Despite a downturn in the economy, product managers continue to enjoy increases in salary and job responsibility, according to Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. "Product managers' compensation increased an average of 5.5 percent in 2002," said Steve Johnson, vice president of marketing for Pragmatic Marketing. Johnson, a Pragmatic instructor with more than 23 years of product management experience, heads up Pragmatic's Annual Product Marketing Survey team.

"More product managers also are going on sales calls," Johnson added. "According to our survey, 47 percent of product managers went on sales calls in 2002 compared to 37 percent in 2001. This makes some sense as companies struggled to make their revenue projections. In this scenario, everyone is in sales. Unfortunately, selling is about talking, not about listening, so these companies will find that they have no new products to sell this year. Mature companies have learned that product management is not sales support."

Pragmatic Marketing's annual survey includes data from product managers, marketing managers, and other marketing professionals. The objective of the survey is to provide industry information about compensation as well as the most common responsibilities for product managers and other marketing professionals. The survey includes responses from 981 product managers.

Other survey highlights include:

Profile of a product manager:

  • The average Product Manager is 35 years old.
  • 84 percent claim to be "somewhat" or "very" technical.
  • 92 percent have completed college; 51 percent have some MBA classes and 40 percent have completed a masters program.
  • 35 percent are female, 65 percent are male.
  • The typical product manager has responsibility for three products.


  • The typical product manager reports to a director in the marketing department
  • 49 percent report to a director
  • 28 percent to VP
  • 27 percent are in the marketing department
  • 15 percent report to the CEO
  • 10 percent are in the product management department
  • 10 percent are in development or engineering
  • 7 percent are in a sales department

Other job responsibilities:

  • 69 percent researching market needs
  • 55 percent preparing business case
  • 77 percent writing requirements
  • 48 percent writing specification
  • 86 percent monitoring development project
  • For more survey details visit

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