A product manager promotes a product, service or groups of products or services to consumers. In some instances, she is required to repackage or relaunch an existing product to increase sales. She interacts with a variety of other departments within her organization in her promotional efforts and usually reports to the director or manager of marketing. Her job can be with a small to large size company in any industry that publicly markets and sells services or goods.
Research and analysis are normally a large part of a product manager’s job. In order to successfully market a product, she is customarily required to investigate a range of market factors and engage in demographic examination. When her research is completed, her marketing plan is commonly launched next.
Once issues such as market demand and a prospective customer base have been confirmed, a product manager typically scours the competition to make sure her product or a reasonable facsimile is not already available. If it is not, she strategizes marketing angles and pricing structures. She often works with the advertising, sales and market research departments to complete these tasks.
When the product undergoes development, the product manager typically oversees the process to ensure her vision has been clearly understood. When the development is finished, she normally goes back to the sales and advertising teams to assist her in launching the product. She typically enlists the aid of the public relations staff to generate press releases and media events to make sure all sectors are aware of the new product.
Since a product manager typically relies on the support of her team to achieve her goals, good leadership and motivational skills are important to her success. While she is expected to have great creative abilities, it is also important that she keeps the general image and goals of the company in mind at all junctures of product development and marketing. She often relies on her peers to keep her project focused and appropriate to the company image.
Most employers require candidates for the position of product manager to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, sales or marketing. A significant number of companies require a master’s degree in one of those concentrations to qualify for the job. If a company specializes in a particular type of product, such as high technology equipment, a relevant degree is often preferred. Experience in product development, marketing or public relations is desirable.