The role of Product Marketing Manager (PMM) might cause confusion as it is a fairly new specialization. Also, the covered responsibilities often overlap with the Product Manager position. In this guide, you’ll learn all about PMM roles and responsibilities as well as when it is reasonable for a company to hire a product marketing manager.
Who Is the Product Marketing Manager?
PMM is an expert responsible for the market adoption of a particular product or service. This position is quite common in the IT industry for software-based products. The confusion often comes from the fact that product managers might also play the role of a product marketing manager in a company, especially if the resources are limited. This happens in the early stages of businesses and startups. However, with the growth of a company comes a necessity to separate those roles.
To put it in simple terms, a marketing product manager focuses on customer research, value proposition, launch, and market release. The product manager, on the other hand, is preoccupied with the preparation of requirements and technical specifications for the product, creating a development roadmap, and overseeing the programming process.
The role of product marketing manager is to transfer the value of the product to the market according to user expectations and needs as well as business goals.
Product Manager, Marketing Manager and Product Marketing Manager Roles
To better understand the difference between a product manager marketing, product manager, and marketing manager, take a closer look at the table given below.
|Product Manager||Product Marketing Manager||Marketing Manager|
|Focuses on one specific product or service||Focuses on one specific product or service||Works on several or all services or products of the company|
|Leads product development||Communicates the product’s value to the market||Develops and optimizes overall marketing and pricing strategies for a brand|
|Works on technical features, specifications, and roadmaps, and oversees the development process||Leads the process after the development stage to convey the value to the audience||Analyzes trends, generates business leads, increases brand awareness|
|Researches target audience to identify pain points to solve in the new product/update||Identifies the general marketing strategy for the product. Researches competitors and product positioning to highlight the value proposition||Works on specific tactics to bring the marketing strategy to life (creates and develops content, runs campaigns, writes copy, etc)|
|Responsible for the vision, user stories, and test cases||Works on the pricing strategy||Oversees branding and advertisement; manages department’s budget and prepares reports|
|Works closely with engineers, developers, QA, and analysts||Communicates with customers and creates a comprehensive message about the product. Also works with a go-to-market in-house team.||Works within the marketing team|
|The main goal is to evaluate customer needs, translate them into the product, create a roadmap, and develop the product.||The main goal is to analyze user behavior, product usage, adoption, feedback, and pain points.||The focus is on the broad spectrum of marketing efforts of a business rather than on one particular product. The duties include SEO, content marketing, acquisition channels, branding, etc.|
Although the product marketing manager role overlaps with the product manager’s in terms of target audience research, they focus on different aspects of the project. That’s why larger companies separate these positions – so every expert could work in their respective field.
For one person it is simply impossible to perform both sets of responsibilities efficiently as they are time-consuming and require advanced expertise.
Common KPIs of a PMM
Whether a company wants to hire social media manager or PMM, it is essential to know what it can expect from an expert. When it comes to a product support specialist, there are several common KPIs one needs to consider.
These KPIs are:
- MQL and PQL ratio;
- Trial to paid subscription rates;
- New user activation number;
- The rate for product adoption;
- Analytics on engagement with particular features;
- User retention metrics through time;
- Active users daily/monthly/weekly/annually.
All the metrics have to do with the audience and user behavior, which are in the areas of responsibility of PMM.
Marketing Product Manager Resume: Skills, Responsibilities, Experience and Education
As it is an advanced position, it is important to look for certain product marketing manager skills and competencies to make sure that the specialist is right for your project.
An ideal product support specialist resume would include such skills as:
- Proficiency in marketing and campaign management;
- Strong project management;
- Strategy creating;
- Market research and data analytics;
- Audience acquisition and retention;
- Digital marketing, copywriting, and storytelling;
- Product messaging;
- Problem-solving and adaptability;
- Understanding of tech products and experience in the field.
Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Mass Communications, or Advertising. International PMM certification.
Common responsibilities of a senior product marketing manager are:
- Market and competitor research;
- Identification and communication of the product’s unique value to the target audience;
- Analysis of target audience, its pain points, preferences, and behavioral patterns;
- Understanding the company’s products, overall brand positioning, and marketing strategies;
- Design and development of a marketing plan for a specific product;
- Work on messaging, value proposition, and consumer communication;
- Acquisition and retention of customers;
- Translation of product’s technical features and details into customers’ benefits;
- Work on pricing, advertising, and the launch of a product;
- Collaboration with marketing, design, content, and sales teams;
- Evaluation of KPIs, provision of feedback, and adjustment of the strategy.
How to Hire a Product Marketing Manager Without Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes a company might make when looking for an associate product marketing manager is disregarding the types of PMMs. They have to do with specific tasks of different stages of product development. Each stage requires a different focus. This means that before you start preparing product marketing manager interview questions, it is essential to establish what expertise your project requires.
An early stage of product development means that PMM needs to perform market validation and customer/competitor research to identify pain points, market gaps, or potential opportunities.
In the middle stage of product development, the market proposition has been already validated. PMM needs to work on early access, customer feedback, various beta versions, messaging, and overall marketing strategy for release.
