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Tips For The Product Marketing Manager

Jun 13, 2008
As a product marketing manager running a promotion, it can be easy to feel like a chicken with your head cut off, as you run in all different directions, managing messages, promotional representatives, products and events. However, it's important to remember that, at the end of the day, the client is paying you big bucks to execute an effective marketing strategy, whether it be trade show giveaways or selling imprinted merchandise.

Secondly, you're the liaison between the client and the target market, so it's also important that you do your homework and figure out what the preferences are of this "pool of people," and how to interactively engage them.

There are several common pitfalls to avoid when working as a marketing manager. First of all, never lose sight of the customer! Always keep in mind the titles, frustrations, goals and needs of your target markets. Get out into the field and do your research. Ask your best customers what they like best and what they'd like to see in the future.

How did they feel about the corporate apparel at this year's trade show? Would they have preferred imprinted pens or stress relievers? Did they like the new flavors added to your promotional food products this year? Or is there some unfulfilled need? This information is more valuable than short-sighted sales because it could lead to long-term profits and sustainability!

Secondly, migrate outside your comfort zone! As a marketing manager, you're always wearing many hats and juggling multiple responsibilities. Try not to avoid one particular area because you feel less confident there; instead, work to overcome your weaknesses.

For instance, if you dislike trade show giveaways, then don't give that job to an intern. Rather, visit several trade shows as a sort of "spy," taking notes on the best and worst promotional marketing products and strategies you see. Read articles about new marketing strategies or call a brainstorming meeting to help engage you in this area.

The third pitfall a product marketing manager may fall prey to is leaving out learning time. Amid all your research and running around, always take a minute to be sure you are learning, growing and gaining something or you'll wind up burning out and feeling unfulfilled.

Take time management seminars or network with friends to find out about new promotional products. You'll find these supplementary activities can be a rewarding way to build upon your preexisting knowledge, as well as making you feel like your career is blossoming.

It's the creativity that keeps many a product marketing manager functioning, so never lose sight of that. Planning exciting events and reinventing your branding concepts can be an extremely rewarding part of your job. It will take a lot of office work in the beginning as you search for the ideal advertising promotional products and promotion locations, but when you see the promotional rep/target market interaction and get the client's positive feedback, all your efforts will be worthwhile. Be sure to take pictures at that big event!
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