Product Marketing Manager – who are you?

I’m conducting marketing research on you, product marketing manager. I’m doing this to support a project. I don’t want to create a generalized or stereotypical picture of you; I want to create the perfect picture of you. I want to know everything about you. I want to talk to you in a way that your jaw drops in amazement when I speak.

The first thing I did was to jettison my biases, my preconceived notions, and my personal experience. The second thing I did was to go to the job boards to read ‘product marketing manager’ job descriptions. The goal of doing this is twofold: to identify what is common among product marketing manager job descriptions and what can I conclude about the role. While I’m early in the process here’s what I can report:

  • You may have the job title of ‘product marketing manager’ but sometimes you’re really a ‘product manager’
  • You have a BS or BA (the discipline varies across industries)
  • You might have a MBA
  • You have 5+ years of experience
  • You are a “self starter”, an “excellent communicator”, a “team player”, and have a “proven track record”
  • You know how to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel
  • You have conflicting responsibilities
  • Your duties are often “as assigned”
  • Your company has no flipping idea what you do or how to measure your contribution

Out of the 100 or so job descriptions I’ve read, only one stated “You are the expert on our buyers, how they buy, and their buying criteria.”. One. Only a handful of job descriptions explicitly state your area of responsibility is outbound. A few had so many responsibilities listed it would be a job so incredibly dysfunctional you could never define what winning looks like.

It must feel like you’re a rat running in a maze with no cheese.

I want to hear from you. What do you think about your role? Am I getting warm? Does your job description match what you actually do?

David Daniels

David Daniels


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