Are you passionate about creativity and business? One career that combines both of your interests is a product marketing manager. These professionals are responsible for creating the marketing strategy for an organization’s products, along with activities such as messaging and positioning. Preparing for a career as a product marketing manager can begin with enrolling in an MBA degree with a specialization in Marketing.
According to national data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2011, employment for marketing managers, including product marketing managers, is projected to increase steadily through 2018. A growing job rate may not guarantee employment in the industry. Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research regarding actual job growth rates, which vary according to location, education and experience.
In most organizations, the product marketing manager is responsible for creating and developing marketing strategies for one or more product lines, in support of established revenue, profit and other goals. Duties may include defining the product strategy, determining customer requirements, establishing goals and objectives, and working with internal and external partners to deliver products that meet customer requirements.
Many product marketing managers will develop core positioning and messaging, as well as the sales tools and collateral materials used to communicate with consumers. To effectively differentiate a product in the market, appropriate research of potential customer demographics, competitor offerings, and other market intelligence is typically required.
In some firms, skilled product marketing managers are also involved in product planning, as well as managing the product throughout its lifecycle. This often requires collaborating with product developers to gather and prioritize customer requirements, define objectives and needs, and provide data to product developers. Product marketing developers may also be challenged with developing new ways to solve customer problems with innovative products.
Product marketing managers frequently conceive and develop marketing programs that drive demand for their company’s products. These campaigns may begin with analyzing consumer needs and demands, conducting market and product research, developing an overall strategy and roadmap, and training sales staff on product benefits and value proposition.
Additional possible job duties for product marketing managers include providing management with frequent business insight, updates on marketing activities, and strategy and analytics; preparing case studies and sales forecasts; identifying potential markets; monitoring industry trends and competitor activities; conducting customer surveys and monitoring other feedback channels, such as social media.
Product marketing managers typically work 40 hours per week in comfortable office settings. Overtime may be required during product launches and under other important deadlines. Travel to subsidiary offices, client locations or product factories could be required.
According to a 2010 national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual salary for marketing managers was $122,720, while the middle 50% earned between $80,900 and $151,260. The lowest 10% earned approximately $57,750, while those in the highest 10% bracket brought in around $166,400 per year. Because salary potential may vary depending on location, education and experience, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine actual earning potential.
Training and education requirements for product marketing managers vary by employer. In general, most employers prefer at least a bachelor’s degree and some industry or marketing experience. Many show preference to candidates holding a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing.
Professionals who wish to start toward a career as a product marketing manager can begin by enrolling in an MBA degree with a specialization in Marketing. Coursework typically includes essentials of business development, marketing management, strategic marketing, and international business.
If you possess good analytical skills and attention to detail, along with flexibility and a knack for working in fast-paced environments, you may find success in a product marketing manager career. Earning an MBA with a specialization in Marketing can augment your business knowledge with the management, leadership and marketing skills you’ll need when competing for a rewarding product marketing manager position!