Project Manager, Product Managers, and Product Marketing Manager

Great write up from Rob Grady about the Difference between a Product Manager and a Project Manager.

Thanks Ron, now that’s cleared up, let’s take a look at another similar role.

Product Manager vs Product Marketing Manager
I know that folks have a hard time understanding the difference between product managers and product marketing managers. At many startups, the Product Manager may do the marketing role, or in some cases the roles will be split between the Product Manager and Community Manager.

Here’s a definition of a Product Marketing Manager from Wikipedia:

“In smaller high-tech firms or start-ups, product marketing and product management functions can be blurred, and both tasks may be borne by one individual.

However, as the company grows someone needs to focus on creating good requirements documents for the engineering team, whereas someone else needs to focus on how to analyze the market, influence the “analysts”, press, etc.

When such clear demarcation becomes visible, the former falls under the domain of product management, and the later, under product marketing. In Silicon Valley, in particular, product marketing professionals have considerable domain experience in a particular market or technology or both.”

I typically view that Product Marketing Managers are ‘outbound’ and are responsible aligning the product with the market/customer. The could/should deliver the requirements to the Product Manager who will build the requirements into the development or engineering cycle.

Community Managers can obtain requirements
As mentioned above, the Community Manager (a new role that’s emerged) can also deliver customer requirements to product teams. I’m a Community Manager, and I know several, we’re working on a project to start to define our role. Unlike a PM or PMM, the primary role is to be a customer advocate or community advocate. Sometimes a CM should line up the right folks in the company to communicate with the community –kinda like a messenger. More to come on this later.

In my experience, usually the Product Manager, Product Marketing Manager in Silicon Valley often justly deserve a six figure salaries. I suspect project managers depend on experience and skill level.