Posted by: Ivan lybbert | November 13, 2009

What’s your personality type?

2494_030509For those of you who have followed me over my short time as a blogger, you may have noticed that I enjoy blogging about the personality traits of a product manager.  There are several blogs that cover the science of product management in great depth, and with superb expertise.  But I firmly believe that if a product manager doesn’t possess (or gain) the right personality traits, it won’t matter “how” they do a task, it won’t be as effective.

This week I attended a Product Management TAG event (Technology Association of Georgia) in Atlanta where a group of four panelists discussed the differences between Product Management and Product Marketing.  It was a good event, and I thought the panelists did a fine job.  However, one comment from an audience member gave me pause.

I asked the panel “What are the different personality traits held by a product marketer vs. a product manager.”  After a brief discussion, an audience member said (and I’m paraphrasing) “they basically posses the same personality traits, but they chose a different direction based on what they like.”

What do you think?

What are the personality types of a Product Manager vs. a Product Marketer?



  1. I tend to disagree with the notion that they are the same. I think the very thing that leads people to “like” one over the other are the differences in personality traits.

    My experience is that people who follow the product marketing path are more natural story tellers whereas people who follow the product management path are more natural detectives.

    Of course this is in many way impacted by exactly how the positions are defined, which is always a variable in this field.

  2. Great topic and one that I can relate to. In the world of start-ups and budget crunching business efforts these two very important aspects of a product are frequently blurred.

    I think the differences exist on a more subtle level. To continue with Travis example of a story teller and a detictive, they both have to understand there is a story there. Both are creative, intelligent and confident and both tell stories just in different ways. One is creating a story the other is discovering a story from evidence and putting peices together.

    From my experience either of these positions are only as effective as their ability to see from the others perspective, which is why I think the lines are so easily and frequently blurred. The detictive wants to create a story and the story teller wants to experience the excitement of clue finding.

  3. Product marketing gives a more promotional tone while product management gives an operational tone. But they are just different emphasis. Good product management requires promotion as part of the operation. Good product marketing must take into consideration what is operational possible.

    The subtle difference come back to the personality. While product marketing may emphasize story telling, promotion, outgoing, engaging, product marketing focus on how to make sure various pieces play together including promotion. Product management may require a detail oriented, big picture thinking personality.

    Can someone list the task differences and the best personality for each task?

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