Learn About Being a Product Marketing Manager
Updated January 26, 2023
What does a product marketing manager do?
A product marketing manager is an expert on their organization’s products and must promote knowledge and sales of these products to their existing customer base and the general public. Other responsibilities include:
Conducting competitor analysis and market research
Translating valuable product features and benefits into customer-facing messaging
Collaborating with other departments to optimize sales and marketing approaches
Training the sales team on products
Monitoring product sales and revenue
Creating marketing campaigns to generate new sales leads
Salaries for full-time product marketing managers can vary depending on the level of education, relevant experience and an employer’s industry, company size and location. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.
Common salary in the U.S.: $113,784 per year
Some salaries range from $32,000 to $211,000 per year.
Product marketing manager requirements
Becoming a product marketing manager will entail certain requirements depending on the level of jobs you’re pursuing, including:
Product marketing managers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business administration. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree in addition to a specified length of experience in marketing or related fields like advertising, brand management or sales. Continuing education is typically beneficial in maintaining expertise in current marketing trends and media platforms.
Product marketing managers often begin their careers working in lower-level marketing positions while cultivating their industry-related skills. These individuals may work as product marketing specialists and move up to management, senior management or director-level management of product marketing or strategy.
Membership in a respected professional organization, such as the American Marketing Association, can enhance career prospects through networking opportunities such as seminars, conferences and social mixers. Here are two of the most common certifications for this profession:
Certified Product Marketing Manager
This credential from the Association of International Product Marketing and Management is recognized worldwide among product marketing professionals and demonstrates your understanding of the strategic and tactical functions of product marketing. This certification course focuses on core concepts such as skills, strategies, tactics and terminology related to the product life cycle. The online course includes 21 learning modules with materials to help you pass the 120-question CPMM exam with the required score of at least 74%.
Certified Innovation Leader
This AIPMM certification is for innovative professionals who want to gain and maintain their competitive advantage. The CIL credential provides participants with the knowledge and tools to successfully produce goods and services that provide maximum return on investment to their organizations. Specific topics covered in this workshop include strategic alignment, project planning, product launch and more.
Product marketing managers must have exceptional communication and time management skills, and they must be creative, flexible and goal-oriented with strong leadership and motivational skills. Other useful skills include:
The product marketing manager is tasked with developing and delivering training presentations for sales and support teams. They must be comfortable standing and speaking in front of a group, whether it consists of their marketing colleagues, C-suite management or prospective clients. Persuasion is a related beneficial skill that could help you convince groups of professionals to support your position and ideas.
Search engine optimization
This skill is essential to determine which keywords your customers use to find your products as well as your competitors’ products. The product marketing manager uses SEO tactics such as customer discussions and competitive research to develop the right marketing tactics for their products.
A product marketing manager should know how to ask effective questions to discover their customers’ requirements. They will then use that information to pitch the product and explain why it is the most ideal solution for the customer’s needs.
Research and analytics
Product marketing managers familiarize themselves with web research and analytics tools to interpret data and use it to drive their efforts. This skill also includes recognizing patterns and potential problems, especially issues that could influence product growth long-term. Additionally, you’ll need these skills to keep aware of your competitors’ actions and how they might affect your product positioning.
A successful product marketing manager uses this skill to extract information to ensure a product’s success through all of its development stages. This skill also involves prioritizing tasks and developing effective messaging that will facilitate your product’s long-term success.
Product marketing manager work environment
Depending on the industry and the type of product they market, these professionals normally work in an office setting with the following attributes:
Work interdepartmentally across the company to coordinate the development, marketing and sales activities between departments to ensure strategic consistency and execution
Work closely with upper management
Work 50 hours or more per week
Extensive domestic and international travel to attend industry or association meetings with clients
How to become a product marketing manager
Follow these common steps to become a product marketing manager:
1. Pursue education.
Obtaining a role as a product marketing manager requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or other related field. Some employers prefer or require a master’s degree in business administration.
2. Gain relevant work experience.
For some positions, you may be required to complete on-the-job training before the employer will consider you for a managerial position. Most employers prefer that individuals have considerable experience before managing a product or a brand. You might consider starting your career in an entry-level position, such as a marketing assistant, to gain relevant experience.
3. Earn professional certifications.
Earning professional certifications in marketing, leadership, SEO or team-building can prepare you for the wide range of product marketing manager responsibilities.
4. Prepare your resume.
Include your highest level of education, relevant certifications, awards and experience on a resume. Your work history should include the name of the company or organization, the dates you were employed and a summary of your responsibilities, contributions and achievements.
5. Pursue the roles you’re qualified for.
After completing your formal education, earning certifications and gaining experience, review the current job listings for your desired industry and location. Apply to positions you are qualified for based on education and experience. Write a cover letter that highlights the reasons you are a good fit for that specific role and company.
Product marketing manager job description example
Modern MedCare is seeking an experienced, driven individual to fill the role of product marketing manager in our growing company. The person in this role will manage a single special-edition product line. The purpose of this role is to position our products in the marketplace with strong messaging that will allow customers to clearly understand the value proposition and story of our product.
Our product marketing manager will understand the needs of our target market and use that understanding to develop a dynamic go-to-market strategy for product launches that generates excitement and demand.
Bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising or related field (master’s degree is preferred)
Inherent sales skills with a proven history of success in meeting sales goals (five-plus years)
Motivated and results-oriented
Research: Conduct market research; identify key trends and market drivers for products and services; research trade shows, events and new marketing channels to broaden brand awareness and generate demand.
Interdepartmental collaboration: Work closely with product development and marketing departments to establish and present a product strategy and create clear messaging for GTM campaigns, coordinate with sales teams to create content for sales tools and generate lead growth. Oversee outbound marketing efforts, pricing strategy and sales materials.
Writing: Create powerful, effective content to communicate product performance and generate brand awareness across all market segments. Write white papers, case studies, website copy, ad copy, webinar scripts and blog posts. Develop other forms of marketing collateral as needed.
Analysis: Develop and track product KPIs, market analysis, data reporting, SEO and other market drivers.
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