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Product Manager Job Description
  • Publish: June 11, 2021
  • Author: Matt
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Product Manager Job Description

A Product Manager is responsible for every aspect of the product or service from inception to development. They are responsible for ensuring that the product, product line, or service in question is high quality, relevant, and valuable to the customers and that there is a demand for it in the marketplace. 

This is a balancing act between understanding the needs and the requirements of the consumer and knowing the potential of the organization to deliver. If necessary, the Product Manager’s job is to drive improvements and propose changes in the organization’s structure to ensure that the product is fit-for-purpose, relevant, and sellable.

Successful Product Managers are multi-skilled, analytical, organized, and dedicated to ensuring consumer satisfaction throughout a product’s life cycle. The role calls for a fair amount of entrepreneurial spirit, which is why many Product Managers often go on to start their own successful businesses.

Similar Job Titles:

Brand Manager, Marketing Manager, Marketing Specialist, Business Development Manager

What Does a Product Manager Typically Do?

The Product Manager formulates the product’s vision, strategy, and tactics and manages the product to ensure its success. This is a highly diverse and demanding role, requiring planning, analysis, and people skills to ensure buy-in from all stakeholders. 

Management of a product entails positioning, messaging, packaging, support material, advertising, and all the elements that explain to the end-user what the product is, what it does, and how they can benefit from it. 

The Product Manager is also involved in the technical aspects of the product, ensuring that it is correctly conceived, designed, and manufactured to deliver against user needs while remaining profitable for the organization. 

The typical tasks of the Product Manager will include but are not limited to:

  1. Defining product vision
  2. Analyzing the market
  3. Defining product differentiation
  4. Developing the product strategy
  5. Naming and branding
  6. Planning product development
  7. Training the sales staff
  8. Managing product launches
  9. Analyzing and managing market feedback to refine the strategy
  10. Relaunching, rebranding, upgrading, and enhancing the product

Defining Product Vision

The product vision defines what the product should aim to achieve and what it should represent in the eyes of its consumers. This is a crucial function in defining the product’s differentiation toward competitor products, giving it the best chance of long-term success.

The Product Manager creates a product vision that clearly defines what the product does, which benefits it provides, who it appeals to, and how it should be marketed.

Analyzing the Market

Market analysis determines the need, potential, and requirements for a product and should inform the whole development process. 

The Product Manager conducts research with customers and stakeholders to help determine the four P’s—Product, Placement, Pricing, and Promotion—and formulate the most powerful strategies for the product’s success.

Defining Product Differentiation

Defining product differentiation involves ensuring that the product sets itself apart from competitors and has a recognizable advantage over similar products on the market.

Using the results from the market analysis, the Product Manager ensures that the product meets all the basic criteria for success but stands out as being either cheaper, faster, longer-lasting, or more comprehensive than other alternatives on the market.

Developing Product Strategy

The product strategy defines the route a product should take to enter the market successfully, including where it will be sold, how it will be priced, and what advertising will support it. The Product Manager develops the product strategy in collaboration with sales and production managers to ensure that the organization is capable of delivering what the market needs.

Naming and Branding

In collaboration with the Marketing department, the Product Manager names the product and brands it in such a way as to guarantee its clarity, its ability to become and remain top of mind, and its long-term sellability.

Planning Product Development

Product Managers plan and manage the manufacturing of the product intricately to ensure feasible launch dates and a profitable production process.

Training Sales Staff

The Product Manager develops training material and trains Sales Teams to ensure the product is explained correctly and effectively to customers. The sales team requires flyers, handouts, product descriptions, and technical information, all of which should conform to the brand’s identity and convey the correct messages.

Managing Product Launches

Before the product is launched, the Product Manager develops point-of-sale material and marketing collateral in collaboration with the marketing department to ensure that the product creates an immediate impact.

The product launch includes events, ad campaigns, and media coverage to generate awareness and initial sales. 

Analyzing and Managing Market Feedback To Refine the Strategy

The Product Manager works with data analysts to track and collate sales results and customer feedback. Using the results collected, the Product Manager determines what is working well and applies corrective action if required.

The process of results analysis is ongoing and helps the product evolve and develop over time.

Relaunching, Rebranding, Upgrading, and Enhancing the Product

Strategically, the Product Manager is also responsible for the life cycle of the product. The Product Manager must understand when to relaunch, when and what to upgrade, what differentiates the product from competitors, when to rebrand, and when to phase the product out.

Periodically and determined by ongoing product performance, the product should be relaunched, rebranded, upgraded, or enhanced to ensure its long-term competitiveness and differentiation from competitors.

Roles a Product Manager Typically Collaborates With

The Product Manager will work together with the following positions:

Associated Roles
Marketing ManagerBrand ManagerProduction Manager
Sales ManagerAccount ExecutiveAccount Manager
Business Development ManagerCreative DirectorFinance Manager

Product Manager Salary

The national average salary for the Product Manager will typically be between $83,000 and $144,000 per annum in the U.S. The median is around $110,982.

What Is the Product Manager Pay Difference by Location?

Average salaries for Product Managers differ by location as follows:

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$138,728
Seattle, WA$121,348
Denver, CO$112,236
Austin, TX$109,151
Washington, DC$123,545
Milwaukee, WI$109,838
Boston, MA$125,043
New York, NY$133,511

What Is the Product Manager Pay Difference by Experience Level?

Depending on experience, pay will vary as follows:

Experience LevelAverage Salary
< 1 year$107,248
1–4 years$108,786
5–9 years$113,575
10–19 years$115,391
20+ years$115,391

Product Manager Job Description Template

[Company Name] is looking for an experienced and talented Product Manager to ensure our products deliver sustainable value to our customers and the company throughout their life cycle.

As the Product Manager with [Company Name], you will manage products from the cradle to the grave and be responsible for every aspect of their market performance. You will analyze market intelligence, plan product initiatives, execute with excellence, and drive the products’ agenda both internally and externally. 

You’ll be working alongside our [insert relevant departments here] teams to position the products, drive long-term sales growth, and increase our profitability.

Product Manager Responsibilities

The Product Manager will be responsible for:

  • Ownership of the company’s products’ complete life cycle
  • Analysis of the market to identify quantifiable new product opportunities
  • Definition of product vision, strategy, differentiation, and go-to-market approach
  • Leadership and coordination of new product development
  • Training of internal stakeholders on product features and benefits
  • Planning and implementation of product launches
  • Definition and implementation of ongoing product strategy to improve sales
  • Performance management of products, including forecasting
  • Planning and implementation of relaunches, rebrands, enhancements, and upgrades as required
  • Collaboration with all internal and external stakeholders to ensure maximum product longevity, success, and profitability

Required Skill Set

The Product Manager should possess the following qualifications, skills, and attributes:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Product Management
  • 5+ years’ experience in a Product Management position
  • Excellent analytical and planning skills
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with all internal and external stakeholders
  • Financial management experience and a focus on profitability
  • Strategic mindset with a hands-on tactical understanding
  • Customer-centricity
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