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What do you see as the difference between product marketing and product management? What skills are valued for each?

1 Answer
Kevin Wu
Kevin Wu
Airtable Former Sr Director Product MarketingMarch 2

I see PM and PMM as different sides of the same coin. PMs face engineering, design, and research while PMMs face marketing, sales, and success. PMs are responsible for solving a customer’s problems in a delightful way and owning the roadmap. PMMs are responsible for taking products to market and driving awareness and acquisition. The two roles intersect on product launches.

The truth is, many of the skills required are highly transferrable. PM and PMM are both roles that work through influence and not authority. PMs don’t directly manage their engineers and PMMs don’t directly manage demand gen teams.

When I build PM or PMM teams, I look for similar qualities: strategy, execution, partnership, empathy, communication, track record, coachability, character, and intelligence. PM interviews will often focus on case-style interview questions and have candidates explain strategic trade-offs. PMM interviews will often require candidates to build a presentation and deliver it to a group.

The one thing I enjoyed about being a PM is that they have an advantage with sales from day one. Salespeople are nicer to PMs because they want certain features to make it onto the roadmap. Salespeople also want PMs to sit in on their sales meetings and talk to customers. On the other hand, PMMs can sometimes be the punching bag for sales. It just comes with the territory.

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