Product Marketing vs Product Management

Product Marketing and Product Management are terms that are thrown around at most startups and MNCs. While the term Product Leader is gaining prominence by the day, there is not much emphasis on Product Marketing. A considerable number of people also confuse Product Marketing with traditional OOH or door-to-door marketing. Product Management is also confused to be the same as General Management and the notion that a generic MBA equips you with skills required to become a Product Leader is a notion that prevails till today. So what is Product Marketing and Product Management and how are they different from one another?

In small organizations, we have product leaders donning the hat of a product marketer once the product is ready to be launched. After the launch, they go from building a product to marketing the product to the right set target audience and enable sales at their organizations. Even though the whole job profile is changed, one thing remains the same- A Customer-facing role. One common thing about these two diverse professions is that irrespective of any organization they work for or if their company is customer-facing or business/enterprise-facing, the customer is always at the center of their universe. 

Meet Nixon
He’s a Product Manager and his work involves finding solutions for a problem he completely ‘owns.’ He communicates the problem to his engineering team and they build a solution to the problem. From the word go, he/she defines the product vision and also collaborates with the sales, marketing and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. 

Meet Linda
She’s the Product Marketing Manager and works on the go-to-market strategy while also working on campaigns to attract prospects and customers. She also makes sure to analyze market trends for the right positioning of the products and evaluates KPIs and feedback from existing and prospective customers. 

Even though they have different job responsibilities, both of them work closely together because of the ‘product’ which binds them together. Now, in a healthy organization, product management and product marketing collaborate closely but things can go wrong when the two teams are not in sync – inconsistent messaging, botched go-live dates, and confusion about what the product actually does and the real benefit to customers. So, it’s very important to integrate both these functions into one for seamless communication and maximum efficiency!

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