I have held both product management and product marketing roles. When the two work together, focusing on their key areas, the result can be powerful.

Product Management

Roles and responsibilities.What are the key areas of responsibility and focus of the product manager?

User focus.Focused on the target user. Through interviews and other research, the product manager creates user personas to better understand the user. Most important is to identify major user pain points.

Live in the user's world.The product manager attempts to live in the user's world. This can include attending conferences they attend, and reading the same blogs and publications they read.

How to solve user pain points.By identifying user's biggest pain points, the product manager seeks to understand how to solve those pain points. It requires exploring what competitors do to solve customer pain points? What can our firm do, with our core competencies, to uniquely solve and deliver superior value to users?

Define user requirements.Through an understanding of target users, the product manager identifies what the user's requirements are? What are the top priorities? This involves creating user stories, managing the development backlog and maintaining the product roadmap.

Product Marketing

Roles and responsibilities.What does the product marketing manager do and how does that compare with the product manager?

Buyer focus.Product marketing focuses on the buyer, buyer personas and the buying process. Through interviews and research, the product marketing manager identifies buyer personas. This includes answering questions like "What information do buyers need to make a good decision?" "How do we appeal to each buyer persona?"

Living in the buyer's world.The product marketing manager attempts to live in the buyer's world? What conferences do they attend? Attend them. What blogs and publications do they read? Read them. Where do they go for answers?

Product positioning.The product marketing manager seeks to answer how to position the product in the market? How do we articulate our solution in a powerful way? How do we differentiate ourselves from others in the market? Product messaging needs to demonstrate on how we solve customer pain points.

Building trust.The product marketing manager seeks to answer how to build trust with buyers. How can we establish authentic connections with them and have them believe our products solves their problems better than any other? Non-sales oriented content marketing is one way to show potential customers that understand their problems and are willing to help them in a consultative way.

Product Management

Complete product solution.The product manager asks what additional services are needed to solve customer pain points that may be beyond the scope of what his/her firm can do? What partnerships are required to add those solutions to our customers?

Onboarding new users.The product manager seeks to discover how to onboard new users? How are they trained (if needed)? Don't just leave it up to a training department.

Map the user journey.Working with any user experience resources, the product manager maps out the complete user journey. Are there are any friction points that need to be resolved? How can we make the overall experience be the best?

Product packaging and pricing.One major area of responsibility of the product manager is to determine how to package and price his/her products. How can his/her firm deliver a simple product solution? And balance good margins and effective market pricing?

Competitive research.The product manager continually evaluates what features the competition provides, and how they package and price their products and services?

Product release.If you are doing continually development, at what point to you create a new release? The product manager determines what features merit a product launch and packages them into a product release.

Thought leadership.The product manager works on delivering thought-leading content via blog posts and other non-sales content vehicles.

Monitor product success.The product manager closely monitors the success of the product through tracting key performance indicators (KPIs) and user metrics.

Product Marketing

Potential buyer education.The product marketing manager seeks to find what tools can be used to best educate potential buyers that show we understand and solve their pain points? Through the website, video, ebooks, email, newsletters, conferences, meetups, partnerships, etc? What works best?

Reaching customers.The product marketing manager constantly strives to learn how to best reach his/her customers? Where do they go to get informatin? How to drive traffic to view our messages? How to get more signups & conversions?

Thought leadership.The product marketing manager delivers thought-leading content via blog posts, ebooks, video and more.

Competition.The product marketing manager identifies how the competition positions their company and products/services? This goes into factoring how to best differentiate our messaging and product positioning.

Partnerships.The product marketing manager looks for potential partnerships that can be leveraged to help accelerate product sales.

Product launch plans.One of the product marketing manager's biggest responsibilities is to plan out product launch plans to launch major new features. A launch plan covers target buyer, key features, proposed launch tools and more. The primary reader of the launch plan is the Marketing department, although it is useful to spread throughout the company.

Working with Marketing.The product marketing manager works closely with Marketing to execute the various marketing programs identified in the product launch plan. They provide detailed information about the product, the market and the target buyer.

Measurement.The product marketing manager works with Marketing to measure the effectiveness of marketing plans and programs to see what is working and what isn't, and to see if various programs can be improved.

Sales tools.The product marketing manager delivers sales tools to help sales and any channel partners to understand the products and their key selling points.

Product Management Training

To learn more about the product manager role, check out this training presentation on

Product Marketing Training

To learn more about the product marketing manager role, check out this training presentation on