Product Managers versus Product Marketers: What’s the difference?

It’s easy to confuse a product manager and a product marketer, but both bare distinct responsibilities. There are several reasons why the two roles get confused. Let me begin with job descriptions. Many companies often confuse a candidate with the title. For instance, if you read the job descriptions at many tech companies, you’ll notice that the roles and responsibilities often intersect and lack consistency.

To clarify, product managers are responsible for setting a product vision and strategy. Their job is to clearly articulate the business value to the product team so they understand the intent behind the product. They also define the product roadmap and work closely with all teams, especially engineering and marketing, in order to define the features and requirements necessary to deliver the product to market. Without a strong product manager, the product team is unclear about the features and requirements they need to deliver.

Conversely, product marketers are responsible for articulating all of the outbound tasks necessary to explain the benefits of a product’s features. Product marketers typically handle brand positioning, communication, and messaging. Their role is to educate customers on the value proposition of the product in order to reach new customers and engage with target audiences. The role is often seen as outbound facing because of the continuous engagement with customers. Depending on the company, product marketers can also be responsible for giving product demonstrations at trade shows, organizing webinars, as well as creating online and offline marketing collateral.

Success metrics are differ between product managers and product marketers. Product managers measure their performance KPIs based on product usage, outages, and speed to market with new releases. For product marketers, performance success depends on growth and retention and ensuring customer satisfaction.

In sum, the two teams complement each other in terms of their skill set and unique strengths. When product managers and marketers collaborate effectively, companies run like a well-oiled machine and are primed for continued success and growth.