What Is Product Marketing? (Skills, Jobs, Career Paths)

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn what product marketing is, its importance in the workplace, and the outlook for product management jobs. See if a project marketing career is right for you.

[Featured image] A product marketing manager is conducting a meeting with the team.

Product marketing is the process of launching a product to the market. It includes research, development, pricing, promotion, and distribution. A successful product marketing strategy involves identifying a product’s target market and developing a plan to reach it. Product marketing has grown in recent years to rely on more marketing channels, such as content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and more. 

A career in product marketing can be gratifying and exciting. It offers the opportunity to work with new products and technologies. In this article, learn about product marketing, jobs, its phases, and whether this is a field you are interested in pursuing.  

What is product marketing, and why is it important?

Product marketing is the process of bringing a sellable product to market that aligns with customer needs. Product marketing is important for a company’s success because it helps communicate its products’ features and benefits to drive sales leads ultimately. By creating compelling marketing materials and developing market strategies, it’s more likely that your products will succeed in the marketplace.

Product marketing vs. brand marketing

There are a few key differences between product marketing and brand marketing. Product marketing focuses on the features and benefits of a product or service. On the other hand, brand marketing emphasizes creating an emotional brand connection with the customer.

Product marketing typically focuses more on the short-term goal of selling a product or service. Brand marketing takes a longer-term view and is concerned with building loyalty and creating positive impressions of the company. In general, product marketing is more tactical, while brand marketing is more strategic.


Product marketing job titles

Product marketing focuses on creating and delivering messages that promote selling a product. Common job titles in product marketing include:

Product marketer manager job overview

As a product marketer manager, you will be responsible for the go-to-market strategy and execution of your assigned products. Some duties may include: 

  • Developing messaging and positioning

  • Working with cross-functional teams on product launches

  • Managing the product roadmap

  • Conducting market research

In this role, you will be the voice of the customer and ensure that products meet their needs. You may need to be passionate about marketing and have a track record of driving results to be a successful product marketer.

Read more: Market Analysis: What It Is and How to Conduct One

Salary and job outlook

The average product marketing professional in the US earns $62,929 per year, but salaries can range from $66,000 to $110,000 per year [2]. Your salary may depend on your experience, skills, role, sector, and location.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this occupation will grow at 10 percent and as fast as the average for all occupations between 2021 and 2031 [1].

Read more: How to Negotiate Your Salary: 10 Tips to Earn More

Product marketing manager responsibilities

Product marketing managers are responsible for several phases of the product marketing process. These include market research, product development, pricing, promotion, and distribution. You'll need to understand your target market and what they're looking for in a product. You’ll also be responsible for:

  • All aspects of the product marketing mix

  • Developing an understanding of your products and the market

  • Creating and executing the product marketing strategy

  • Working closely with other departments to ensure the product is positioned correctly

  • Ensuring all marketing materials are accurate and up-to-date

  • Managing the product launch process and ensuring all objectives are met

Product marketing phases

A product marketer manager helps ensure a product’s conceptualization and market strategies are executed successfully.The different steps and processes of product marketing phase include the following: 

1. Idea sourcing

In this phase, a product marketing manager will help generate and evaluate new product ideas for commercial potential. The goal is to identify opportunities that meet customer needs and generate profitable growth for the company.

Usually, the product marketer generates new product ideas from various sources, including customers, sales staff, and market research. The ideas will be evaluated to determine its potential and feasibility, which will be recommended to the product development team.

This step involves researching and brainstorming outlined below:

1. Research

  • Creating buyer personas

  • Developing messaging

  • Defining the go-to-market strategy

2. Brainstorm

  • Building a launch plan

  • Working with cross-functional teams

  • Project management

  • Analytics and reporting

2. Idea screening

The next step is checking the idea's feasibility and assessing whether the product will succeed in the market to generate a return on investment.

3. Market and user research

As a product marketing manager, you’ll create a product’s market demand. This involves understanding the target audience and developing marketing strategies to reach them. 

