product marketing vs product management

Free ebook: The Product Management Triad

What's the difference between product management and product marketing? Find out where the product marketer fits.

Table Of Contents

Pg 2 - Introduction Pg 3 - Execution vs Ownership Pg 4 - Director, Product Strategy - Job Responsibilities Pg 4 - Technical Product Manager - Job Responsibilities Pg 5 - Product Marketing Manger - Job Responsibilities Pg 6 - Pragmatic Marketing Framework

First 3 Pages

The Journal for technology product management and marketing professionals The Pragmatic Marketer Volume 7 issue 5 2009 Updating the Pragmatic Marketing Framework The Product Management Triad Top 10 Tools to Measure User Experience The Strategic Product Manager and the CFO The Product Management Triad By Steve Johnson Some product managers have a natural affinity for working with Development, others for Sales and Marketing Communications, and others prefer to work on business issues. Finding these three orientations in one person is an almost impossible task. Instead of finding one person with all the skills, perhaps we should find three different people with more specialized skills and have them work as a team. How do you organize product management when there are multiple people involved with varying skill sets? How any product managers do you need? What are their roles in the company? Is product management a support role or a strategic one? How do you use the various product management titles such as product manager, product marketing manager, program manager, or product owner? Titles are poorly understood and defined differently by many organizations. Every year, participants in Pragmatic Marketing’s Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey identify hundreds of different titles for those conducting product management activities. An ideal solution for many companies is the “product management triad.” Some product managers have a natural affinity for working with Development, others for Sales and Marketing, and some prefer to work on business issues. Finding these three orientations in one person is very difficult. Instead, perhaps we should find three different people who each possess one or more of these skills and have them work as a team. The product management triad includes a strategist, a technologist, and a marketer. Start with a business-oriented senior product manager responsible for product strategy. Make this person a director of products or product line manager (PLM). Now add a technology-oriented technical product manager (TPM) and a marketing oriented product marketing manager (PMM). Let’s look at an example of how applying the triad had success for a company of nine product managers and nine products, one product manager per product. The salespeople disliked some of the product managers and loved others. The ones the salespeople loved were hated by developers. Applying the triad, they created three product lines with a PLM for each and then assigned a TPM and PMM to each product line. Now, for each product line, one person concentrates on product strategy and the business of the product line, while another works with Development to build the best product, and another takes the product message to the channel by working with Marketing Communications and the sales team. Warning: Some companies attempt to put these three people in three different departments. They put the PLM into Sales to do business development; they put the TPM in Development and the PMM in Marketing Communications. This always fails. To work as a team, they must actually be a team. Having the TPM and PMM report to the same person, the PLM, minimizes conflict and overlap, giving the team a common objective. It has the added benefit of giving a new director the chance to learn to be a good manager of two people before getting five or ten people to manage. Product management teams provide career paths from entry-level positions to director, all within the product line. Execution vs. ownership As shown in the graphic on the previous page, these three positions overlap. This is deliberate. Execution of these tasks must be collaborative in order to succeed. For example, Win/Loss Analysis is an excellent data source for Positioning and the Buying Process. Your PLM and PMM ought to perform win/loss visits together to ensure you gain the most value. But do not confuse execution with ownership. Ownership of a task equates to accountability. As the executive leader of a team structured this way, the PLM is held accountable for win/loss analysis even when the TPM and PMM gather the win/loss data. Does this model make sense for you?