Go to app
GuidesProduct developmentWhat does an associate product manager do?

What does an associate product manager do?

Last updated

27 April 2023

Reviewed by

Sophia Emifoniye

Working in a large organization with over 100+ employees? Discover how Dovetail can scale your ability to keep the customer at the center of every decision. Contact sales.

Product managers are crucial in conducting product research and identifying markets, features, challenges, and goals for developing products. Another role related to product management that's not as widely understood is associate product manager (APM). What does an associate product manager do?

What is an associate product manager?

Because the role of an APM is closely related to that of a product manager, it would be instructive to summarize the latter.

Depending on the size of a company, there may be one or several product managers to oversee product development.

Responsibilities of product managers

Product managers are usually responsible for the following:

  • Creating a strategy for product development

  • Assessing essential features and improvements for products

  • Monitoring market conditions and conducting a competitive analysis of products

  • Identifying user needs and preferences

  • Communicating with stakeholders to discuss product goals and development

What does an associate product manager do?

Associate product managers work on similar tasks as product managers but on a smaller scale and in a more supportive role.

For example, they may conduct market research and analyze data. They may help identify and solve problems with product features. They also support product teams with tasks such as testing, developing marketing strategies, working on new features, and communicating with stakeholders.

What is an associate product manager's job description?

Associate product managers work with product managers to create and fine-tune product strategies. A product strategy is an outline or roadmap describing the goals of a product. This includes areas such as:

Market research

Market research may include:

  • Branding — Keeping products aligned with the company's brand image. If the company is a startup, this may include helping to establish brand identity in areas such as imagery, style, voice, design, and packaging. 

  • Competitive analysis — Researching and analyzing the competition for a product. Comparing features, quality, and price. For some products, such as software, issues such as speed and UX are relevant.

  • Consumer research — Acquiring data on consumer habits and preferences is essential for product development. This may include surveys, user testing, focus groups, interviews, and other methods of gathering customer data.

Working on product goals

  • Improvements and upgrades of product features

  • Sales goals, such as selling 10,000 units in a year

  • Customer retention — Retaining a higher percentage of customers. For SaaS or other subscription services, you may aim to retain 75% of subscriptions.

  • Customer satisfaction — Improving results of customer surveys or reviews

Associate product managers generally strive for SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

Communicating with stakeholders

Part of an APM's job often includes communicating with various stakeholders, such as product developers, testers, managers, executives, marketers, and others involved in creating and marketing products. 

As stakeholders may have different interests, levels of knowledge about products, and opinions, it can be challenging to build a consensus that allows for the efficient development of products. For example, obtaining a budget for necessary equipment and testing is essential but may meet with resistance.

How much does an associate product manager make?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an APM in the United States is $76,881 annually. This is the median salary between the salary figures reported by Glassdoor users, which range from $49K to $121K.

Salaries, of course, will depend on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the industry, and the experience of the person hired.

For example, companies in New York, Seattle, and Silicon Valley tend to pay substantially more than those in other regions, such as the Midwest. Of course, this needs to be weighed against the higher cost of living in places where salaries are higher.

How long does it take to become a product manager from an associate product manager?

An APM often aims to be promoted to product manager at some point. Depending on your performance and the company's needs, getting promoted to product manager usually takes one to three years.

What do your users really want?

Just upload your customer research and ask your insights hub - like magic.

Try magic search

Qualifications for an associate product manager

Associate product managers must possess a broad range of skills. These include:

Research and analytical skills

The need to conduct market and competitive research means that an APM must be able to do a great deal of research. They must also be good at interpreting and analyzing the data they collect so that it contributes to an actionable strategy. 

Communication skills

As an APM needs to communicate with multiple stakeholders and departments, they must be good communicators. This includes the ability to understand the distinct interests and levels of expertise of various individuals and teams. For example, executives and marketers may not be as tech-savvy as developers but will be more concerned with the budget. 

Productivity and time management

Product development, testing, releases, and other actions all come with deadlines and time constraints. 

Associate product managers must often contend with a steady stream of requests, problems, and decisions throughout the day. They must be adept at prioritizing and managing their time. They must also be able to encourage others to be efficient and productive to meet goals and deadlines. 