You may work with other departments to ensure your marketing products meet customer needs and expectations. You’ll be responsible for the following:

  • Evaluating the size of a target market

  • Exploring the product's competitors

  • Finding out the competitors' weaknesses

  • Looking for the scope for improvement

4. Strategy development

The fourth step is developing the product’s marketing strategy. The strategy development includes establishing the order of priorities and the product’s launch, such as setting or identifying the:

  • Business goals and objectives

  • Product areas

  • Features of a product

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Order of priorities

5. Product creation

As the product marketing manager, you'll oversee the product creation process so that it runs smoothly. To effectively deliver, you’ll need to:

  • Focus on the product’s value

  • Implement product features that solve the customers' problems or for higher customer engagement

  • Create a minimum viable product (MVP)

  • Make sure it serves its purpose

6. Testing and feedback gathering

The product marketing manager may conduct user tests and gather feedback at this stage. The feedback may be used to improve the product before its launch. This responsibility includes these actions:

  • Checking how a user interacts with the product

  • Capturing feedback

  • Finding possible improvements

  • Communicating the product requirements to the team

  • Implementing changes and testing

  • Going through this cycle during the entire product development process

7. Product improvement

In this stage, you will identify product areas that need improvement and work with the development team to make the changes. This involves:

  • Optimization and efficiency

  • Finding possible ways of scaling

  • Operations improvements

  • Business outcomes maintenance

  • Minimizing costs and optimizing efficiencies

Key skills of product marketing professionals

  • Creativity and problem-solving

  • Collaborative skills

  • Strategic planning and business skills

  • Research and analytics skills

  • Empathy and the ability to connect on various levels with customers

  • Communication skills

  • Marketing skills (including copywriting)

Steps to building a career in product marketing

Product marketing is about understanding what potential customers want and developing and promoting products to meet those needs.

If you want to take your product marketing career to the next level, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Get to know your target market thoroughly. What are their needs and wants? What motivates them? The better you understand your target market, the better you will develop products they will love.

  2. Keep up with industry trends. Staying updated with industry trends may help you develop products that are ahead of the curve and will appeal to trend-savvy consumers.

  3. Develop a strong understanding of the product development process. To be successful in product marketing, you need to understand how companies develop  products so that you can provide input at every stage of the process.

  4. Be creative in your promotional efforts. You need to get creative with your promotions and find ways to reach consumers where they may spend the majority of their time (online). 

Education and experience

You will likely need a bachelor's degree in marketing, business studies, or a related major. Remember that managing a product’s market is not an entry-level role. You’ll need at least two years of experience in developing marketing campaigns to work in product marketing management.

Earn a certification.

As a product marketing professional, it's important you earn the right product marketer qualifications and certification to work in the field. There are many certifications available, and each has its benefits. The proper certification may help you stand out from the competition and show potential employers you're qualified to work in product marketing.

  • Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) proves that the candidate knows marketing strategy, pricing strategy, marketing research, and other marketing topics.

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) is a project management certification that tests a candidate’s ability to manage a professional project's people, processes, and business priorities.

  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certificate shows that the candidate has skills like customer interaction, knowledge of the sales cycle, market research, and other relevant 

Is a product marketing role right for me?

If you’re excited about the idea of marketing and want to know if a career in product marketing is right for you, there are a few key things to consider that will help you decide. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have strong communication and people skills?

  • Are you creative and organized? 

  • Do you enjoy working in a team? 

  • Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment where things can change quickly?

  • Do you see yourself moving into management or executive product marketer roles?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, project marketing could be the right path for you. 

Want to learn new product marketing skills?

To learn new product marketing skills, consider taking a course on Coursera. Many courses available cover various aspects of product marketing. You can choose a course that covers the basics of product marketing, such as The Business of Product Management or a more advanced course that covers more specific topics, like Cost and Economics in Pricing Strategy. These courses can offer valuable new skills that you can use in your career.



The Business of Product Management I

Learn to excel in product management roles while learning directly from industry-leading product managers and real-world case studies from Amazon, Intuit, ...


(623 ratings)

24,268 already enrolled


Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Go-to-market Strategy, Product/Market Fit, Tech Leadership, B2B Sales, Product Management



Cost and Economics in Pricing Strategy

How much should you charge for your products and services? Traditionally, businesses have answered this question based on the cost to produce or provide ...


(639 ratings)

27,486 already enrolled


Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Cost-Based Pricing, Channel and Direct-to-Consumer Pricing, Pricing Strategies, Price Discrimination, Price Elasticity Of Demand

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). “Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm.” Accessed March 1, 2023.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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