Product Management

Types of Product Managers

In the world of Product Management, Product Managers can be categorized into several types based on the background they came from or based on the different types of audiences that they handle

Product Managers can be categorized

  1. Based on the different types of products they handle
  2. Based on their background and work they do

Categorizing Product Managers Based on the Different Types of Products They Handle

  1. Internal Product Manager
  • They are PMs of Internal Systems/ Products
  • These systems/ products are used by the internal users of the company
    • eg: Monitoring systems
  • Internal PM roles are best for beginners
  • Low risk in product management compared to commercial products
  • This is an opportunity for beginners to get them familiarized with industry, market, product management processes, and concepts
  • There will be a lot of support for this PM role from internal users
  • PM beginners can improve their skill set in planning, estimating, negotiations, prioritizing, managing charge requests etc
  • Product related decisions need to be focused on the company goals/KPIs, usability, usage comfort and cost reduction 

2. Business to Business Product Managers (B2B)

  • These PMs handle products at a company developed/created for other companies.
    • eg: PMs in Oracle or Salesforce
  • The products they handle are commercialized products
  • These PMs closely work with the Sales team of the company
  • The clients will pay to use the product
  • These PMs need to plan and prioritize changes accordingly
  • There will be tight deadlines associated with product/ feature delivery
  • The PMs decisions can directly impact the brand of the company
  • Product related decisions need to be focused more profit, margin, income, and costs

3. Business to Consumer Product Managers (B2C)

  • These PMs are responsible for products that are directly sold to customers
  • There can be thousands of users who are using this product and they may pay for it as well
  • High risk and uncertainty associated with this PM role
  • These PMs follow well defined product management processes to reduce the risk in bugs, errors, downtimes etc
  • They are more focused on prototyping, user testing, AB testing, data analysis etc
  • Their main focus is on revenue generation

Categorizing Product Managers based on Their Background and Work They Do

  1. The Technical Product Manager (TPM)
  • These are the most common PMs
  • They come from development background
  • They are developers who moved to product
  • They are capable of understanding the technical aspect of features or enhancements well
  • They will always try to avoid technical debt
  • The products they design will be scalable and allow future changes
  • They will explore product features by experimenting with the build
  • It’s important for them to focus more on the below areas
    • UX
    • UI
    • Business impact
    • Feature planning and prioritizing
    • Strategic feature planning
    • Marketing aspect
    • Competitor analysis
    • Industry analysis
    • Legal aspects

2. The Analytic/Data Science Product Manager (APM)

  • They come from Data analytics background
  • They are data analysts who moved to product
  • They are more focus on the analytical aspect
  • They use data and statistics to make product-related decisions
  • Most APMs are experts at SQL, Python or Multivariate Testing
  • It’s important for them to focus more on the below areas
    • UX
    • Business impact
    • Market/ Industry changes
    • Technical changes
    • Security
    • UI
    • Legal aspects

3.  The Marketing Product Manager (MPM)

  • They come from marketing, advertising, PR and sales backgrounds
  • They are Marketeers or Sales Representatives who moved to product
  • They know customer expectations, user personas and purchase motivations
  • They have a really good understanding on the marketing aspect of a product or feature and they know how it can be sold to which audience.
  • When a new product is launched MPMs can play a significant role.
  • They specifically can look into
    • Product positioning
    • Market segmentation
    • Pricing
    • Understanding product gaps
    • Branding
  • It’s important for them to focus more on the below areas
    • Technical areas
    • Infrastructure
    • Security
    • Project Management
    • Roadmap planning and feature prioritization

4. The “Get Shit Done” Product Manager (GSD-PM)

  • These product managers are very determined and no is never an answer for them
  • They very focused on the delivery and they do whatever it takes to deliver a quality product on time
  • These PMs are very rare to find and they are too passionate in what they do
  • They are only keen on working high-growth/high-intensity companies or startups

5. The Visionary Product Manager (VPM)

  • These are the best PMs
  • They are focused more on achieving long term product and market goals
  • They have an exceptional understanding of their company, of the market, of their customers, and of potential customers
  • They have great leadership skills and the influence and inspire others
  • They are very experienced and they have a clear vision on what they want to achieve
  • It takes decades for some PMs to be VPMs but some will never be
  • Most VPMs are focused on startups


The role of the Product Manager can be categorized in several ways but it doesn’t matter what category you belong as long as you understand the core of product management and be responsible and passionate for the product/ products you handle!

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