At the later stage, after the release of the product, PMM works on customer acquisition and retention. Also, it is often necessary to add new features to an existing product based on testing, feedback, and user behavior. PMM might work on the international rollout, competition, and marketing campaigns.
Although there are highly-experienced PMMs that worked on all three stages, many of them have experience in 1-2 of them. So when you are considering candidates, always keep in mind the specific issues that need to be solved in this product development stage.
Other common mistakes when hiring PMM include:
- Not evaluating and screening skills and competencies properly;
- Failing to clearly define the role and area of responsibilities;
- Not appointing an effective leadership team;
- Not providing goals, business objectives, and necessary resources.
If a business has no experience in recruiting such professionals, it might be challenging to assess candidates and identify what exactly it should be looking for. Often the case, an in-house team might not know exactly where to hire a product marketing manager or how to find such experts locally or internationally. That’s why many companies decide to hire a content marketer or a product marketing manager through credible and experienced outstaffing agencies.
Advantages of Outsourcing PMM Role to Professionals
Outsourcing is a widespread practice specifically for the IT industry. It gives more opportunities to companies of all sizes and offers a multitude of benefits. Here are the main advantages of outsourced marketing and sales services to consider:
- Access to the wide talent pool. Outsourcing offers the opportunity to find a suitable specialist internationally when the local experts might not be available. The larger the talent pool is, the easier it is to find a perfect match;
- Cost reduction. The average marketing product manager salary fluctuates based on geographical location. Outsourcing this role in other countries allows for cutting costs while getting access to top-notch professionals. This is especially essential for startups and small businesses that otherwise would not be able to hire such an expert.
- Better tools and resources. Experienced providers invest in their tools and innovative methods to be more effective and productive.
- The flexibility of cooperation. Outsourcing offers flexible options like part-time involvement or full-time cooperation. This is perfect for managing your budget efficiently and getting the best professionals to work on your project. Some companies would not be able to pay a senior product marketing manager salary full-time but can afford a part-time involvement to get the best of the situation.
- Focus on the core of the business. Another huge benefit is that you get to concentrate on the core of the business and the product itself. Outsourcing allows not to drag the internal resources from what they do best.
Outsourcing is a good idea if you do not see expected results from the current marketing strategy and efforts. It also helps overcome resource and time shortages when working on a new product. Besides that, a company gets access to an objective third-party perspective without any internal bias.
How to Hire a Product Marketing Manager
If your company is in the stage of hiring a PMM, here are several steps to follow:
- Define your expectations, role, responsibilities, and projects you need help with;
- Figure out what skills and experiences you are looking for in a PMM;
- Research the market in terms of talent availability, product support specialist salaries, and recruiting options;
- Consider several ways of recruiting an expert – promoting internally, looking for freelancers, hiring full-time experts, outsourcing talent, or finding a part-time employee.
- Create a job posting with set responsibilities and required qualifications. Post it online;
- Review CVs and select suitable candidates for interviews;
- Conduct interviews and assess candidates’ skills, experiences, and proficiency.
- Sign the contract with an expert that fits your needs.
5 Interview Questions for Product Marketing Manager
1. Describe the product that was well-marketed or poorly marketed.
A candidate needs to give details on a product marketing strategy and results. It is good to highlight exactly what went wrong or right and what tactics were used. They might propose their vision of what could be done differently.
2. Tell me about your last product launch. How would you advertise the launch of our product?
The candidate needs to give suggestions on specific tactics and describe their relevancy.
3. How would you communicate the change in the price of the product for old customers?
The candidate needs to explain the messaging behind the price change and how would they justify it to customers. This might be a new added value that solves a particular issue.
4. How do you measure the success of product marketing?
The candidate needs to refer to common PMM KPIs and how they are measured.
5. How would you evaluate the messaging on our company’s site?
The candidate needs to give an honest conclusion based on their experience, best practices, industry, and target audience.
Product Marketing Manager Salary
The average product support specialist salary or the cost of hiring a social media manager depends on the level of expertise and the geographical location. Here is a comparison table of the monthly salaries of PMMs of different levels in 5 countries
Mobilunity-BPO Offers Product Marketing Services
Mobilunity-BPO is a Ukrainian company with 10+ years of experience in product marketing services. We have partnered with various businesses all over the world to help them achieve their goals and grow their market presence. We offer quick, convenient, and cost-efficient business process outsourcing for your unique needs.
If you are interested in working with us, all you need to do is contact our team and submit your requirements for a PMM. After that, our professionals will start the recruiting process and find the best talent for your business. We are offering a wide talent pool, proper candidate assessment, and flexible cooperation.
Services We Offer:
- Hiring part-time specialists. This is ideal for smaller projects that require advanced expertise. This model provides cost-reduction with access to top professionals in the field;
- Hiring full-time dedicated professionals. This is perfect for companies looking to expand their in-house team. Dedicated professionals will work exclusively on your project 40 hours a week. This ensures maximum efficiency, great results, and streamlined processes.