline. These courses are great for familiarizing yourself with all the tools needed for a career in Product Management.
Alternatively, an MBA will help develop your leadership skills and teach you how to create a product vision. Once completed, you can join a company as a Junior Product Manager. Over time you have the opportunity to gain experience and advance to a more senior role.
Interested in Learning More?
After reading this article you should now have a clear understanding of the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Marketer. If you’re serious about pursuing a career in either of these growing industries, we invite you to browse our product management blog for more insights and tips on how to learn the tech skills you need, get hired, and apply them on the job.
An online course is a great place to start your career in product management. Enroll in a product management bootcamp today to take advantage of expert one-on-one mentorship as you follow our professionally designed curriculum. Learn everything you need to know to get hired as a product manager.