Becoming A Product Marketing Manager

Product Marketing Manager

Not long ago, MetroMBA looked into the growing popularity of the position of Product Manager for new MBA graduates. We also noted a growth in programs at business schools throughout the country focused on developing the necessary skills for securing a position in product management.

Many MBA graduates interested in product management may also find success in the role of Product Marketing Manager. While there are many areas of overlap between the positions—such as both roles’ emphasis on creativity and problem-solving- MBAs interested in a more marketing heavy role may find that Product Marketing Manager is a perfect fit.

What Does a Product Marketing Manager Do?

A Product Marketing Manager is responsible for overseeing all outbound marketing efforts for a particular product at their company. When a new product is created, the Product Marketing Manager will help to develop a big-picture plan for how the product will be marketed, often working alongside researchers to target particular market demographics. The Product Marketing Manager will set forth a vision for each product’s branding and messaging, and lead other marketers in maintaining a consistent marketing direction.

The role will likely work alongside many other marketers and research analysts at a company, identifying key market demographics and brainstorming new ways to reach these consumers. They will also likely work with promotions and advertising managers to create a product’s branding, and evaluate how the branding influences sales.

How Does a Product Marketing Manager Differ from a Product Manager?

The role of a Product Marketing Manager and Product Manager can vary across industry and from company to company. Nonetheless, the two roles always have their own specialty areas and responsibilities.

A Product Manager is responsible for shaping the products that a company creates by defining and communicating the goal of those who will ultimately design and develop it. In this role, one will be responsible for the strategy and path of a new product, working alongside and negotiating with the engineering team to shape exactly what the product will be and how it will function. The Product Manager is essentially seen as the CEO of that specific project, making decisions and leading the organization when mastery of the product is required.

The Product Marketing Manager, on the other hand, is a much more outward facing role. The Product Marketing Manager will define the product’s position in the greater context of product strategy, which often means conducting research such as competitor analysis or market research studies. This role will also be responsible for all outward facing responsibilities regarding the product, such as delivering presentations or creating market collateral. In this position, one must be responsible for the success of a product, which often includes helping the sales team understand how to best market and developing marketing programs necessary to generate greater demand.

What is the Average Salary for a Product Marketing Manager?

The salary for a Product Marketing Manager can vary widely between industries, companies, and the level of education you have. On average, those possessing an MBA degree can make roughly $78,611 per year as a Product Marketing Manager.

Regardless of degree, one could earn a salary ranging from $55,791-$133,946. This number is also affected by whether or not a company offers a Product Marketing Manager the opportunity for commission or profit sharing.

Do You Need an MBA to be a Product Marketing Manager?

While an MBA is not always a requirement to become a Product Marketing Manager, many companies prefer applicants with advanced degrees. Candidates should have extensive experience in marketing, sales or brand management, and having an MBA can help to emphasize the breadth of one’s business knowledge and skill. Considering that the role has a predicted job growth of 9 percent over the next ten years, having that competitive edge will be more and more important as the position expands in popularity.

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About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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