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What Does a Product Marketing Manager Do?

By K. Kinsella
Updated: May 17, 2024

A product marketing manager orchestrates the marketing of new and existing products. Manufacturing firms, information technology companies, and financial firms typically employ a product marketing manager to oversee employees who are primarily engaged in either advertising or outside sales. At most firms, the marketing team work closely with the product development team so that sales strategies can be developed for marketing new products before those products are officially released.

Most companies require marketing managers to have a college degree in marketing, advertising, business, or a related field. While at college, many undergraduate students work for marketing firms during summer internships, and these internships often lead to permanent job offers. Members of the marketing team must liaise with advertising firms or arrange outside visits to prospective clients. Successful members of the marketing team often transition into a manager position. Some small firms have minimal marketing budgets, in which case a product marketing manager may work alone.

When a new product is about to be launched, the product marketing manager must meet with the product development team to determine which segment of the public or the business world the new product is aimed at. The marketing manager must have a broad knowledge of the product's features and benefits because clients and members of the marketing team will primarily rely on the manager for information pertaining to the product prior to its release. As well as determining ways to market the new product to prospective clients, the manager must also develop ideas for marketing the product to the company's existing customer base.

The manager of a product marketing team must work within an assigned budget to market products. Typically, the marketing budget must cover both advertising costs as well as expenses incurred by the employees during outside sales calls and seminars. Some managers have an annual budget that must cover costs related to marketing all of the firm's new products, while others receive a per-item budget. In many instances managers receive bonuses based on sales, but staying within the marketing budget is usually one of the many factors that can influence the size of the bonuses received by the product marketing manager and the rest of the sales team.

Marketing managers assign different tasks to advertising employees and different sales territories to outside sales representatives. Regular meetings are held between the manager and the staff to discuss sales results and marketing strategies. The marketing manager of a large firm must report to a regional marketing director or executive who oversees a wide geographic area. Successful managers often move into executive positions within the same firm.

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