Problem-solving and decision-making

Both product managers and APMs need the ability to identify and solve problems. Products come with various challenges, such as technical glitches, competition, customer complaints, and a shortage of time or resources. While the APM may not be personally responsible for solving each problem, they do need to be able to identify and recommend the best solutions.

To solve problems, one also needs the ability to make decisions. An APM may need to make fast decisions when there isn't time to do a great deal of research and consult others. You may need to decide between features or choose between conflicting requests.

Associate product manager interview questions

The following are some common interview questions for associate product manager positions, which can be helpful to both hiring managers and candidates for this position.

"Tell me your favorite method for getting customer feedback about a product."

"You need to do research about a proposed product before a decision is made on whether or not to launch it. How would you get started, and what are the most important things you want to discover?"

"How do you learn important insights about products made by competitors?"

"You find that customers are complaining about a certain feature of a product. What steps do you take in response?"

"What's your favorite way to get the word out about a new product?"

"You're meeting resistance from stakeholders on the budget for a developing product that you believe has great potential. How do you make a case and build support for the project?”

Associate product manager: an important and demanding position

An associate product manager has many responsibilities and needs many skills. They need the ability to research, analyze, multitask, solve problems, and communicate with many types of people within an organization. An APM is one of the roles essential for the development, launch, and troubleshooting of products. Product managers are crucial in conducting product research and identifying markets, features, challenges, and goals for developing products. Another role related to product management that's not as widely understood is associate product manager (APM). What does an associate product manager do?

What is an associate product manager?

Because the role of an APM is closely related to that of a product manager, it would be instructive to summarize the latter.

Depending on the size of a company, there may be one or several product managers to oversee product development.

Responsibilities of product managers

Product managers are usually responsible for the following:

  • Creating a strategy for product development

  • Assessing essential features and improvements for products

  • Monitoring market conditions and conducting a competitive analysis of products

  • Identifying user needs and preferences

  • Communicating with stakeholders to discuss product goals and development

What does an associate product manager do?

Associate product managers work on similar tasks as product managers but on a smaller scale and in a more supportive role.

For example, they may conduct market research and analyze data. They may help identify and solve problems with product features. They also support product teams with tasks such as testing, developing marketing strategies, working on new features, and communicating with stakeholders.

What is an associate product manager's job description?

Associate product managers work with product managers to create and fine-tune product strategies. A product strategy is an outline or roadmap describing the goals of a product. This includes areas such as:

Market research

Market research may include:

  • Branding — Keeping products aligned with the company's brand image. If the company is a startup, this may include helping to establish brand identity in areas such as imagery, style, voice, design, and packaging. 

  • Competitive analysis — Researching and analyzing the competition for a product. Comparing features, quality, and price. For some products, such as software, issues such as speed and UX are relevant.

  • Consumer research — Acquiring data on consumer habits and preferences is essential for product development. This may include surveys, user testing, focus groups, interviews, and other methods of gathering customer data.

Working on product goals

  • Improvements and upgrades of product features

  • Sales goals, such as selling 10,000 units in a year

  • Customer retention — Retaining a higher percentage of customers. For SaaS or other subscription services, you may aim to retain 75% of subscriptions.

  • Customer satisfaction — Improving results of customer surveys or reviews

Associate product managers generally strive for SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

Communicating with stakeholders

Part of an APM's job often includes communicating with various stakeholders, such as product developers, testers, managers, executives, marketers, and others involved in creating and marketing products. 

As stakeholders may have different interests, levels of knowledge about products, and opinions, it can be challenging to build a consensus that allows for the efficient development of products. For example, obtaining a budget for necessary equipment and testing is essential but may meet with resistance.

How much does an associate product manager make?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an APM in the United States is $76,881 annually. This is the median salary between the salary figures reported by Glassdoor users, which range from $49K to $121K.

Salaries, of course, will depend on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the industry, and the experience of the person hired.

For example, companies in New York, Seattle, and Silicon Valley tend to pay substantially more than those in other regions, such as the Midwest. Of course, this needs to be weighed against the higher cost of living in places where salaries are higher.

