Your product strategy is crucial to your marketing. This is where you focus on the benefits that a particular product offers and make these benefits clear and evident to your customers. But how do you get the best from your product marketing plan this year? We examine this in more detail below.
In its most basic form, product marketing is the process of making a product known in the market and encouraging customers to buy that product. But let's get a bit more technical and look at some of the key aspects of product marketing in action.
What product marketing is
Marketers need to decide on competitive pricing that represents the true worth of the product.
Market research identifies gaps that the product can fill but also encompasses ongoing analysis of product performance.
Who is the product aimed at? Marketers need to define the scope of the product and what it is designed to achieve.
Marketing teams need to make sure that the product represents a clear difference for users. Then, they need to ensure that this difference is properly communicated.
The promotional copy — and all wording associated with this — must capture the product's identity as well as the imagination of the audience.
The team is responsible for the release schedule of the product and any launch activities that will support this.
The public needs to be aware of your product — this is, of course, a key aspect of successful marketing, and there are myriad channels available to help you achieve this.
The public doesn't just need to be aware of the product; your customers also need to access and utilise the product effectively. Adoption support is another important element of product marketing.
What product marketing is not
The product launch is a crucial phase of marketing and needs to follow a set schedule and strategy. Releasing products into the market without warning or a plan is not marketing.
We've talked about identifying market gaps and customer use cases as part of your product marketing initiative. If you are releasing products speculatively into the market, with the vague expectation that they might fulfil a need that you think could exist, this is not marketing.
Marketing continues right through the launch cycle, far beyond the initial product release. You need a focused strategy for following up on the product after it is released, analysing the market and continuing the promotion accordingly.
All marketing actions need to be based upon data. This means no steps are taken without prior knowledge, and each and every marketing phase must be built upon a foundation of insight and understanding.
Get product marketing right, and you are well on your way to achieving a successful product launch. Let's look at some of the most important benefits of this process.
Launching a product costs money, and, of course, the idea is to recoup these costs sooner rather than later. While product marketing does require an initial investment, the increased education into the benefits of your product will help you secure a fast return on investment. You will even increase your potential ROI as you will be able to reach different markets rapidly and bring your products to a wider audience.
Data drives marketing, but marketing also drives data. As you conduct your customer analysis and market research, you will find increasing opportunities to gain insight and understanding. What can you do with this insight? Well, platforms like engage™ allow you to interpret and wield this data in the right way, using it to craft your future marketing strategies effectively.
When you market your products in the right way, you are fostering positive connections with your audience. This is crucial as you build your audience and make your brand known. You can support this with downloadable apps such as engage™ that can be used to swiftly scan products and increase user experience in a positive, meaningful way.
It's not just your audience who will feel engaged and empowered with the right approach to marketing. All of your stakeholders will benefit from this kind of positivity. Your teams will find it easier to carry out their tasks in an effective and well-supported manner, your partners will be thrilled with increased market activity, and investors and upper management can't fail to be won over by such rapid revenue increases.
On a micro-level, product marketing is about exactly that — marketing individual products. But, on a macro-level, it goes way beyond this. By achieving incremental gains with product marketing strategies, you will find that your business can optimise its position in the market, building associations with quality, reliability, and prestige among your existing customers, as well as those leads you have not yet nurtured.
As you develop your strategies, you will find that product marketing becomes a key part of your identity as an organisation. This makes it easier for your teams to train and upskill new hires and carry out increasingly innovative and sophisticated campaigns in the future.
The right product marketing strategy will help your product reach the right audience in 2021. Let's take a look at a few of these.
Spend time discovering what is troubling your audience. Use digital tools such as the engage™ platform to better understand the problems your customers face. Then, position your product as a solution to this. Focus on clarity and purpose, and make it clear how your product can make a real difference to the lives of your audience.
Understanding the problems your audience is facing means first understanding who your audience members are. Your buyer profiles help you pitch your marketing to specific demographics and groups. However, you can always add more profiles to make your specific marketing initiatives even more engaging, refining the profiles to better suit the different segments of your audience. This is achieved via digital solutions such as engage™, which provide the data required to define these profiles.
Messaging is always an important part of marketing. This is where you demonstrate the worth of what you are offering to the market and develop your brand by associating it with the right kind of language. Choosing a narrative-based approach to marketing helps you to get this message across in the right way. Evidence suggests that humans find narrative structures more compelling and more memorable than other forms of information delivery, so use this to your advantage and create stories with your customers, their problems, your product, and its solutions at their heart.
More than a third of surveyed marketers reported that they did not understand their role in a product marketing strategy. This is dangerous for brands, as it leads to a lack of focus and missed opportunities. Hold regular meetings, adopt a clear purpose for your teams and your products, and make sure everyone is pulling in the same direction.