Marketing Product Management vs. Product Marketing: What's the Difference?

Marketing Product Management vs. Product Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Much has changed over the past two years, with consumers a lot more discerning than in pre-pandemic days. This has seen a shift in digital marketing trends with a keen focus on consumer-centric product marketing and product management

Embracing this trend is undoubtedly beneficial for business, but it requires a firm understanding of how these roles differ. 

What is a product manager?

Marketing product management requires a person ultimately responsible for the end-to-end ownership of the product, like a ‘mini-CEO’ of the product. The responsibilities include: 

  • The product strategy
  • Understanding the market and customer needs
  • Defining the product’s problems
  • Developing and maintaining the product roadmap
  • Sharing the roadmap with the development team
  • Managing the development team

What is a product marketing manager?

The product marketing manager then steps in to bring the product to the market by sharing its values with the consumer. The responsibilities include: 

  • Training sales on the product.
  • Creating marketing materials about product features.
  • Developing marketing tools and campaigns.

There are three steps involved in the product marketing manager’s duties. These are:

  1. Acquisition: Using social media, blogs, newsletters and copywriting to create interest in the product. 
  2. Engagement: Using events, launches, campaigns and offers to get people involved. 
  3. Retention or conversion: Use subscriptions to retain customers or convert customers through purchases. 

How do product managers and product marketers differ?

While there might be some differentiation, the reality is that you’re always going to get some form of overlap between these two roles. But to give some clarification for marketing purposes here are the differences between product managers and product marketers. 

The focus

The product manager will focus more on knowing what the customer needs so that they can define the product accordingly. The product marketer is focused on the product’s positioning and value so that it meets needs, goals and objectives. 


The product manager interacts with the market, learning what the market wants to meet those needs. They create and manage the roadmap, engaging with stakeholders to understand requirements, gather customer feedback, and prioritise customer needs. The product marketer will interact with the product team to deliver a value proposition that resonates with the customers. 

Marketers also work with sales and support so that they can better understand the product themselves to meet sales targets. 

Product build

The product manager is tasked with setting the vision for the product build by working with the product team. They determine what is built, set the priorities and decide when it’s released. The product marketer focuses on building demand for the product, through messaging and product positioning. 

Essentially the product manager represents the product in-house, while the product marketer shares the product with those outside the operation.

Where do the two overlap?

As mentioned, while these are two separate positions, there are definitely some similarities between the two. Here’s where they overlap for a more effective marketing strategy:

  • Product managers and product marketers aim to build successful products that solve customer problems. 
  • Both understand the features, the problems it solves and how to communicate the value. 
  • They work closely with the product team to make the product successful. 
  • They both gather and analyse information for audience insight. 
  • Both roles require an understanding of the market and customer behaviour. 
  • They’re both instrumental in the product discovery process. 

How do product managers and marketers work together?

With such common goals, it’s important that product managers and product marketers work together to achieve these KPIs. These are some of the areas where they work closely. 

Pricing the product

The final decision won’t necessarily sit with the product managers and marketers, they need to work together to determine the product’s pricing model by assessing the product value through customer research and feedback. 

Identifying the audience

Both product marketers and product managers should be involved in researching the customers and potential customers so that they have a clear indication of the target audience. 

Planning the roadmap

The primary responsibility of the roadmap planning falls on the shoulders of the product manager, but that’s not to say that product marketers can’t provide some input. The marketers know more about competitors and current market trends which can be used when creating the roadmap. 

Working with the sales team

By working together, the product manager and the product marketer can fully brief the sales team on how best to reach customers and sell the product according to their needs. They’ll need to understand the product positioning and the product messaging for more effective reach. 

To find out more about marketing product management, product marketing and other 2022 digital marketing trends, get in touch with the digital marketing specialists at ClickTrain today. They can set you on the right path to digital marketing success from the start. 

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