Product Marketing vs. Product Management 2024 Guide

Product Marketing vs. Product Management 2024 Guide

It’s common to confuse product marketing with product management due to their overlapping responsibilities and close collaboration. In reality, both focus on different areas of the business lifecycle and product success.

Let’s talk about product management and product marketing individually.

What Is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is all about the energy and strategy behind launching, promoting, and selling your product to your customers. It is the bridge connecting the product, sales, and marketing departments. 

It is essential because it takes the technical details of a product and turns them into clear benefits that match your customer’s needs. 

In short, product marketers bridge the gap between the product itself and the market’s needs. 

For example, a company that provides SaaS tools for project management might focus its product marketing efforts on highlighting features like integrated calendars, automated updates, and collaborative interfaces. 

The marketing campaigns could target project managers in large corporations by stressing how these features can streamline workflow and improve team productivity.

Responsibilities of a Product Marketer

A product marketer wears many hats. Each of them is critical to ensuring the product’s success in the market.

  1. Market Research: Conduct thorough research to understand market trends, identify customer needs, and pinpoint competitive offerings.
  2. Messaging and Positioning: Develop clear and compelling product messaging highlighting the product’s unique features and benefits to the target audience.
  3. Go-to-Market Strategy: Craft and execute a detailed go-to-market plan that covers product launch, promotion, and sales strategies to maximize market penetration.
  4. Sales Enablement: Equip the sales team with the necessary tools, information, and training to help them sell the product effectively.
  5. Performance Tracking: Monitor and analyze product performance in the market, using data to optimize marketing and sales strategies continually.

Metrics Targeted By a Product Marketer

  • Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
  • Market Share
  • Conversion Rates
  • Engagement Metrics (e.g., usage frequency)
  • Retention Rates
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Brand Awareness

What Is Product Management?

Product management is the strategic backbone that drives a product’s success from its inception all the way to market entry and beyond. It includes overseeing the product’s lifecycle, ensuring it aligns perfectly with business objectives and customer needs.

Product managers lead product development—they set the vision, prioritize features, and guide the product through development hurdles to successful launch and market acceptance.

As Deep Nishar, former Vice President of Product at LinkedIn, aptly put it, “A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.”

They’re constantly balancing user demands, technical possibilities, and business necessities. It’s their job to foresee where the product can disrupt the market or fill a significant gap. 

For example, a product manager could lead the launch of software that helps companies measure and enhance employee engagement. This would involve crafting a product that offers customizable surveys, real-time feedback tools, and analytics dashboards to monitor team morale. 

The manager’s role would include extensive market research to identify the most sought-after features and collaboration with developers to implement these effectively. 

Responsibilities of a Product Manager

The product manager is crucial for steering a product’s lifecycle from conception to launch.

  1. Product Vision and Strategy: Define the product’s long-term vision and strategic direction based on market analysis and customer feedback.
  2. Feature Prioritization: Decide which product features to develop, balancing customer needs, business objectives, and technical feasibility.
  3. Roadmap Development: Create and maintain a product roadmap communicating the timeline and priorities for feature releases to stakeholders.
  4. Cross-functional Leadership: Collaborate with engineering, design, marketing, and sales teams to ensure successful product development and launch.
  5. Feedback Loop Management: Gather and analyze feedback from customers and internal teams to refine the product and enhance user satisfaction.

Metrics Targeted By a Product Manager

  • Feature Usage Rates
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT)
  • Product Quality Metrics (e.g., defect rates)
  • Time to Market for New Features
  • User Churn Rate
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Percentage of Product Goals Met

Product Marketing vs. Product Management: Key Differences

Here’s a comparative overview of their distinct roles and responsibilities:

AspectProduct MarketingProduct Management
FocusMarket needs, positioningProduct vision, roadmap
Main ObjectivePromote and sell the productDevelop and improve the product
Key ActivitiesMarket research, go-to-market strategyFeature prioritization, roadmap development
Stakeholder InteractionSales, customers, marketing teamsEngineering, design teams
MetricsCAC, CLTV, market shareUsage rates, CSAT, ROI
Outcome MeasuresRevenue growth, brand awarenessProduct quality, user satisfaction
Communication EmphasisExternal messaging to marketInternal coordination and management
Role in Product LifecycleLaunch and adoption phasesEntire lifecycle from conception to release=

Traditional views peg product management as the role centered on building the product—concerned with features, functionality, and user feedback—while product marketing focuses on how to sell the product through strategic messaging and market engagement. H

However, this separation can be misleading. It assumes that one team builds without much thought for the selling process, and the other sells what’s been built without influencing the creation.  

However, these roles can blend together more than you might expect.

Sometimes, product managers need to think like marketers. They must consider not just making a great product but also how it will fit into the market and appeal to other businesses. Similarly, product marketers often get involved early in the product development process. 

They bring valuable information about what businesses are looking for and what might make them interested in the product. 

Collaboration Between Product Marketing and Product Management

When product marketing and product management work closely together, it significantly boosts a product’s success. 

Product marketers focus on understanding what customers want and how to communicate the product’s benefits to them. They gather insights on market trends and customer preferences, which are crucial for shaping how the product is presented. Product managers use this information to create and refine the product. 

Marketers need to represent what the product does accurately, and managers need to deliver on those representations. If there’s a disconnect, the product could fail to meet customer expectations, affecting its success.

After the launch, the teams continue collaborating by using customer feedback to improve the product. 

Overlapping Roles of Product Marketing and Product Management

Product marketing and product management often share tasks. Here are some examples:

  • Understanding Customer Needs: Both teams learn what customers want. Their insights drive feature design and enhance how features are communicated.
  • Product Strategy Development: They both contribute to shaping the product strategy. Marketers leverage market data, while managers use that information to plan the product’s future.
  • Feedback Analysis: Both teams scrutinize customer feedback. Their analysis aids in refining the product and adjusting marketing messages.
  • Product Launches: They collaborate closely for launches. Managers ensure the product’s readiness, and marketers prepare impactful launch campaigns.
  • Sales Support: Together, they bolster the sales team. Managers provide technical details and use cases, and marketers produce compelling sales materials.


Working together, product marketing and product management ensure a product is both what the customer needs and effectively marketed. 

If you want to give your product an extra edge, teaming up with people who get both sides of the story can make a huge difference. At Aventi, we know how to help your product stand out and succeed. Interested in seeing what we can do for you? Reach out to us today!

Written By

Nima Chadha

Nima Chadha is a results-driven marketing executive with over ten years of experience in marketing management, business development, and strategic partnerships. With a background in sales, marketing, and project management, Nima specializes in creating and executing strategies to drive growth and revenue for B2B tech companies across North America.