Product Marketing Manager

Reports to: Head of Marketing

General Description

The Product Marketing Manager (PMM) is “the voice of the customer.” In addition, he/she is the product line manager responsible for defining, positioning, pricing, and promotion (evangelizing) the product–along with managing the market adoption and product life cycle.  As such, the PMM “owns” the product and is ultimately responsible for its overall success.  This role also includes the indirect management and cooperation of others within the division and group to ensure the product’s success.

Key Job Responsibilities include:

  • Ensure a market-driven “whole” product offering
  • Establish competitive and profitable pricing models
  • Ensure the existence and support of product distribution – sales
  • Orchestrate effective marketing promotions to drive revenue

Knowledge & Skills

The ideal person for this position has the following:

  • A strong technical background and an understanding of the development process (either formal engineering or proven aptitude with high-tech products).
  • At least 5-10 years of similar experience within a software, hardware or consumer electronics company as an original contributor and as a manager/director dealing with early adopter products.
  • A strong marketing background with a marketing degree (undergraduate or an MBA with an emphasis in marketing) and/or at least 5 years of actual hands-on marketing experience.
  • Extensive experience in the following areas:
    • Determining customer requirements (via research, personal interviews, focus groups, surveys, roundtables, etc.) and translating them, through the development process and via alliances, into MRD’s and complete products.
    • Pricing strategy
    • Promotional approaches
    • Branding
    • Product life cycle management, segmentation, and the adoption life cycle
    • Relationship management
    • Sales support
    • An understanding of distribution requirements.
    • Excellent writing and presentation skills.
    • Works well with customers, alliances, FAEs, engineering, and management.
    • Experienced candidates may be found within the following types of companies:
      • List of companies that are specific to your market

Detailed Description

Ensure a market driven “whole” product offering

  1. Meet with customers, sales, FAEs, Tech Support, QA, industry analysts, management, and engineering and engage the research team to understand the overall market and to quantify the specific benefits that customers expect from the product via personal discussions, focus groups, roundtables, surveys, etc.
  2. Ensure that he/she understands all of the uncontrollables such as applicable laws and regulations, politics (i.e., IP protocol is tax exempt), similar market spaces (i.e., cable, telecom), the telco culture, and competitive landscape.  Create a competitive matrix outlining our strengths and weaknesses. Ensure that there are active files on competitors.
  3. Understand the business models that ensure our own and customer’s success.
  4. Know the buying preferences and behavior of our customer’s customer.
  5. Author the product marketing plan and ensure it dovetails into the division’s overall business plan.  Ensure that it includes strategic and tactical initiatives, the product positioning and value proposition, the market and product segmentation, along with a detailed promotional schedule that corresponds to the market adoption and product life cycle. Communicate the plan throughout the group.
  6. Create timely Market Requirements Documents (MRD) for each product delivered to engineering.  Ensure that these requirements are aligned with our alliance roadmaps to ensure an integrated  “whole product.”  Keep the documents updated and prioritized based on sales potential.
  7. Ensure a system exists to follow up with engineering to ensure that the MRD is being built into the product.
  8. Attend engineering/marketing meetings regularly to answer additional customer-related questions and provide ongoing feedback.
  9. Ensure that processes and routing systems exist and drive for a quality product.  This includes alpha benchmarking to ensure acceptable speed performance, adequate beta and conformance testing, usability testing (both for intuitive use and to ensure our “features” solve customer problems in the manner expected), and a good “out-of-the-box” experience (with the correct BOM, good documentation), etc.
  10. Work closely with Project Management to ensure that the final product specified is the same as the product delivered–within the agreed-upon time frame.  Know the schedule and status of “your” product at all times.
  11. Ensure that the following items exist when the product is completed:
  12. The build of materials (BOM)
  13. Part numbers and distribution SKU’s that are entered into the system and activated
  14. Initial sales forecast to ensure we have the correct inventory levels for product and collateral
  15. Completed packaging and collateral pieces
  16. Work with the Marketing Alliance Manager (MAM) to identify alliances along the entire deployment chain, plus add-ons and peripherals that compliment and add value to the product.  Also, work with the MAM to ensure a competitive development kit to further development efforts on our platform.

