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Product Marketing Managers: What They Do and How to Become One

Thousands of new products are released every day, but have you ever wondered what actually goes into bringing them to market?

Product marketing managers are at the forefront of all the behind the scenes work. They collaborate with engineers and creative teams to help bring a product from concept to commercialization.  They’re involved in things like pricing, strategy, market analysis, branding and messaging. 

A product marketing manager can hold various roles and responsibilities across industries. Depending on the company and product, some will help lead the development of a product’s packaging as part of the messaging creation process. In certain roles, it’s their responsibility to make sure the product hits the company’s profitability and cost targets. In others, they pitch to retailers and discuss shelf space, placement, and presence.

Every position is different, but most product marketing managers appreciate that diversity. It allows them the opportunity to find the role that they’re most passionate about. If you’re interested in product marketing, it’s important to find the industry that’s right for you.

Product marketing managers play an essential role in most companies, and are compensated accordingly. With a median base salary of $115,000, they’ve found themselves on Glassdoor’s 2016 list of the 25 best jobs in America. Those on the higher end of the earnings spectrum tend to be well equipped with relevant soft skills, particularly in regards to teamwork.

Here’s a closer look at some of the skills you’ll need to succeed as a product marketing manager:

1. Leadership and Teamwork

Despite the differences in specific duties, what all product marketing managers have in common is the ability to work well with others. All of them must collaborate with a cross functional team in order to effectively bring a product to market. Working with a number of departments can be a challenge, especially in terms of communication, but a good product marketing manager is able to ensure proper collaboration so that the best product can be delivered.

Links to FullbridgeX Communication and Teamwork   Links to Introduction to Project Management

2. Problem Solving

More often than not, product marketing managers encounter numerous obstacles and must make important final decisions. They need to make sacrifices and work around roadblocks. That’s no easy task, so problem solving and decision making skills are crucial for any product marketing manager.

CreativeProblemSolvingAndDecisionMaking   Links to FullbridgeX Analytical Problem Solving

3. Marketing

Product marketing managers are able to make these difficult choices because of their extensive marketing knowledge. They understand their customers – their needs, their interests, their price sensitivity, etc. – and it allows them to make the best possible decisions and guide their team in the right direction.

Links to EdinburghX Introduction to Marketing   Links to UC BerkeleyX Marketing Analytics