Perhaps the unsung heroes of the technology world, product managers are skilled professionals who manage the every movement of the product’s life cycle from conception to launch.
In order to create a technological product that is suitable for market needs, product managers are responsible for analyzing market data to make strategic decisions, chart the course, and captain the product towards its intended development destination.
As “messengers of the market,’” product managers can find employment in nearly every unit of the business world, from marketing and sales to technology and engineering.
Daily Duties for Product Managers:
- Identifying profitable opportunities for products that meet market needs
- Overseeing existing products and winding down products that are no longer needed
- Communicating with customers and prospective customers to track user feedback or customer satisfaction
- Researching competitor’s technology and gathering data around market share
- Creating relevant documentation on functional requirements, feature details, and business problems with solutions
- Defining the long-term strategy and expressing the details in a product roadmap
- Working with external third parties to assess partnerships and licensing opportunities
- Providing the sales team with the necessary technical expertise to sell the product
Product Manager Job Description
During their workday, product managers will often work on teams with advertisers, public relations managers, financial advisors, marketing managers, external evangelists, designers, and engineers. In order to conduct their market research, product managers must also interact frequently with on-going visits to customers and non-customers.
While product managers are technically employed full-time, most individuals in this profession rarely work a traditional 40 hour workweek due to the changing priorities and tight deadlines. Along with long evening hours and weekend work, product managers commonly need to travel a great deal to meet with clients and others in the corporate marketing team.
Skills Needed to Be a Product Manager
While there are many ways to gain entry into the profession, most product managers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing. Due to their daily duties, it is essential that product managers have comprehensive knowledge in accounting, finance, product management, marketing, communications, business law, public relations, engineering, and technology or computer science.
Product managers must possess strong analytical skills for understanding current market trends, communication skills to interact with customers to learn how they use the product, leadership skills for managing collaborative project teams, and decision-making skills for responding to development issues immediately. In order to be successful, product managers should also be strategic, creative, organized, business savvy, and detail-oriented.