Product Marketing vs. Product Management: Definition and Responsibilities

Product Management
January 31, 2023
5 mins read
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Product marketing and product management are two processes that are necessary for a product’s success in terms of customer acquisition and their long-term satisfaction. Both processes are often extensions of each other with various common elements.

This complex intersection of product marketing vs product management often makes it challenging for companies to outline their organizational workflows. Although the intricate details of both processes depend on the nature of the product and the company, the broad differences are often the same.

In this article, we have analyzed product management vs product marketing to outline the clear differences between both.

Let’s start by looking at their definitions.

What is product marketing?

Product marketing, also known as product marketing management (PMM), helps ensure you build a desirable product and that your target audience is aware of it. This is done through product research, positioning, launching, and interacting with your target audience.

Product Marketing

After the launch of a product, the product marketer continues to find ways to acquire more customers, monitor what the competitors are doing, and listen to what the target audience is talking about to guide product management.

The difference between product marketing vs management in terms of gathering information about users’ pain points is that marketing listens to what the general audience talks about on social media and management relies on data collected from existing customers.

What is product management?

Product management is the process of building and maintaining a product based on feedback from existing users and guidance from product marketers. It involves ideation, problem-solving, roadmapping, prioritization, delivery, and analysis.

Product Management

This cyclic process builds the product and keeps it desirable. Product managers guide designers and developers through the whole process through prioritization of features, sprint planning, and removing roadblocks.

Let’s dive deeper into the difference in responsibilities between product management vs marketing.

Responsibilities of product management vs product marketing

Product management — future product requirements

Product management’s focus is to build a product as per the market demand and keep it evolving so that it continues to achieve short and long-term business goals. The objective of the product management team is to build a product that your audience needs.

The primary responsibilities of the product management team are:

  • Strategizing product development: It involves generating ideas for building or improving the product with data-backed reasoning for the suggestions and keeping everyone on the same page. This step is crucial for the approval of the sprint and the allocation of resources for product management.
  • Delivering product updates to the marketing team: The product management team creates product documentation highlighting the new upgrades in the product which explains to the marketers how the product has changed and helps them to curate the product’s market positioning accurately.
  • Aligning product development efforts with market demands: Improving the product as per the suggestions of existing users might improve your net promoter score but won’t help you target a new niche. Product managers work with marketers to incorporate changes into the product to remain competitive by keeping the product desirable.
  • Prioritizing features and managing the roadmap: Determining the most efficient and profitable sequence in which certain features are to be developed for the product’s overall success. Product management considers various parameters such as resources required and impact on NPS to prioritize features and manage the roadmap.
  • Share usage details with the product marketing team: Last but not least, the success of the processes of product marketing vs brand management depends on the accuracy of the data-driven insights each draws. Product marketing provides validating data to marketers which helps them determine whether their hypothesis is correct.

A product manager has a lot of responsibilities throughout all the stages of SaaS product management which requires a lot of tools. For instance, a product manager might use separate tools for gathering feedback, developing the roadmap, managing backlog, etc.

Jumping between 5-6 tools can get inefficient and tedious while increasing the chances of silly mistakes.

Instead, product managers and teams can use Zeda.io, a suite of product management tools, where they can manage all the processes from one place.

Product marketing — present business goals

The focus of product marketing revolves around the perception of your product and brand in front of your target audience. The objective of product marketers is to make the right audience fall in love with the product.

The primary responsibilities of the product marketing team are:

  • Receiving product info and updates from product management: After a sprint is completed and new features are incorporated into the product, the details are shared with the product marketers. This enables them to understand how the product has evolved and how it will help the target audience.
  • Curating the product’s market positioning: Your product’s market positioning is how your audience perceives your brand. In other words, what do they think of when your product/brand pops into their mind? The product marketer, based on the latest updates to the product, decides the best way to position your product.
  • Interacting with the target audience: Blog articles, social media posts, and videos are some of the ways in which product marketing interacts with your target audience. It helps understand the general consensus toward your product while improving brand engagement. This step allows product marketers to refine their messaging.
  • Defining the value proposition: After collecting the relevant data in the previous step, it's time to create promotional content that explains the features, functionalities, and benefits of your product to your target audience. The objective of promotional messaging is to invoke emotions in your readers that motivate them to purchase or try your product.
  • Working closely with sales and customer support: Product marketing gets leads, sales converts them into paying users, and customer support ensures their experience with the product is flawless. Product marketers provide sales and customer support teams with relevant data such as the source of the lead and the demography to pull it off.
  • Sharing feedback with the product management team: Throughout this whole process, product marketing keeps the product manager in the loop in regard to how the niche reacts to the product upgrades and its corresponding value proposition. It helps the latter in prioritizing the product features more effectively for the next sprint.

