Resources > Articles

Product Marketing or Product Management

Post Author
  • Dave Daniels is the VP of customer success at Pragmatic Institute. His mission is to ensure that each Pragmatic Institute customer has what they need to successfully implement the Pragmatic Institute Framework. For over two decades Dave has helped technology companies succeed as a software developer, sales engineer, product manager, product marketing manager, executive, leader and entrepreneur. Dave enjoys snowboarding, CrossFit and barbecue. He's a dad of three amazing kids and the product of a military family. Dave has a BS in computer science with a minor in mathematics from Columbus State University. Contact him at ddaniels@pragmaticmarketing.com.

product marketing manager vs product manager

product marketing manager vs product manager

Roles Before Titles

The job titles product marketing manager and product manager are confusing enough to start raging debates about who does what. Organizations often transpose the job titles, adding to the confusion. I’m not going to tell you that if your job title is X then you do Y. But I can give you some guidelines that generalize the areas of accountability. You can take it from there.

 

The Three Horizons of Sustained Growth

In the book The Alchemy of Growth, the authors propose that a healthy, growing organization needs to focus simultaneously on three things. The first is sustaining the business. The second is growing the business. The third is the future of the business.

From a product perspective, we can simplify this as current products, next products, and future products. Current products sustain your business. Next products assure growth and future products assure long-term viability.

All of the products and services you have today, and those that are on your roadmap, are represented by those three circles. Now, let’s use those to delineate the roles of product marketing and product management at a generalized level.

 

Clarifying the Roles

The product marketing role is focused on current products and next products. Think about that for a moment. They’re either helping to figure out how to sell more of what’s in the portfolio (current products), or planning to introduce new products (next products). Let’s put a rectangle around the first two circles. That represents the big area of responsibility for the product marketing role.

The product management role is focused on next products and future products. They are working with the product marketing role to plan a product launch, or they are conducting research to anticipate what the future will bring. Let’s put a rectangle around the second two circles. That represents the big area of responsibility for the product management role.

 

clarifying roles for product manager

 

When the two rectangles are combined, it’s simple to describe which roles focus on which of the three product areas. It also shows where there are overlaps, representing areas of collaboration.

 

clarifying roles for product marketing manager

 

The overlap between the two roles is apparent for next products. A hand-off occurs between product management and product marketing to plan go-to-market (GTM) strategies, launch products, and oversee readiness activities.

Product marketing managers focus on today. They work toward achieving the business goals for current products. They also plan and execute the go-to-market strategy for the next products (or new versions of existing products).

Product managers focus on tomorrow. They work to deliver the next products and create a vision for future products.

 

Who Does What?

The big question that many people ask is, “Who does what?” That is, by job title. I won’t give you an explicit answer to that question. I ask that you consider the broader “swim lanes” I’ve offered. Think about the people in your organization who have the skills and temperament to work most effectively in each role. Then strive to get to a state that works for your organization.

Be mindful that product marketing isn’t product management and vice versa. Also, be mindful that if your product managers are spending too much time on today activities, they aren’t planning for tomorrow. You will pay for it sooner or later.

It may be time to introduce a product marketing role into your organization, one that isn’t product management or marcom. Use the responsibilities graphic to help you find a good fit.

Author

  • Dave Daniels is the VP of customer success at Pragmatic Institute. His mission is to ensure that each Pragmatic Institute customer has what they need to successfully implement the Pragmatic Institute Framework. For over two decades Dave has helped technology companies succeed as a software developer, sales engineer, product manager, product marketing manager, executive, leader and entrepreneur. Dave enjoys snowboarding, CrossFit and barbecue. He's a dad of three amazing kids and the product of a military family. Dave has a BS in computer science with a minor in mathematics from Columbus State University. Contact him at ddaniels@pragmaticmarketing.com.

Author:

Other Resources in this Series

Most Recent

Article

[Comprehensive Guide] Product Owner vs Product Manager

Learn how to separate the roles of product owner and product manager on Agile teams and uncover some common challenges with confusing these roles. Including a short primer on the Agile revolution.
Article

Use Scenarios are Stories That Provide Context

The problem with today’s user stories is that they aren’t interesting. And they aren’t stories. The solution is use scenarios. It’s a narrative. It explains the problem in the form of a real-life story.
Article

Benefits of Bundle Pricing

Bundle pricing is simply a strategy where services or products are packaged together for one (often reduced) price rather than priced separately. This article covers some benefits of bundle pricing followed by a system for getting started.
Article

A Quick Guide to Value-Based Pricing

Value-based pricing begins with knowing the customer’s willingness to pay based on the perceived value of your product. You can charge less than a customer’s willingness to pay, and they feel like they’ve received an
Article

What Is Captive Product Pricing 

If you’re looking for a simple answer, it’s this: captive product pricing is when consumers make a one-time purchase (usually a lower-priced core product) but are required to purchase accessories for the main product to

OTHER ArticleS

Article

[Comprehensive Guide] Product Owner vs Product Manager

Learn how to separate the roles of product owner and product manager on Agile teams and uncover some common challenges with confusing these roles. Including a short primer on the Agile revolution.
Article

Use Scenarios are Stories That Provide Context

The problem with today’s user stories is that they aren’t interesting. And they aren’t stories. The solution is use scenarios. It’s a narrative. It explains the problem in the form of a real-life story.

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Sign up to received invites to upcoming webinars, updates on our recent podcast episodes and the latest on industry best practices.

Subscribe

Subscribe

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone
Company
Job Title
Location
How can we help you?
Preferred method of contact
Privacy Policy*
Map Your Message to Its Audience with the Communication Compass
Map Your Message to Its Audience with the Communication Compass
Ensure your message hits the mark. This eBook helps you visually map communication styles so you can tailor your design story to a stakeholder or business partner.

Download Ebook

Demystifying Data Projects: A Guide for Business Leaders
While data science is a competitive advantage, data isn’t magic. Learn how to make magic happen by partnering more effectively with data professionals. This eBook delves into types of data projects, sample questions, tools and methods, key points and cautions—so stakeholders like you can initiate data projects with real business impact.

Download Ebook

Define Ebook Thumbnail
What’s the difference between a successful data analysis project and one that falls flat? 

Before you begin working with the data, you need to understand what you’re solving for. Gathering context and aligning around goals with your stakeholders from the outset will help you avoid disconnects and deliver actionable insights. Discover the most vital questions to ask before embarking on a data analysis project in our in-depth guide, “Define: Laying the Foundation for Successful Data Analysis.”

Download Ebook

Download Now