Working as Product Manager: interface for everything and everyone

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I especially really enjoy the unexpected. No day is like any other.
Margit Miesbauer, Product Manager Roche Pharma AG Grenzach

What does a Product Manager actually do?

In the final instance we are the interface for all individuals and areas revolving around a product, internally as well as externally. We are a part of the brand team in which the product strategy is developed, as well as also part of the product team, which together with the field staff is responsible for the implementation of the strategy in the market. Together with the market research department we analyse the environment, identify opportunities and risks for our medicinal product and investigate where we can still increase the turnover. We carry the budget responsibility for the product marketing, must sensibly plan and deploy the resources and control the budget together with the finance department. Apart from this we are contact partners for the field force with questions and problems.

Does one not carry a lot of responsibility as interface?

As product manager I must of course ensure that all cogs engage properly and that the marketing strategy is implemented. I thereby enjoy a high degree of freedom and have a lot of latitude to be creative, position messages and compile materials and event concepts together with agencies.

What does a typical work day look like with you?

Each morning I newly try to structure the rest of my day. But usually this then however ends quite differently than originally planned. But especially this unexpected is what I really enjoy. No day is like any other, although there are certainly re-occurring elements. I have a lot of meetings in which we engage in exchanges. I communicate, organise and present a lot and as central contact partner I always want to maintain the overview and have an open ear for the field staff.

What are the highlights for you in your job?

I like the fact that my job is incredibly varied and that I work together with a lot of people. As scientist the sector is also very important for me. I know that with my work I can have an effect. When one then additionally has this reflected by doctors or their patients then this is something quite special. I would not be able to do the same work for a cell phone or a lipstick. This is different with a medicinal product.

What must you absolutely bring with you as Product Manager?

Someone who wants a totally regulated daily routine is definitely at the wrong place here. One must be flexible as well as open. In spite of my experience I always need to work on myself and question this experience so as to be and remain open for new things. The market environment in which we work is very dynamic and the environment and the overall conditions continuously change. Nevertheless, everyone should bring along a certain measure of organisational ability. But apart from this we have the most diverse people working with us.

What constitutes a good working day for you?

For me those days are special where my work achieves an external effect: when materials go to the customers, feedback comes back for a concept and everything is well accepted. Then I see that something has happened and that I have created an effect. I derive great pleasure from this.

As Product Manager one looks after exactly one product. Does this not create the danger of islandisation?

I think it's great what Roche does for us Product Managers. We have the Marketing Lunchclub, the marketing conference as well as regular smaller meetings between the Product Managers. I find this exchange extremely exciting and I also have the feeling that a real community has grown here. We have very good interactions with each other. But for me also not everything needs to be institutionalised. Sometimes I will also simply go to lunch with colleagues and we talk about our projects and the opportunities and challenges they offer.

You became a mother last year and you are currently working part-time. Is this compatible with the everyday life of a product manager?

Naturally it is a challenge. There is always a lot to do and occasionally I am also away on business. But overall the balance between travel and office work is very harmonious. Through the flexible working hours at Roche work and private life can be very well coordinated. And there is also a company own day-care centre.

And are there already any plans how you will continue professionally? Do you have further development perspectives?

Yes, I am changing to a new exciting role as marketing lead for several indication areas. I am especially looking forward to the possibility of now also growing in a leadership function and to passing on my experiences.

Interested in marketing at the company Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach? Find out more.

Tags: Career Blog, Germany