Product manager, project manager, product owner, product marketing manager…these all sound interchangeable, yet each role carries a completely different set of responsibilities.
Today, we’ll be looking at the role of a product manager. These individuals fill a niche role that plays a key part in a company’s marketing as well as its product development. Using the creative vision of a product manager, products are developed, marketed, and adjusted according to the needs of the customer base.
So, what does a product manager do, exactly? The role sounds simple enough, but it can still be crucial to a company’s success. Keep reading to learn all about the role of a product manager.
What Is a Product Manager?
The role of a product manager involves identifying the needs of customers and using this information to develop larger business objectives. Product managers typically focus on one particular product or a set of related products and create a plan for success.
So, what does a product manager do to achieve this? First of all, they study the needs of their target market, identifying what it would take in order for a product to be successful. Then, they work with a team to make this vision a reality.
The History of Product Management
The idea of a product manager goes back nearly 100 years. The role was originally created in the 1930s by Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest health and beauty product conglomerates on the market. They noticed that some of their products were big sellers, whereas others were seriously dwindling in sales.
As a result, product managers were appointed to focus on these failing products. This was done with hopes of bringing their numbers up to match their more successful launches. Since then, product managers have become a necessity for many types of companies, from consumer goods to information technology.
What Does a Product Manager Do?
We know that a product manager is key in product development, but what does a product manager do to succeed in the role?
The answer lies within close studying of the market to develop a strategy and a timeline accordingly. Think of it as a roadmap to success for a particular product.
The product manager is responsible for communicating these insights with the product development team. They must plan, prioritize, and implement every step of the product’s journey. If they are successful, they’ll continue developing in these directions, or make adjustments as necessary.
How Do Companies Find Project Managers?
A product manager isn’t an entry-level role. Most companies seek well-seasoned experts with a keen understanding of product marketing and development.
Some companies prefer to promote from within, while others seek out a Product Management Firm to easily hire expert professionals to help them manage their products. Wherever they come from, these individuals will always play a key part in a company’s overall success.
The Importance of Product Managers
While the name sounds similar to “project manager” or “product marketing manager”, a product manager plays a role of standout importance within a company. Now that we’ve answered “what does a product manager do?”, you’ll be ready to learn even more about the importance of product managers in the business world.
For more topics, check out our other articles.