Everything you need to know about the key role of a Product Marketing Manager for your B2B or B2C Marketing team
Product Marketing Managers (PMM) have a deep understanding of a product or service, their audiences, and how their offer can fill a need. Their work includes product positioning, messaging, and market/competitor insights. They strive to communicate how a product works and what it can do for its users. They’re responsible for researching the competition and developing positioning statements as well as defining qualified audiences and writing key messages to be used in all marketing. They own sales enablement production, which means are often the ones creating some of the collateral – slide decks, cold emails, brochures, and presentations – that convert qualified leads. Often, it’s Product Marketing Managers who determine how the product is perceived – as useful, inspiring, efficient, or fun.
There is generally one PMM per product line. If the enterprise has more than one distinct product or service line, there will be multiple and they will generally work as a team. They often answer to the Marketing Director or VP of Marketing, though sometimes they are nested in Sales. The role requires an intimate knowledge of the product, and an agility to new developments in the product or market. For this reason, the Product Marketing Manager often works closely with developers or other product owners.
Product Marketing Managers also help sell other things, like services and subscriptions. So don’t let the title fool you – many PMMs are actually selling services nowadays.
Many enterprises hire Product Marketing Managers out of deficit – their sales teams have been activated to move a product or service but they don’t have enough collateral to support their offer. In this case, the PMM is usually expected to ramp up quickly and start producing the most-needed materials – sales slide decks, cold email campaigns, and brochures.
Sometimes, it’s a product or service change that necessitates a new or expanded Product Marketing team. If your enterprise is launching a new app, service, or product line, you should consider a Product Marketing Manager.
Another circumstance is driven by market forces. When a competitor launches a product or service in your company’s space, and when the market explodes or otherwise changes dramatically, the intelligence-gathering insights of a Product Marketing Manager can come in handy.
Pro Tip: View our compensation guide for more information on all marketing positions.
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A Product Marketing Manager’s daily responsibilities include:
Your Product Marketing Manager will be successful if:
Starting Product Marketing Managers generally have upwards of five years’ experience in a related marketing or sales role, especially in Software as a Service or product sales environments. They generally have a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
They have good content development skills in order to produce a range of materials to support sales. Even if they are working with a content team, they should understand content marketing best practices and be able to adapt existing materials to new segments or expand materials in a pinch.
And they must be good with people. They should be able to consider and articulate the motivations of their customers, understand deep market insights, and share what they know with other teams. Generally, they will have good or excellent market analysis skills.
In recent years, demand has increased for new types of sales enablement content. Think less slide deck and more interactive 360° walkthrough.
Looking for Product Marketing Manager talent? We know what makes a skilled candidate, and have the experience to match your needs with the best. Drop us a line and our team will be in touch.