Associate Product Manager

Cengage Learning - NY - Full time


Associate Product Managers are accountable for the performance of their portfolios. Associate Product Managers, in collaboration with the Product Team Manager and/or Product Director, develop the strategic vision and plans for their portfolios and oversee the execution of those plans, from the conceptualization to the delivery of highly valuable products for that portfolio. Generally responsible for a set of disciplines under $10m in revenue, this role is perfect for any detail-oriented, self-starter with project management success who is looking to develop into a larger product management role.

Associate Product Managers are responsible for maximizing the value of their product lines and are accountable for the overall performance of their portfolio. They are responsible for a discipline/product cluster P&L and for leading an aligned product team to meet or exceed business targets. They manage authors, content development, production, manufacturing, marketing, and sales staff to ensure successful launch and positioning of the product line to the marketplace.

Through market analysis, they develop the product strategy for a defined portfolio, identifying growth opportunities, performing segmentation, and determining business objectives. Associate Product Managers are expected to be the market expert in their assigned product line, the competitive landscape, and how the product line can evolve to fully meet the needs of end users.


  • Responsible for overall strategic vision and plan for products and the entire portfolio in order to achieve or exceed strategic goals for market share, top-line, and profit growth. Requires a minimum level of supervision to accomplish goals.
  • Manage a profitable P&L and develop a strategic business plan for assigned portfolio. Must be objective and willing to make hard choices regarding investment prioritization for the good of the overall organization.
  • Understand, analyze, identify, define, and size market segments and sub-segments associated with the assigned portfolio.
  • Understands essential aspects of learning design with emphasis on digital learning solutions that address customer workflow and learning challenges. Ability to bring winning customer driven solutions to market in an effective and efficient manner that integrate associated dimensions.
  • Bring customer-focused solutions that have strong value propositions, meet demonstrated market needs, and provide unique competitive advantage.
  • Anticipate discipline and industry trends, with a focus on digital learning solutions grounded in a market knowledge gained through data-driven market research.
  • Manage product lifecycle of multiple products simultaneously within scope and budget.
  • Initiate, advocate, and negotiate profitable products and services for new or strategically expanded course offerings, alternative markets and channels, strategic partnerships, all in response to new teaching/learning and business models. Delivers arrangements that are both equitable and profitable for the company and partners and that add measurable value to the company's offerings.
  • Fully understand and track all product activity that affects assigned portfolio, including any product launches/enhancements and competitor movement. Develop a keen understanding of all competitors; develop an ability to anticipate competitor activity as it pertains to product medium or subject area.
  • Identify and test product ideas within segments, including the administration of focus groups, advisory boards, reviews, customer meetings and sensing as appropriate.
  • Regularly analyze product and portfolio plans to align forecasting and measurement of progress towards goals; provide business case for investment decisions.Suggest and monitor production budgets and schedules.
  • Serve as visionary, project leader, and advocate for the portfolio within the company and for customers.
  • Partner closely with Marketing and Sales teams to seed and secure adoptions.
  • Works closely with colleagues in other functional areas (Development, Production, Marketing, Sales, Technology, etc.) to convey the strategic vision for the discipline/product cluster, provides candid feedback that supports the vision and execution and which leads to goal achievement.
  • Participates in appropriate Development and Marketing activities.
  • Makes presentations at company sales meetings, campus visits, and academic conventions in support of sales efforts and to drive sales. Consults with colleagues in manufacturing, inventory, and customer service to assist in reaching customer service goals.
  • Provide thought leadership on pricing, business model strategies, and setting business goals.


  • 3+ years relevant and successful product management, marketing, sales, or development experience.
  • BA or BS.
  • Excellence at developing and articulating vision and strategy that meet business goals; strong presentation and communication skills. Demonstrated strategic agility. Proven record with strategy creation and execution.
  • Drive for Results. "Can-do" attitude and persistence. Proven track record of success.
  • Possesses an understanding of digital functionality and how content is best utilized to communicate information, etc.; can "speak digital" as well as print.
  • Customer-focused; has a track record of creating successful products by determining customer needs and challenges and translating those to product and value story for the market.
  • Interpersonal Savvy. Outstanding communication skills along with the capacity to work within corporate and entrepreneurial environments.
  • Creativity. Ability to champion and execute market-oriented new and innovative approaches, ideas, methods, processes, products and services.
  • Strong negotiation and influence skills.
  • Possess deep understanding of financial and business metrics, including P&L statements, conversion rates, sell-through, market share, attrition, gross margin, customer satisfaction, and retention rates.
  • Possess the same understanding of digital metrics including attach rates, digital penetration, and enrollment statistics.
  • Have the desire and ability to put company needs ahead of personal goals.
  • Must have ability to travel as much as 50% during the selling seasons
  • Proficient with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Passion for Education and specifically for digital learning products.


  • MBA or other advanced degree in discipline or primary skills like project management.
  • Experience bringing content-based learning solutions to market.
  • Experience with agile development processes and recurring release cycles.

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Experience Level

3 to 5 years

Cengage Learning

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