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The job of product manager has many possible permutations. You could be working in a
business to consumer company focused on brand management and development. Alternatively,
you might find yourself in a business-to-business setting where the name of the game
is to cultivate a smaller group of customers very well. The "product", of course, can
be anything. Examples of what you might work on as a product manager include:
- High Tech
- Positioning a new Intel microprocessor in the marketplace by talking to customers, computer manufacturers, professionals in the sales channel and advertising agencies. Your job will involve look at market research, talking to engineers and attempting to understand what the competition is getting ready to do.
- Food and Restaurants
- Introducing a new type of sandwich at Wendy's--the fast food chain. You'd be responsible for developing what is essentially a new business with all of the planning and frustration that this might entail. There's lots of product testing, planning and shmoozing required in this job. Along the way, you'd get the opportunity to interact with senior managers, restaurant franchisees, suppliers, advertising professionals and consultants.
- Consumer Electronics
- Being responsible for a video game system such as the Sony PlayStation in a given market. The product manager is responsible for coordinating and allocating marketing dollars and is also a prime consumer of market research, attempting to understand who is buying a product, at what price point and why. Pricing decisions have been crucial in the home video game system market.