The Product Manager is responsible for the product planning and execution throughout the Product Lifecycle, including gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, sales, marketing, and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. The Product Manager also ensures that the product supports the company’s overall strategy and goals.
This Position is also expected to create demand for products through effective positioning, messaging, and marketing programs. Quality product marketing will lead a firm to fulfill its business objectives.
A key component of the Product Manager’s role is ensuring that the product supports the company’s overall strategy and goals. The Product Manager is responsible for delivering a differentiated product to market that addresses a market need and represents a viable business opportunity. Although the Product Manager is ultimately responsible for managing the product throughout its lifecycle – conception through end-of-life – they receive assistance throughout this process from specialists such as designers, developers, quality assurance engineers, supply chain and operations experts, manufacturing engineers, Product Marketing Managers, project managers, sales professionals, and more.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:
- Defines the product vision, strategy and roadmap.
- Gathers, manages, and prioritizes market/customer requirements.
- Acts as the customer advocate articulating the user’s and/or buyer’s needs.
- Works closely with engineering, sales, marketing, and support to ensure business case and customer satisfaction goals are met.
- Has technical product knowledge or specific domain expertise.
- Defines what to solve in the market needs document, where you articulate the valuable market problem you’re solving along with priorities and justification for each part of the solution.
- Runs beta and pilot programs during the qualify phase with almost final products and samples. In Agile environments, regularly reviews completed work and checks with customers to ensure that it meets the customer expectations.
- Is a market expert. Market expertise includes understanding the reasons customers purchase products. This includes a deep understanding of the competition, and how customers think of and buy your product. Product Managers need market research and competitive analysis skills to complete these tasks.
- Acts as the product’s leader within the company.
- Develops the business case for new products, improvements to existing products, and business ventures.
- Develops positioning for the product.
- Recommends or contributes information in setting product pricing. This point isn’t true in all industries, especially, for example, insurance; however, an awareness of competitive pricing is part of what companies expect you to provide as part of the pricing decision.
Product Manager Responsibilities: Key Deliverables
Product Managers drive action through the company mainly through written documents supported by presentations. Here is a list of the most common documents that you may be asked to create. Be aware that each company has their own specific list and terminology.
- Business case
- Market needs document
- Product Roadmaps
- White papers, case studies, product comparisons, competitor analysis, and user stories
- Presentations using the above content
- Excel spreadsheets to document data used above
Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)
- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Product Management, Business or related field preferred
- 2+ years progressive accounting experience in Sales or similar work environment
- Strong organization, oral and written communication skills
- Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and deadlines
- Strong computer aptitude, which includes expertise with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word.
- Analytical skills with particular attention to detail
Physical Demands and Work Environment
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these functions.
While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.
This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbents will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. The requirements listed in this document are the minimum levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at-will” relationship.