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Top 10 Attributes of a Product Marketing Manager

"Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go."

Key Takeaways:

  • Product marketing is the process of introducing and managing a product in the market, bridging the gap between product management and marketing communications.
  • Product marketing managers focus on understanding customer demands and positioning the product accordingly, distinct from the role of product managers who define a product’s functions.
  • Product marketing is an ongoing effort to promote and adapt the product to customer needs throughout its lifecycle.
  • Product marketing is included in product management certification programs, and specialized courses are available for product marketing managers.
  • A typical day for a Product Marketing Manager (PMM) involves tasks like communicating product changes, balancing team vision and customer needs, developing pricing and positioning strategies, and conducting customer interviews.
In this article
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    Product marketing is essentially introducing and selling a product in the market. Experts say that product marketing is the bridge between product management and marketing communications. It is an integral part of the product life cycle, and most organizations invest heavily to get trained product marketing managers.

    With this blog, we aim to explore what is product marketing and the attributes a product marketing manager should have.

    What is Product Marketing?

    Product marketing lies at the intersection between product development, sales, and marketing. As we mentioned, it is the process of introducing a product to the market and overseeing its overall success.

    Product marketers understand the demands of their prospects and customers and position the product accordingly.

    Now, we need to understand very clearly that a product marketing manager is a separate role compared to a product manager. While the latter is responsible for defining a product’s functions, the former mainly focuses on customers.

    The product marketing process doesn’t end at the pre-launch and launch stages. It is a continuous effort to promote and shape the product to meet the customers’ needs across all stages of its lifecycle.

    A product management certification program includes product marketing in the curriculum. However, specialized courses are also available for product marketing managers.

    Typical Day for a Product Marketing Manager

    PMMs have to carry out the following functions daily:

    • Communicating product changes to customers and clients
    • Balancing the team’s vision for the product and the needs of the customer
    • Developing pricing and product positioning strategy
    • Conducting customer interviews to get insights

    Deliverables of a Product Marketing Manager

    Some of the deliverables that a Product Marketing Manager is responsible for:

    • Creating buyer personas
    • Positioning and messaging strategy that attracts and converts prospects
    • Sales enablement
    • Competitive market analysis and intelligence
    • Go-to-market strategy

    Top Traits to look for when hiring Product Marketing Managers

    Here are the skills and characteristics you should look for when hiring a product marketing manager.

    Strategic Planning: Looking at the big picture should be an inherent quality of a product marketing manager. In this role, one has to align various verticals together to successfully launch a product. Therefore, a product marketing manager should:

      • Be creative with problem-solving skills
      • Prioritize strategies from a business point of view
      • Be an advocate of the customer
      • Be flexible
      • Have analytical skills

     

    Sales Enablement: The product marketing manager plays a vital role in enabling the sales team with a messaging strategy that helps convert prospects. To do this efficiently, a product marketing manager must:

      • Acquire competitive intelligence
      • Develop Product Documentation, including whitepapers
      • Develop Solutions Briefs
      • Develop Product Datasheets
      • Conduct Product Demos
      • Train the sales teams

     

    Empathy: A product marketing manager has to work with all teams and verticals of the company while listening to customers. The teams might have difficulty understanding the product’s specifications, whereas the customers might have not much favorable feedback.

    Therefore, empathy is the most significant skill that a product marketing manager must have. They should be able to place themselves in different situations from different perspectives to come up with meaningful solutions.

    Empathy should be nurtured and is an actively sought skill in a product marketing manager.

    Divergent empathy for contradicting cultures is the key to growing products in India and across the globe. Therefore, a product marketing manager should nurture empathy.

    To Conclude: We have only highlighted three attributes in this blog. To know more about the other qualities, you can watch this video.

    IPL conducts free webinars every week. You can join these and learn more about our product marketing series.

    IPL is one of the leading institutions that provide product management courses with placement. These courses are curated to suit the needs of aspiring product managers and marketers. Today, you can join the classes and start a lucrative career as a product manager.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Product marketing is essential in all stages of the product life cycle, from pre-launch to post-launch. It involves introducing the product to the market, understanding customer demands, and shaping the product to meet those needs throughout its life cycle.

    A product marketing manager focuses on customers and the market, while a product manager is responsible for defining a product’s functions. They work closely but have distinct roles within a product team.

    PMMs have various daily functions, including communicating product changes, balancing the team’s vision and customer needs, developing pricing and positioning strategies, and conducting customer interviews to gain insights.

    Key deliverables of a PMM include creating buyer personas, developing positioning and messaging strategies, enabling sales teams, conducting competitive market analysis, and defining go-to-market strategies.

    When hiring a Product Marketing Manager, consider traits such as strategic planning, sales enablement capabilities, and empathy. These skills are crucial for successful product marketing and customer-focused strategies.

    Explore Our Programs

    Institute of Product Leadership is Asia’s First Business School providing accredited degree programs and certification courses exclusively in Product Management, Strategy, and Leadership.

    Talk to a counselor today and embark on your journey towards becoming an exceptional product manager.

    Whether you’re seeking advice on career paths, looking to enhance your skills, or facing challenges in your current role, our counselors are ready to provide valuable insights and actionable strategies.

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