Exploring New Horizons: Leveraging Marketing Skills in Product Management

Jul 28, 2023·

3 min read

In this text, I talk about transitioning from Marketing to the Product field and the common characteristics between these areas of work.

How it all began...

In my first professional contact with Marketing, I worked on the Product Marketing team, dealing with go-to-market campaigns and the lifecycle of monitors and projectors. After that experience, I had the opportunity to focus on the B2B segment, working with acquisition channels, campaigns, and result measurement.

During this time, I started to get involved with product teams, integrating campaigns with functionalities, and had increasing contact with Product Owners, Designers, and Developers. This sparked my interest in the field, and I realized I enjoyed thinking about the product, user value, functionalities, roadmaps, and more.

But how to transition from Marketing to Product?

Today, companies are becoming increasingly diverse and multidisciplinary. Therefore, I see that my experiences in Marketing, planning campaigns, monitoring results, and strategizing, helped prepare me to work with product. In the following topics, I explain why:

  1. Marketing is based on deep knowledge of consumers and the market In Marketing, it's essential to understand your segment, identify consumer needs, define personas, build value propositions, analyze market size, and position the product. Therefore, professionals in this field can provide unique perspectives on real user needs and how they can be addressed in the product. After all, the product must meet a user's need or solve their problem.

"Don't find consumers for your products; find products for your consumers." - Seth Godin

Product Managers are responsible for the product vision, so they need to understand the consumer and represent the user's voice within the team. Therefore, a user-centric focus is essential to guide product development.

  1. In Marketing, it's necessary to coordinate various stakeholders to manage campaigns and channels Campaign managers must lead the process end-to-end and align the teams involved towards a common goal. This involves coordinating responsibilities among sales, communication, performance, and support teams. This process includes planning the campaign, budget approval, setting goals, defining traction channels, creating communication materials, and monitoring performance.

Product Managers need the same stakeholder management skills, working with developers, designers, support, and other stakeholders involved. Typically, marketing teams have less contact with developers in companies, but in startups, marketing and development teams are often closer.

  1. Marketing is Data-Driven Marketing is a profession that is, or should be, data-driven, especially in performance marketing. Decision-making based on data is a routine for marketing professionals, whether it's defining campaign budgets, channels, or predicting campaign return on investment (ROI), customer acquisition cost (CAC), and other indicators.

For Product Management, data is crucial to make product decisions. Monitoring navigation data, revenue, retention, customer support requests, staying updated on market trends, and listening to users are all part of a Product Manager's routine. Moreover, it's essential to understand the data and translate it into practical actions for the team, translating it into product improvements.

"The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insights." - Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of HP

The path to my career transition was not linear. Although some skills and experiences from Marketing were useful, I had to study various subjects. Below, I highlight the main topics with links to pages that I usually access and that helped me during my career transition.

  • Digital Product Management

  • Agile Product Development

  • User Experience

  • Lean and MVP

Did you find these skills relevant to the Product Manager's reality? Are you thinking of making a career transition? Share your thoughts.

Feedback is always welcome.