We’re also gonna learn some buzzwords so yay for that.
So there’s more than one type of product manager in the world of software development and technology. They are as follows,
Internal Product Managers
Business-to-Business Product Managers(B2B)
Consumer Product Managers (B2C), which are also sometimes called SAS product managers or Software as a Service PM.
So are you confused yet?
The primary difference in these roles is their stakeholders and that is the buzzword I was talking about. A stakeholder is a fancy term for people whom you are building for or who have input into what you are building.
So can you think of some examples of stakeholders?
Well, users are stakeholders and so are executives, who are also stakeholders.
Marketing is also a stakeholder because they need to know what you’re building and they want to have some input because they have to market good stuff.
Let’s talk about the internal product manager.
- Internal Product Managers
These product managers are sometimes part of a team called internal tools or something like that. They and their teams usually build tools for other people in their company or organization. They build these tools for use internally as opposed to building for some general user or customer out
in the public.
A really good example of an internal product manager works with their team to build a piece of software that says the companies support team uses to reset passwords or change account information for users.
The stakeholder is someone internally as the person that’s using that piece of software.
- Business-to-Business Product Managers (B2B)
So how about the business-to-business product manager.
This is a type of product manager that builds products at a company that has clients or other companies. Some examples of this are Oracle or Salesforce. Those products are designed to solve problems for other companies. At these companies, the product manager interacts a lot with the salespeople. The B2B PM needs to make sure what they build meets the business requirements of the markets that they’re selling to.
If you’re a B2B product manager you’re going to be talking a lot to sales and marketing teams.
- Consumer Product Managers (B2C)
So onto the third type. What does a consumer product manager do? Consumer Product Manager tends to be more common. It just means you’re a product manager where the product is for an average consumer.
Assume, I am a Consumer Product Manager at Spotify and I work on pieces of the app that millions of people out in the public use every day.
Some other examples where there’s a lot of consumer product managers are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This sort of thing the consumer product management role takes a wide range of skills to be successful and that’s what a lot of vision and creativity in the consumer role. Here Product managers try to maximize usage or some other metric. No one is there to tell them that item X is the best thing to do next. That contrast to the business to business product manager for example because the salespeople are saying hey we’re going to make five million dollars if we build this feature on the consumer side.
No one can predict exactly what is the thing that needs to be built for sure.
So the consumer PM spends a whole lot of time talking to those users and millions of them out there coming up with multiple different prototypes user testing a b testing and just analyzing tons of data.
The bigger the user base the more powerful the testing becomes.
All right so that’s it for the three types of product managers.
We have an internal tools product manager, a business-to-business product manager, and a business-to-consumer product manager.