• The Difference Between Product Marketing and Product Management: About $30K

    It is an age-old debate and almost cliché:  What is the difference between product marketing and product management?  In fact, there is little difference between the functions based on a recent survey by Pragmatic Marketing showing tremendous overlap between the functions, though salaries can vary widely.

    In organizations where both functions exist, the main difference is the inward focus of product managers (engineering, finance) vs. an outward focus for product marketing professionals (sales, marketing).  When these distinctions exist, product managers tend to earn more based on salary comparisons on job site Indeed.com.

    As reported in a recent VisionEdge Marketing newsletter, over 1,800 people participated in Pragmatic Marketing’s survey last fall.  These are some of the key findings from the study:

    1. The people who participated in the survey have college and then some degrees, claim to “somewhat” or “very” technical, are predominantly male, and are responsible for at least 3 products.
    2. The average salary is US$96,500 plus a bonus based on company profit and/or achieving quarterly objectives.  They typically report to a director or vice president.
    3. The product road-map and product requirements are the two primary responsibilities of the product manager.  Some product managers are also involved in positioning, and sales tools.
    4. Positioning, marketing plans, launch plans and sales tools are among the primary responsibilities of the product marketer. Some product marketers are also involved in collateral development.
    5. The following two charts visually help delineate the activities between product managers and product marketers.

    As you can see from the two charts below, there is tremendous overlap between the two functions with product managers generally weighing more heavily in Strategic and Technical categories and while product marketing managers show more emphasis on Marketing and Sales.

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