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Product Managers


Product management started to take root as a recognized profession in the early 20th century. In 1931, Neil McElroy of Procter & Gamble wrote an internal memo in which he recommended more workers be hired to work solely on managing the product, advertising, and promotions. His idea for "brand men" became a foundation for the job of product manager, sometimes called a brand manager.

The product management and development field grew in the decades to follow, with professional associations soon being established to provide business practices and standards for the industry. In 1976, for example, the Product Development and Management Association was founded as a non-profit professional society. Today it provides education and certification programs, training, research and publications, among other resources, and has a worldwide membership.

Since the 1990s, the growth of computers, the Internet, and social media, as well as innovations in market research methodologies, have expanded the capabilities of product managers. Companies now face keen competition to maintain their existing products and launch new products in the global marketplace. Product managers play an essential role in helping companies create and manage products that meet current and potential customers' needs.

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