2008 Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey

Each year Pragmatic Institute conducts a survey of product managers and marketing professionals.

Over 1,100 responded to the survey, which was conducted from November 3 through November 26, 2008 using Vovici’s EFM Feedback.

Note: When making decisions, remember this report describes typical practices, not best practices. For best practices in product management and marketing, attend a Pragmatic Institute seminar.

Additional analysis is at the end of this summary.

Profile of a product manager

Average age is 37
Responsible for 3 products
89% claim to be "somewhat" or "very" technical
34% are female, 66% are male
95% have completed college and 44% have completed a masters program (see Does a masters degree make a difference?)

"How has your job changed over the last 2 years?"


The typical product manager reports to a director in the product management department.

  • 45% report to a director
  • 29% report to a vice president
  • 17% report to a manager
  • 9% to CxO

Reporting Department

  • 23% report directly to the CEO or COO
  • 22% are in the Product Management department
  • 19% are in the Marketing department
  • 11% are in Development/Engineering
  • 7% are in Sales
  • 4% are in the Product Marketing department

"If you could say one thing to your company president.."

Over 650 responded to this question! Read some of the highlights.

Impacts on productivity

Product managers receive 50 e-mails a day and send 25.

Product managers spend roughly two days a week in internal meetings (15 meetings/week). But 55% are going to 15 meetings or more each week, and 35% attend 20 or more meetings!

Product managers typically work 50 hours per week.

Ratios within the company

How are product managers allocated relative to other departments?
For each Product Manager, we find:

  • 0.6 product marketing managers
  • 0.75 marketing communications
  • 7.2 salespeople
  • 3.5 sales engineers (pre-sales support)
  • 0.72 development leads
  • 5.5 developers
  • 1.0 product architects and designers

Other ratios

  • 3.6 developers per QA manager
  • 3.6 salespeople per sales engineer

Responsible for product profit & loss

Profit & Loss

Responsible for go-to-market strategies


Software Development Methods

Development Methods

Activities (based on the Pragmatic Institute Framework)

Percentage of respondents indicating they conduct the activity


Comparison of roles

Percentage of product managers and product marketers indicating they conduct each activity

Product Manager vs Product Marketer


Average US product management compensation is $100,341 salary plus $12,467 annual bonus. 79% of product managers get a bonus (multiple responses were permitted):

  • 64% based on company profit
  • 24% based on product revenue
  • 36% based on quarterly objectives (MBOs)

29% say bonus does not motivate at all and 16% say bonus motivates a lot.

Geographical impact on compensation

(US $)




90,000 20,000 78,571 10,400 65,000 2,000
145,000 85,000 88,719 14,792 50,000 1,000
182,000 30,000 90,429 10,704 18,000 2,000
USA 180,000 70,000 100,341 12,467 40,000 1,000

US regional impact on compensation

(US $)




Midwest 170,000 30,000 90,944 10,453 50,000 1,000
Northeast 175,000 55,000 105,178 12,933 40,000 1,000
Pacific 180,000 70,000 107,105 14,026 41,000 1,000
Southeast 150,000 25,000 96,038 10,787 50,000 1,000
South 145,000 27,000 105,789 13,933 58,000 2,000
165,000 39,000 94,152 12,833 40,000 2,000

Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
Northeast (CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)
Pacific (AK. CA, HI, OR, WA)
Southeast (AL, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
South (AR, LA, OK, TX)
West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY)

Gender comparison in compensation vs. experience

(US $)

Gender Comparison


Additional Analysis

More on compensation

A look at Agile product management

Gender bias

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