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What’s the Difference Between Product Management and Product Marketing?

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  • Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success.  Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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There’s an on-going discussion in virtually every company about titles and responsibilities in product management. What is product management? And how is it different from product marketing?

product management, product marketing
2005 Survey – Pragmatic Institute

This graph from our 2005 survey shows that, in practice, these titles have much overlap. Both roles spend substantial time supporting salespeople; creating sales tools, creating presentations and demos, and going on sales calls. However, product management is more inclined to work closely with development and engineering while the latter tends to work more closely with marketing communications. Read more online at pragmaticinstitute.com.

Each year Pragmatic Institute conducts a survey of product managers and marketing professionals. Our objective is to provide Pragmatic Institute clients with industry information about compensation as well as the most common responsibilities for product managers and other marketing professionals.

Get your two cents in! We’ll be running the survey again in November so watch for an announcement on our website and in our newsletter.

Author

  • Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success.  Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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