The product manager meets or anticipates the needs of customers by supporting a product. He/she is responsible for managing the product lifecycle, from design to distribution and sales, by interfacing among all the departments and service providers involved: manufacturing, management, promotion, etc. Market research, sales monitoring, competitor analysis and marketing plans are all part of his/her daily work.
What does a product manager do?
– During product design or selection:
- Studies the market, competition and sales figures, defines the target group, evaluates distribution (quantities, prices, deadlines, etc.).
- Defines the product positioning. The product is launched only after a complete marketing analysis (4P analysis: Product, Promotion, Price, Place).
– For product marketing:
- Coordinates promotion and communication actions. He/she chooses the most appropriate means of communicating about the product: poster or television campaign, point-of-sale promotion or online advertising, etc.
- Adapts his/her actions according to consumer and competitor behavior (price cuts, for example).
What is his/her main know-how?
- Marketing fundamentals
- Market knowledge
- Analytical and summarizing abilities
- Language skills
What are his/her main soft skills?
He/she is well organized and avoids surprises. He/she anticipates in order to be able to correct the situation if the product launch proves to be disappointing. He/she is therefore reactive and spontaneous, able to work under pressure.
- Listening skills
He/she facilitates teamwork and the coordination of activities between different departments. He/she must therefore demonstrate excellent listening skills in order to promote shared working within the company.
He/she understands the market in terms of product development and positioning and contributes new ideas to bear on their creation, packaging and promotion.
While working independently, the product manager is also accountable. He/she works under the direction of the marketing manager, a product manager supervisor or reports directly to a marketing director. The product manager is the main contact for his/her product(s) and is in constant contact with other employees. He/she travels frequently with very irregular hours and must be able to handle heavy workloads.
Salary range for a first job: between 27 and 35 K€ (depending on the sector and type of company).
Examples of career moves: brand manager, marketing manager, regional export manager.
What training to become a product manager?
ISIT offers students with a strong interest in communication, management and marketing the opportunity to study for a master’s degree in intercultural management, providing access to the function of product manager.