Establish competitive and profitable pricing models

  1. Understand the rate card price (US and International), the pricing models (exceptions, bundles, forward pricing, etc.), and the overall “cost” of deployment for every competitor.
  2. Know the pricing models that work within our complimentary markets.
  3. Understand the overall cost and pricing of our alliances and others that help create the “whole” product.
  4. Know all of the pricing issues that face our customers.  Understand where we can help our customers find pricing relief within the entire “system”—not by just discounting our own product.
  5. Establish and continually refine our own pricing models and the overall pricing matrix.  Provide pricing information such as the following:
    • Published rate cards
    • Exception policies and examples (i.e., willing to sign exclusive for 100k units, but purchase only 25k under this budget—to get the 100k unit forward pricing)
    • OEM pricing by components
    • Alliance pricing
    • Sample (NFR) pricing
    • Support pricing and maintenance agreements
    • Updated pricing for existing customers (i.e., re-tool existing units (versus cost for new, break for our not having as high a cost of sale, during possible displacement specials, for our software updates, for a “soft” network re-install or update, etc.).
    • System Integrator & VAR discounts
    • Peripheral and component pricing (with/without the software, keyboard, customizable remote, game controllers)
    • Alliance add-on product pricing
    • Both US and International/localized pricing matrix
    • Create and maintain the product-pricing catalog or pricing matrix slick.
    • Compile and create “Price Savings Build-up,” and “Reduce to Simple,” “Price vs. Cost,” examples, along with “what works best” pricing dialogues from the field.  Disseminate this information regularly whenever it is updated.

Ensure the existence and support of product distribution – sales

  • Drive the completion of US and International sales and marketing collateral pieces, including:
    • Product brochure / slick
    • Pricing list and matrix
    • Demonstration CDROM
    • Demonstration Video
    • Case Studies
    • White Papers
    • App notes
    • Support brochure (with contact information)
    • Portable hardware demo units for International offices (large and small)
    • Sample RFI and RFQ templates
    • Competitive Matrix
    • Third-Party add-on book
    • Press references and a testimonial booklet (in paper, booklet, and pdf formats)
    • Field Sales Tips newsletter
    • PowerPoint presentations (alliance, customer, and seminar focused)
    • Branded give-a-way items that reflect the product positioning (pens, shirts, cups, pagers, puzzles, etc.).
  • Make sure that we have enough salespeople and sufficient focus on our product from sales.
  • Ensure that the salespeople have a complete database of the largest customer opportunities (divided by segmented needs (homogeneous and heterogeneous segments)).
  • Work with the On-line Marketing Manager to ensure that we have online pre and post-sale product support and promotions for sales, customers, and alliances.
  • Help recruit distributors, system integrators, VARs (in conjunction with sales), and alliances (in conjunction with the Alliance Manager) to help sell the product.
  • Ensure that the sales team and distribution is properly trained on the product’s positioning, segmentation, capability, competition, pricing, negotiation points, etc.
  • Collaborate with sales, management, and alliances to ensure awareness of all products (changes in versions, added/dropped support, potential opportunities), competitive and market changes.

Orchestrate effective marketing promotions to drive revenue

  • Public Relations
    • Understand the value and application of each aspect of promotions (i.e., when to use PR, how to achieve a high direct response with ads, ways to pull leads at shows, effective online marketing, etc.).
    • Ensure press releases for all new products, alliances, and major wins.
    • Orchestrate press tours when applicable.
    • Ensure that PR is extremely proactive for your specific product in securing press and press opportunities (searching online “hangouts” for upcoming articles, case study opportunities, analyst meetings, etc.).
    • Be your product spokesperson to the company, alliances, and press.
  • Advertising & Direct Response
    • Track competitors’ promotional efforts with services such as Adscope.
    • Develop direct response pieces aimed at educating our prospects about the space, our product positioning and the need to get started.
    • Compliment these campaigns with an online component and an RFI to secure leads.
    • Create display ads in targeted publications to position our product offering, de-position the competitors, and drive lead opportunities.
  • Online Marketing
    • Work with the On-line Marketing Manager to ensure that there is product-specific information on the Web.  Include competitive matrix, case studies, premium partner pages, etc.
    • Ensure that we have adequate banner ads on alliance sites and vice-versa.  In addition, make sure that we “own” the search engine categories for our product type.
  • Event Marketing
    • Work with the Trade Show Manager to map out all of the applicable shows and events for the year.  Prioritize, select, and confirm the budgets for these events.
    • Ensure that our events have the proper product promotions and positioning.
    • Direct the shows with pre and post-show campaigns, pre-show planning meetings, and training, to ensure that we have massive lead opportunities and complete follow-up.
  • Alliance Marketing
    • Work with the Alliance Marketing Manager (AMM) to orchestrate national and international roadshows to recruit the large and small telcos, and to increase our width of distribution system integrators and VARs.  The promotion of this event also provides another opportunity for us to be ever-present in the minds of our prospective customers.
    • Help the AMM to create a joint promotional plan and to enlist joint press releases, analyst meetings, ads, direct mail, joint trade show participation, collateral pieces, etc. with our alliances.


This person must manage, either directly or through the other groups (marcom, research, etc.) a budget for travel, events, participation in partner events, collateral, and co-marketing activities.