Product marketing is a sub-field of marketing that is responsible for crafting the messaging, go-to-market flow, and promotion of a product. Product marketing managers can also be involved in defining and sizing target markets. They collaborate with other stakeholders including business development, sales, and technical functions such as product management and engineering. Other critical responsibilities include positioning and sales enablement.[1]

Product marketing deals with marketing the product to prospects, customers, and others. Product marketing works with other areas of marketing such as social media marketing, marketing communications, online marketing, advertising, marketing strategy, and public relations to execute outbound marketing for their product.[2]



Product marketing addresses five strategic questions:

  • What products will be offered (i.e., the breadth and depth of the product line)?
  • Who will be the target customers (i.e., the boundaries of the market segments)?
  • How will the products reach those customers (i.e., the distribution channel, and are there viable possibilities that create a solid business model)?
  • At what price should the products be offered?
  • How should we position the product in the minds of the customer?[3]

Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) act as the voice of the customer and answer the previously mentioned questions. PMMs execute their strategy using the following tools and methods:

  • Customer insights: interviews, surveys, focus groups, and customer observation.
  • Data analysis: internal and external data.
  • Product validation: test and validate product ideas (the minimum viable product or rapid prototyping), before committing engineering resources.
  • Market testing: optimal prices and marketing programs are developed through A/B testing of elements including language (copy), prices, product line-ups, and visuals.

PMMs drive customer engagement by gaining a deep understanding of the product through its lifecycle. This product lifecycle includes pre-adoption, post-adoption/purchase, and after churning. PMMs collect customer information mainly through surveys and interviews. However, when available, PMMs will use product usage and competitive data to collect information. Users participating in the feedback process are not allowed to write their own answers. Instead, they have a limited set of choices to select from. This restricted selection of options is used to gather information that helps inform the product roadmap and ultimately improve customer engagement.

Relationship to other roles


Product marketing is generally different from product management. The product marketing manager creates a market requirements document (MRD) and gives it to the Product Managers. The product manager then gathers the product requirements and creates a product requirements document (PRD).[1] After that, product managers give the PRD to the engineering team.

These roles may vary across companies. In some cases, product management creates both the MRD and the PRD, while product marketing does outbound tasks. Outbound tasks may include trade show product demonstrations and marketing collateral (hot-sheets, beat-sheets, cheat sheets, data sheets and white papers). These tasks require skills in competitor analysis, market research, technical writing, financial matters (ROI and NPV analyses) and product positioning. Product marketer's typical performance indicators include feature adoption, new revenue, expansion revenue, and churn rate.[4]

Product marketers are responsible for creating content for various purposes including sales, marketing, communications, customer engagement, and reviewers. In most cases, the existence of collaborative consumption leads to a decrease in product marketers' profits. On the other hand, consumers who share their goods in a sharing-based market are more willing to pay more for a higher quality product than if they were not in a sharing-based market. [5]



The standard educational requirement to become a product manager is a marketing or business degree. This can include a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Marketing, and Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology. A focus in advertising, public relations, communications, graphic design, and other related fields is helpful. [6]

Real-world work experience in related disciplines will help improve qualifications. [6]

Effectively communicating in a second language is an invaluable asset for those working on a project with global or wide-scale implications. Additionally, a unique qualification for product managers is having a background in engineering or computing because it allows for easier interaction with the technical staff. [7]


  1. ^ Wheelwright, Steven C.; Clark, Kim B. (1992). Revolutionizing product development: quantum leaps in speed, efficiency, and quality (7. pr ed.). New York: Free Press. ISBN 978-0-02-905515-1.
  2. ^ Wheelwright, Steven C.; Clark, Kim B. (15 June 1992). Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency, and Quality. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-02-905515-1.
  3. ^ Glanfield, Keith (2018-02-05). Brand Transformation: Transforming Firm Performance by Disruptive, Pragmatic and Achievable Brand Strategy. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-66255-0.
  4. ^ Burton, Phil; Parker, Gary; Lawley, Brian (2012). 42 Rules of Product Marketing: Learn the Rules of Product Marketing from Leading Experts from Around the World. Happy About. ISBN 978-1-60773-081-1.
  5. ^ Jiang, Baojun; Tian, Lin (2015). "Collaborative Consumption: Strategic and Economic Implications of Product Sharing". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2561907. ISSN 1556-5068.
  6. ^ a b Carter, Stephen; Yeo, Amy Chu-May (2017-08-14). "Undergraduate perceptions of the knowledge, skills and competencies required of today's practicing marketer". Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning. 7 (3): 240–260. doi:10.1108/HESWBL-12-2016-0084. ISSN 2042-3896.
  7. ^ Bennett, Roger (2010-12-16). "What makes a marketer? Development of 'marketing professional identity' among marketing graduates during early career experiences". Journal of Marketing Management. 27 (1–2): 8–27. doi:10.1080/02672571003647792. ISSN 0267-257X.


  • Bodlaj, & Čater, B. (2022). Responsive and proactive market orientation in relation to SMEs’ export venture performance: The mediating role of marketing capabilities. Journal of Business Research, 138, 256–265.
  • Moon. (2020). The Strategic Impact of Collaborative Consumption on Product Marketers. eScholarship, University of California.