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Product managers focus on the development of products, services and brand extensions. Your work involves promoting existing products or services, or launching new ones, and even helping your company expand into new markets.
Working as part of the marketing team, and in collaboration with others within your organization, your job can also involve market research, developing strategic initiatives and advertising campaigns, and exploring promotional and cross promotional avenues. Most project managers have a background in marketing or business, and work either directly for the companies producing the product or as a consultant through a marketing agency.
You lead teams responsible for product or service development. Your job begins with market analysis and locating areas where your company can increase its presence or where possibilities exist for new or existing products. You help determine how your organization proceeds, taking into account existing products and how viable they are. Finally, you manage the development stages of the process, working with teams to execute and finesse the strategies.
Product manager salaries in Canada vary widely based on your experience and where you work. If you are new to the position of product manager, you can expect a starting salary of between $70,000 and $80,000. Once you've been in your role for 5 years or more, you can work your way up to making over $100,000 per year.
Expect to make more annually if you work in larger urban centers such as Toronto or Vancouver where marketing companies and large corporations that have internal marketing teams tend to be located.
Your day-to-day tasks will vary based on the project you are working on or the phase of product development/marketing you are engaged with. In general, your day-to-day tasks will include some or all of the following:
Product managers can work in any industry that is product or service focused. Most work in a marketing or business setting, however, product managers can also work for companies in manufacturing, technology, and research and development. Product managers in Canada most commonly work in the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, and Montreal – locations with a large marketing industry presence.
As a product manager, you will need to have a vast array of business, accounting, and marketing skills to be successful in the position. The skills you need to succeed as a product manager include:
Marketing managers usually require a university degree or college certificate in marketing, business administration or communications with a minor in sales, and substantial experience in sales, marketing coordination, product manager or similar relevant occupations. Additional marketing-specific certification and training (Google AdWords, etc.) will provide you with an edge over other candidates. Expect additional and ongoing marketing training from hiring companies.
Your ability to effectively analyze existing markets, products and competitors will help you become an attractive candidate in the future and prepare you for more advanced roles in marketing. Advancement comes with experience in successful product and service launches, and you could take a step up to senior level roles like marketing manager, director of marketing or VP of Marketing.
Some product managers accept positions with marketing agencies or go out on their own and work as an independent marketing consultant. You could also take on other roles in business or research and development.