The Product Manager or Brand Managers’s role is to help create and implement marketing campaigns to maximize the sales of the games they are working on.
Working in the marketing team, they support the senior marketing managers who organize international or global campaigns.
The Product Manager may also work with a Brand Manager, who is responsible for developing long-term plans for individual game franchises and providing a strategic overview of how a game brand should change over time.
Product Managers typically work for game publishers or independent marketing companies who work with publishers. They will have to manage the marketing budget in a responsible manner and demonstrate an effective return on investment. The tasks carried out by a Product Manager are varied and change as a game’s release approaches.
In the earliest stages of game development, they may liaise with development staff to provide some input into initial decision such as characters and scenarios. They will also be involved with any focus testing of the game’s concept and, later in the project, how feedback on the game is used.
One key task for the Product Manager is defining the market positioning of their games, especially in terms of showing how they are different to competing products. The most important part of the job occurs prior to release, when the game’s launch plan is put into action.
In terms of marketing, the job is highly team-oriented as many different departments, such as publicity, sales and outside contractors are involved in creating a complete campaign.
Tasks typically range from the design, creation and distribution of packaging and marketing materials such as cover images, posters, websites and point-of-sale assets, to liaising with media buyers concerning the placement of adverts.
They also deal with intellectual property licensors and promotional partners, as well as sales distributors, and localization and translation providers.