Steve Johnson of Pragmatic Marketing gave an entertaining and informative talk at the Boston Product Management Association meeting this evening, giving an update of his regular survey of product managers, "Today's Role of Product Management: A 2008 Update." Johnson keeps the Product Marketing blog.
It's hard to provide a summary of his talk. The conversation went all over the place with entertaining asides or rants or mini-jokes. Very entertaining.
Some tidbits from the discussion:
- Since product managers are "the CEO's of the product," they tend to take over when there are holes in capabilities within the organization.
- There is a huge range of titles and salaries for product managers.
- Based on the survey, there are too few sales engineers per product manager - in Johnson's opinion. (We need some that know something about the pharma industry!)
- On the west coast (USA), product managers seem to get pulled into development activities.
- On the east coast, product managers seem to get pulled into marketing.
"Product Managers should be focusing on markets full of customers, not a single customer."