Product marketers use multiple tools to manage various processes as well. CRM tools, social media scheduling apps, and email marketing tools are some of them.

However, despite the differences in responsibilities of a PMM vs PM, there are a few similarities between the two. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Common responsibilities between PMM vs PM

The debate of product management vs marketing is difficult to settle because the roles of both are closely related and point towards a common goal — building a profitable product.

Without product marketing, product management will be in the dark about their competitors' position in the market and their audience’s needs. Similarly, without management, product marketing cannot test its hypotheses.

While understanding the difference between a product’s digital marketing vs management, it is crucial to learn about their shared responsibilities.

  • Pricing: Cost of production and market value are two parameters that determine a product’s pricing. Marketers consider factors such as the impact of the problem and competitor’s pricing to estimate the market value. Management considers factors such as development costs and tool expenses to estimate the cost of production.
  • Market research: It is a common misconception that market research is only conducted by product marketing since they calculate the product’s market value. Product management’s data-backed insights are pivotal in determining the area of research. This helps in building a much more accurate user persona.
  • Product positioning: Product marketing works with management teams and even developers to gain an in-depth understanding of the product’s value proposition which helps them craft the brand messaging effectively. This goes on to become the basis of different kinds of marketing messages including blog articles and PR mentions.

It depends on the organizational structure of how the above common tasks are distributed between PMM vs PM. In some cases, for example, market research is led by product management and product marketers run certain processes within it.

Summing up

The differences between product management vs digital marketing can be summarized in a couple of points:

  1. Product marketing makes sure the product is evolving in a direction that makes it profitable and product marketing builds the product accordingly.
  2. Product marketers monitor the market mentions and keep an eye on the evolving requirements of the target audience. Product managers run the processes which build the products most efficiently while retaining the existing customers.

Both product managers and marketers work together to conduct market research, set appropriate pricing, and determine brand messaging. Who does the majority of what depends on the product, its domain, and the organizational structure.

Product management teams run all the crucial processes through development sprints and their releases to keep the lights on. Everything depends on one thing — whether the product actually solves the problem as promised.

Product managers have to rely on multiple tools and integrations to keep track of everything while performing all their responsibilities. Not only is this inefficient but also costs a lot of time and money.

Zeda.io’s product management suite solves that by allowing you to run all the product management processes from one place. If your process is distributed among multiple tools, you can bring them all here with the help of integrations.

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FAQs

  1. Is product marketing the same as product management?

No. Product marketing is concerned with the market value of the product and how it should be evolved. Product management builds and manages a product.

  1. Can you go from product marketing to product management?

Although uncommon, such career transitions are possible since both processes contribute toward the same goal — building a product and keeping it profitable.

  1. Do product managers or product marketing managers make more?

A product manager’s salary ranges from $80,000 - $130,000 and product marketers’ salary typically ranges between $60,000 - $150,000.

  1. Who is higher than product manager?

After becoming a product manager, you can look forward to becoming a Senior Product Manager, VP of Product, and the Director of Product.

  1. Is product marketing a good field?

Product marketing is a quite lucrative field with a requirement in almost every product-based domain.

  1. Is a career in product management worth it?

Yes. Product management is a central role that can equip you to transition to another role more suitable for you.

  1. Is product management a tough career?

A product manager has to wear multiple hats and perform all the tasks efficiently for product management, which can be challenging.

  1. What major is best for product management?

Becoming a product manager is not much dependent on the degree you have but on the skills you possess. Often, those skills come with experience and continual preparation.

Nireka Dalwadi
Product Marketer
In a constant shift to help product teams build products faster & better, and being perpetually awkward.
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