Building great products is exhilarating. It takes a group of committed, focused, and passionate team members who play their positions to the best of their abilities. When a group with a common set of goals and complementary skills comes together-amazing things can happen.
However, without clearly defined roles on the field and in the product team, responsibilities become unclear and progress stalls. This is especially true with roles like product management and product marketing — where each role is critical for delivering the right product at the right time for the right set of target customers.
The differences between the product manager and the product marketing manager can vary across companies and industries. However, there are some general guidelines that can help define the two roles and their distinct responsibilities.
The product manager is the person responsible for defining, in detail, the ‘why,’ ‘what’ and ‘when’ of the product that the engineering team will build.
The product marketing manager is responsible for clearly communicating the ‘why,’ ‘what’ and ‘when’ to the marketplace. The roles are often considered ‘inbound’ versus ‘outbound’ but I do not think that is right. The product manager must understand customers and the market and the product marketer must understand the product. At the end of the day, both must work together if they are going to build a lovable product.