Which department does your product management team belong to?

I work for a large company, and the marketing division houses our product management team.
Do you consider the department in which your product management team is located to be the best option? Would it maybe be more beneficial in another department?


The optimal department for a product management team can vary depending on the company and industry, but generally, product management is typically considered to be a distinct function from marketing. While product management and marketing do have overlapping responsibilities, they have different objectives and approaches.

Product management is responsible for overseeing the development and strategy of a product or service, from ideation to launch and ongoing iteration. This involves working closely with cross-functional teams such as engineering, design, and sales to ensure that the product meets customer needs, business objectives, and market trends.

Marketing, on the other hand, is responsible for promoting and selling the product or service to the target audience. This involves developing marketing strategies and tactics, conducting market research, and executing campaigns to drive brand awareness and sales.

Given this distinction, it may be beneficial for your company to consider moving the product management team out of the marketing department and into a separate department that focuses specifically on product development and strategy. This could include a dedicated product department or a cross-functional team that includes product, engineering, and design.

Separating the product management team from marketing can help ensure that product development and strategy are given the appropriate focus and attention, without being conflated with marketing objectives. It can also help foster stronger collaboration between product management and other functional areas that are critical to the success of the product.

That being said, every company is unique, and there may be specific reasons why your company has organized product management within the marketing department. Ultimately, the most important factor is that the product management team has the necessary resources, support, and authority to effectively manage and develop products that meet customer needs and drive business growth.


The product department includes product managers. which stands apart from either technical or marketing. What size is your company?


Great insight @AnushkaGarg. Thank you.

More than 13k workers. Company for medical devices.


Actually, that is quite a big thing. So, according to one of your engineering colleagues, “some individual from marketing” in this enormous company defines the product vision, business requirements, and future developments?

In other words, it doesn’t seem like this would do anything to improve your rapport with the engineers and developers.


I’ve worked for Fortune 200 companies (med tech and finance) that had more than 30,000 workers. Digital PMs fell under marketing, as did anything having to do with software engineering, including developers. Software is merely a component of the product’s marketing if the software itself is not the product. If that’s clear…


The size of the company doesn’t really matter here… it’s where they play.

A tech company (with an internet-based software service / platform, stand-alone software or an electronic hardware product) will likely have teams organised in the traditional product company pattern: anyone doing product development is lumped together (engineering, product, design, etc) and often each function within product development has its own leadership.

In other companies teams that work on software stuff might just get chucked into marketing or IT without really any care because they’re not making the core products. And in other companies yet, they’re essentially outsourcers or consultants that do this kind of work for fees rather than for exploiting their own products. These can be big or small companies but the size is kind of irrelevant vs the type.

Like there’s a monumental difference between Amazon and Accenture even though they’re both massive.


Makes sense. Product is usually called upstream marketing in medical devices.


Looks very much like a feature team setup, where tech “serves the needs” of business / marketing. This never ends well for both product people and companies.

To answer your question: yes, to become FAANGs of the world org structure matters, and product is a distinctive department there. Not a sweatshop under whichever other dept.


While you’re right that this sort of arrangement never ends well for product companies, it’s painting in extremely broad strokes to say that it doesn’t end well for companies either.

Not all businesses need to be (or can be) product led. What’s unfortunate in some of these places is when they insist on setting up a construct that mimics a product-led org, but in a half-assed way. Unfortunate for the figurehead PM that doesn’t have any real ownership.

A single-minded view that all things must be product led to be successful, and insisting on finding a product-led way to define a business is just as bad as pretending to be product-led for whatever reason, when you’re not.

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