What does a product manager do?

What does a product manager do?

The product manager gathers data – about the competition, market conditions, current product performance, etc. – and uses these to construct a product vision and strategy that support the company’s overall goals. This strategy leads to a product roadmap, and in turn individual product definitions.

The product manager works within the company’s financial targets and develops an expected return on investment. Included in this analysis is the budget for developing a particular line or product.

The product manager shepherds the product in development from concept and definition through development and launch.

The product manager is the “glue” that brings all stakeholders together – finance, supply chain, procurement, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, etc. A product manager must be adept at managing the activities of a cross functional team, often shared with other projects.

Sometimes a product manager’s role is referred to as inbound marketing, meaning taking in marketing input and using it to drive product development. A marketing manager, on the other hand, engages in outbound marketing, or the presentation and promotion of the product to the outside sales channels and buyers. A product manager, with a deep knowledge of the product, often supports outbound marketing as well as brand marketing.

© Copyright 2013 Stephen Shenefield

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