Ask the Experts: When Should We Look at Introducing Product Marketing Managers into the Product Management Mix?

Pragmatic Marketer Volume 10 Issue 1

Often in early-stage organizations, development, sales and marketing are all doing their own things and no one’s really coordinating anything. A level of chaos ensues.

This is frequently when product management is brought in. They start by making sure product tasks get done on time and development stays focused on the right tasks. We see great improvement and deliver a product that the market really wants. But sales and marketing are still left to their own devices.

Product managers are naturally focused on the product. But if the rest of the organization isn’t prepared to sell it, deliver it, book the revenue or generate awareness about the solution in the marketplace, then it’s highly unlikely the product will be successful.

Often, management thinks the product manager should be doing it all. But there’s really only so much a human can do. You need someone who can focus on the strategies behind go-to-market efforts, a role often referred to as product marketing. That function should be brought in when there is steady and constant activity as it relates to taking the product to market.

To get management on board, explain that while the organization might be doing a good job getting the product out, it’s stumbling and falling at actually launching the product and ensuring organizational readiness. And that’s the role of product marketing. Explain that product marketing can develop the go-to-market strategy and coordinate with product management to make sure sales, marketing and other parts of the organization are prepared.

Product managers deliver market requirements to development so they know what to build, while product marketing managers need to deliver the equivalent to the marketing team and the sales team to focus their execution activities.

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