What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Marketing Manager?

Product marketers are responsible for positioning a company’s products and services to meet customer needs. They need to establish a market presence and sustain a competitive edge over other similar products in the market. Product marketers need to develop a strong understanding of customers, their needs, and how these can be satisfied through using the product or service.

Product Marketing Managers work with the product managers to figure out the direction and focus for the marketing of a product. They often have a background in marketing, PR, or advertising. Product Marketing Managers are more involved with the development of campaigns and specific promotional strategies than those of Product Managers who are more involved with the day-to-day operations on a product.

Product managers on the other hand are more focused on ensuring that products can be delivered successfully to meet customer expectations. The primary role of a Product Manager is to understand customer problems and determine how these can be solved with new or existing solutions from their company’s portfolio.

As a product manager, how do you prioritize bug fixes vs new product features?

With a limited team, it is necessary to prioritize what the company is going to work on and for how long. When prioritizing, it is important to consider how much revenue is generated from current products versus planned features. There are three different ways to prioritize bugs: severity, customer impact, and frequency.

If there are many bugs that relate to the same feature or function then it might be better to fix those bugs before releasing a new product feature. The bug might not be severe enough on its own but when combined with other bugs relating to the same function, the severity will go up.

Which is the most important skill that a Product Manager should have?

A good Product Manager must have the skills to understand the market and know what customers want. A good understanding of product development, design, engineering and marketing is also important.

The most important skill a Product Manager should have is knowledge of the market and the customers. They need to know what people want so they can deliver it to them in a way that best suits their needs. They must have a deep understanding of product development, design, engineering and marketing as well.

How does one transition from an engineering role to a product management role?

The skills that one would develop as an engineering role are very different from the skills needed for a product management role. One should be able to think about the challenges and tradeoffs of different solutions for one’s work. They should also be able to understand market needs of their customers and how they will react to the new product in order to be successful. Finally, they must maintain a deep understanding of what technology is capable of achieving in order to lead future development efforts.

Product management, as a profession, is an amalgamation of many skills and disciplines. It can be an intimidating learning curve for someone who has been in the engineering world for their whole career. However, product managers are always learning and adapting to the changing needs of a company. That’s why it is important to use those transferable skills from the engineering role to your new product management role.

The key to this transition is to be flexible and adaptable. Engineers are usually not good at communicating with other people, which can make it hard for them to understand a user’s needs. This requires an engineer to be able to speak the language of marketing, product management, or design and also be able to think about the usability of a product.

What are some things that engineers dislike about product managers?

Engineers and product managers often have differing perspectives on what is important in a project. Engineers are typically more concerned with the technical aspects of a project while product managers are more focused on the business end of things.

Engineers tend to dislike about product managers is that they need to work within their constraints, which can be frustrating. Engineers feel that they could do better if they were given more freedom to do what they wanted. Product managers, on the other hand, might find engineering tasks tedious and time consuming.

What’s the best way of learning product management?

The best way to learn product management is by doing it.

Product managers need a wide variety of skillsets and experience in order to be successful. This includes technical knowledge, design thinking, product lifecycle management, business modeling and analytical skills. And since all product managers have different backgrounds, they all have different ways of learning this new skill. For some people it might be reading books on the subject or taking online courses; for others it could be getting a mentor or joining a PM community. What’s important is that you find the most suitable way for you to learn the necessary skills without wasting time and not being able to apply what you’ve learnt.

What are common mistakes made by a Product Manager?

Product managers are in charge of the product life cycle and the product strategy. This means that they have a lot of responsibility to create a good product for their company. Here are some common mistakes made by these Product Managers:

  • Lack of understanding of their customers
  • Making hasty decisions without appropriate support
  • Poor communication
  • Failure to plan ahead
  • Not anticipating how competitors will react and act upon the product manager’s strategy
  • The last mistake is not being able to provide evidence-based decisions for their work

What is a day in the life of a Product Manager like?

Product managers are the ones who plan and execute the strategy of a product. They have to work closely with customers and stakeholders to understand their needs and desires. They then take this information and turn it into features for a product that satisfies these needs.

The role of a product manager varies from company to company, but usually they handle:

  • Gathering customer insights by talking with customers, potential customers, and stakeholders
  • Interacting with designers and developers
  • Communicating with internal teams to make sure everyone is on the same page

Why do engineers make good Product Managers?

Engineers are great at solving problems and have a lot of knowledge about how tech works. They are also analytical thinkers who can be trained to know the importance of user experience.

Engineers are great problem solvers and have a knack for understanding what’s going on in front of them. They usually think in an analytical manner which is very important when it comes to understanding user behavior and experience.

Engineers also make great product managers because of their analytical thinking skills. Engineers are trained to break down problems into smaller problems in order to solve them better. Product managers need this skill in order to identify customer needs and solve problems with existing products or develop new ones.

Another important thing about engineers is their attention to detail. They make sure everything works well before releasing it, which translates well into designing products for customers.

How do I become a Product Manager?

There are many paths to becoming a Product Manager and no fixed route. Most Product Managers have diverse journeys.

However, there are three key aspects in becoming a Product Manager:

  1. Understanding the market,
  2. Understanding the customer, and
  3. Understanding products.

They all have to work together to create an effective product. 1) and 2) are essential for creating an effective product strategy that is customer-centric, while 3) is essential for improving current products by helping develop features and monitor competitors’ activity.

A degree in business or engineering may be necessary for some companies’ requirements. But there are also other ways one can get into the field like internships or apprenticeships that can help people get their foot in the door with connections they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

What’s the difference between a Project Manager and a Product Manager?

The difference between the two is that a project manager will focus on the day-to-day tasks of managing the project while a product manager will work with customers to create or improve a product.

The scope of responsibilities for these positions are different. A project manager’s responsibilities are mainly focused on the day-to-day tasks of managing a specific project. A product manager has broader responsibilities and works with customers to create or improve your products.

Explained: The difference between a Project Manager and a Product Manager

Product Managers define the ‘What and Why’ of the product- in consultation with customers, business leadership, marketing, sales/support, engineering (and other teams).

Project Managers define ‘When and How’ in consultation with the product, engineering, QA and support teams.

In many companies, the product manager is often seen as a project manager who defines product requirements and owns the delivery as well. Unfortunately, that’s one sad reality of the role but it is changing for good.

Product managers must answer these three questions:

  • What problem does this solve?
  • What and why are you building this?
  • What will the benefits be?

Project managers, on the other hand answer the questions:

  • What resources are needed? Dependencies?
  • When will the project get delivered?
  • Who is going to do what?

TL;DR: For a project manager, the product team is the customer.

For a product manager, the end user/customer success is all that matters.

Via: FWD app

PS: If you want to really learn product management from the best practitioners, hop to the FWD app.