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Product management and product marketing are not the same thing! Now, some of you are going “well of course, what’re you stupid?” Others are going “ok, what are they?” For the latter, it’s high time we looked at product marketing vs product management, and the differences that make them stand out. There’s a lot of literature out there covering both lately, as new theories and revisions to the sciences that drive them have risen recently. It’s important to make sure that people understand the differences and similarities of these concepts, so that they do not mistakenly base their decisions off of advice from the wrong side of that coin. See, there is a lot of overlap when it comes to product marketing vs product management, so it may not be immediately clear that you’re following the wrong source when doing research. By the time you’re clearly following the wrong principles and ideologies, the damage is often done. So, first, let’s point out the similarities, since I’ve taken a little time to point out they exist. #1 – Similarities Well, this is a little bit like comparing UX and UI, in that one is part of the other, and in this case, product marketing is part of product management, but they are not identical. So, all of the elements of product marketing, such as placement, positioning, branding, and outreach campaigns as well as CRM procedures, are part of product management, but fall within product marketing directly. Product management, on a higher level, also works with branding and positioning, beyond the marketing aspect, such as overhead, logistics and R&D to facilitate the positioning marketing sees the call for. #2 – Differences The differences are where it’s crucial, though. You see, product management calls for a lot of patience and knowing when to close a cycle and begin again. Where with marketing, cycles are typically renewed frequently, depending on the product, demographic and medium, product lifecycles are different, and involve many more stages that require a lot more logistics to do it right. Also, marketing may have multiple campaigns and cycles in place in parallel, with different targets, purposes and strategies, where product management is fairly singular and sweeping. So, when it comes to the patience and knowing how to handle cycles, following advice for one, in the other, will result in at the very least, severe inefficiency or extreme overhead depending, and at worst, failure of a product or marketing campaign colossally. So, when you consider product marketing vs product management, remember that marketing is outreach to customers, and publicity, as well as sales-related things as a follow up. Product management pertains to not only this, but the higher functions of R&D, distribution, branding, and much, much more. Marketing is the more exciting field to be in, because of its creative aspect and its visible nature. It takes a special kind of intelligent, patient and not-vain person to be a product manager.



James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.