How long does it take to become a product manager from an associate product manager?

An APM often aims to be promoted to product manager at some point. Depending on your performance and the company's needs, getting promoted to product manager usually takes one to three years.

Qualifications for an associate product manager

Associate product managers must possess a broad range of skills. These include:

Research and analytical skills

The need to conduct market and competitive research means that an APM must be able to do a great deal of research. They must also be good at interpreting and analyzing the data they collect so that it contributes to an actionable strategy. 

Communication skills

As an APM needs to communicate with multiple stakeholders and departments, they must be good communicators. This includes the ability to understand the distinct interests and levels of expertise of various individuals and teams. For example, executives and marketers may not be as tech-savvy as developers but will be more concerned with the budget. 

Productivity and time management

Product development, testing, releases, and other actions all come with deadlines and time constraints. 

Associate product managers must often contend with a steady stream of requests, problems, and decisions throughout the day. They must be adept at prioritizing and managing their time. They must also be able to encourage others to be efficient and productive to meet goals and deadlines. 

Problem-solving and decision-making

Both product managers and APMs need the ability to identify and solve problems. Products come with various challenges, such as technical glitches, competition, customer complaints, and a shortage of time or resources. While the APM may not be personally responsible for solving each problem, they do need to be able to identify and recommend the best solutions.

To solve problems, one also needs the ability to make decisions. An APM may need to make fast decisions when there isn't time to do a great deal of research and consult others. You may need to decide between features or choose between conflicting requests.

Associate product manager interview questions

The following are some common interview questions for associate product manager positions, which can be helpful to both hiring managers and candidates for this position.

"Tell me your favorite method for getting customer feedback about a product."

"You need to do research about a proposed product before a decision is made on whether or not to launch it. How would you get started, and what are the most important things you want to discover?"

"How do you learn important insights about products made by competitors?"

"You find that customers are complaining about a certain feature of a product. What steps do you take in response?"

"What's your favorite way to get the word out about a new product?"

"You're meeting resistance from stakeholders on the budget for a developing product that you believe has great potential. How do you make a case and build support for the project?”

Associate product manager: an important and demanding position

An associate product manager has many responsibilities and needs many skills. They need the ability to research, analyze, multitask, solve problems, and communicate with many types of people within an organization. An APM is one of the roles essential for the development, launch, and troubleshooting of products.

Should you be using a customer insights hub?

Do you want to discover previous interviews faster?

Do you share your interview findings with others?

Do you interview customers?

Start for free today, add your research, and get to key insights faster

Get Dovetail free

Editor’s picks

What is color theory, and why does it matter in design?

Last updated: 27 March 2023

What is continuous improvement?

Last updated: 22 March 2023

What Is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What is product design?

Last updated: 2 April 2023

What are user stories?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What is prototyping?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What is a product mix?

Last updated: 10 June 2023

What is a product line?

Last updated: 25 June 2023

What is new product development?

Last updated: 27 April 2023

What you need to know about feature flags

Last updated: 23 January 2024

Stakeholder interview template

Last updated: 13 May 2024

Product feedback templates

Last updated: 13 May 2024

Latest articles

Stakeholder interview template

Last updated: 13 May 2024

Product feedback templates

Last updated: 13 May 2024

What you need to know about feature flags

Last updated: 23 January 2024

What is a product line?

Last updated: 25 June 2023

What is a product mix?

Last updated: 10 June 2023

What is new product development?

Last updated: 27 April 2023

What is product design?

Last updated: 2 April 2023

What Is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What are user stories?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What is prototyping?

Last updated: 23 March 2023

What is continuous improvement?

Last updated: 22 March 2023

Related topics

User experience (UX)Product developmentMarket researchPatient experienceCustomer researchSurveysResearch methodsEmployee experience

Decide what to build next

Decide what to build next

Get Dovetail free

Product

OverviewChannelsMagicIntegrationsEnterpriseInsightsAnalysisPricingLog in

Company

About us
Careers15
Legal
© Dovetail Research Pty. Ltd.
TermsPrivacy Policy

Log in or sign up

Get started for free


or


By clicking “Continue with Google / Email” you agree to our User Terms of Service and Privacy Policy