How to build a good product marketing strategy
There are many different marketing strategies and goals. When launching a product, transforming a brand or simply strengthening your presence in the market, developing a marketing strategy is essential. Product marketing strategy is one of the most common and well-known, especially because it is used to launch and promote products. In this article, you will learn what a product marketing strategy is and how to create one for yourself and your product.
What Is a Product Marketing Strategy?
Product marketing is the marketing strategy aiming to connect people to a specific product. By developing and launching a product marketing campaign, companies want to find the right consumer for what they offer, communicate to a particular audience and create a story that engages these people.
Therefore, in order to develop a successful product marketing strategy, understanding your customers, who they are, what they are interested in and what they want is the most important step.
With a product marketing campaign, a brand can develop its market positioning, the message it wants to convey, what the product offers that is different from other brands and how the sales and marketing teams can sell this specific product.
As a result, the strategy is perfect for launching or relaunching an item, encouraging new customers to discover and purchase the product. A product marketing strategy introduces what a brand sells to a whole new group of people.
The strategy also benefits companies interested in testing the market and their interest in an item before committing to a more significant launch.
Product Marketing vs. Product Management
When developing a product or creating a marketing strategy, people might come across similar words and expressions but completely different concepts. This is the case of product marketing and product management, two ideas that have all to do with selling a product but work differently.
Product management is responsible for product development according to market needs. Management will understand its audience, create a product, and decide what makes it great. It is an activity and responsibility that precedes marketing and is an internal job.
Marketing comes after a product is ready for launch. The marketing department of a company will be responsible for releasing a product in the market, ensuring it reaches people who might be interested in what a company has to offer. It is an activity dedicated to the outside world. The marketing department will rarely have inputs on what a product should be or what features should be included.
However, ideally, these two functions will complement each other. While product management transforms an idea into a product, marketing will sell it and make it profitable.
Why Is Product Marketing Important?
Like most marketing efforts, product marketing is essential for the success of a brand, especially when it comes to launching new products.
Here are some significant benefits a good product marketing strategy can offer:
Product marketing will help your company differentiate your product from other similar items available in the market. You gain a competitive advantage over other brands by adequately positioning your product.
Targeting different people according to your product and your company’s business goals also helps to highlight what you have to offer. This is the work of the marketing department.
A good product marketing strategy is targeted. It will reach a specific type of people interested in what your company is selling.
For example, when working with a tool such as a sample distribution, you can ensure the people most likely to purchase your product will be engaged and involved in your campaign. As a result, your strategy will be more successful.
The more personal and individual the message, the more engaged the customers.
A solid marketing strategy will keep your product sustainable for longer. Since marketing directly influences the volume of sales and the interest in what you are offering, a good communication plan is crucial for the success of your brand.
A product marketing campaign should be able to maintain or encourage interest in the product, attracting more customers and potential buyers.
Improving business strategies
As we discussed, product marketing is different from product management. However, marketing does influence product management by identifying opportunities and challenges. Through marketing results, it is possible to understand if the pricing is correct for the market a product wants to achieve, if the packaging design conveys the correct message and if the brand’s positioning is effective.
A company can completely redesign a product based on customer feedback, which can be collected and interpreted from marketing campaigns.
Alignment of marketing, sales and management teams
Your marketing department should fully know what your clients need and desire. A product marketing campaign will be able to collect and measure relevant information about your product and how your target audience receives it. As a result, they can also guide other teams toward success.
A well-developed product marketing strategy will offer a path that other teams can follow. It will determine how the brand will work to achieve the best results, which undoubtedly influences every department.
The Product Life Cycle
When working with products, it is important to understand the different stages of a product’s life cycle. Every product will go through these four phases but will differ in how long they remain in each stage.
Understanding each stage and your product’s phase is essential to developing a successful product marketing strategy.
As the first stage of a product’s life cycle, the introduction is the period that begins with the launch and ends when the product becomes lucrative.
During this phase, product marketing has a challenging but significant role in communicating to potential customers, establishing an audience and positioning the product in the market.
Once a product has found its audience and is selling enough to indicate its sustainability, the growth stage begins. In this phase, the goal is to increase sales, making sure more people – maybe even people outside your target audience – discover your product.
A competent marketing department or marketing campaign will prolong this phase, providing continuous growth to the brand.
Once the market share of the product has grown, people are consistently buying from your brand, and sales are regular, you’ve reached the maturity stage. In this stage, everything is more consistent, including profits.
The “death” of a product is the decline stage. At this point, people are no longer interested in buying your product, have discovered new items or technologies and have moved away from what you are selling.
To recover from this phase, it might be necessary to rebrand, develop new products or completely renovate your brand’s portfolio. It will all depend on how you understand your audience.
The 7 Stages of Product Marketing
Having learned about the product life cycle, it is no surprise that product marketing also has stages. Marketing will act on each phase of a product to continue encouraging sales, transforming a brand or creating a whole new market.
There are seven stages in product marketing:
1. Understanding your consumers’ profile
The first and probably most important stage of product marketing is understanding who is buying from your brand. The goal here is to define your target audience and make it very clear who are your potential customers.
In this stage, you should consider your clients’ steps to buy your item and what motivates them to purchase.
2. Positioning and message
Once your audience is identified and their consumer journey straightforward, you can position your product and develop your message.
In order to define these two aspects of your marketing strategy, you need to answer three key questions: what does your product do, who will buy it and how is the product different from competitors?
Having these answers clear lets you know what market opportunities you have and the relevant information to share with your potential customers.
3. Educating the company about brand positioning
Your brand positioning is essential to your marketing efforts. Therefore, everyone in the company must know your message and how to sell your product.
Educating everyone involved in the sales team is part of this process. Once you have a precise positioning and message, make sure everyone is behind it. Thanks to this job, every piece of information given to clients, partners and stakeholders will be aligned. No one will receive conflicting information about your product or service.
This stage is also essential, so everyone in the company is on board with the product’s intent.
4. Creating a launch plan
A product marketing strategy has a very clear goal: launching a new product. Therefore, one of the last stages in product marketing is developing a launch plan.
Many different departments of the company should be involved in this stage, deciding on deadlines, strategies, locations and more.
At this stage, you can consider product sampling, for example, sending your product to influencers and regular customers or inviting people to try it themselves.
5. Content creation and sample distribution
Once you have set up a plan, it is time to put it in motion.
No matter what your product is or what your business goals are, you can benefit from original content. Every social media post, press release, website blog and video will be beneficial to your marketing strategy. The more mediums you use to spread your message, the better.
Another excellent marketing strategy is distributing samples. When you are launching a new product into the market, people will want to try it before sharing their opinions about it. If you already have a loyal customer database, include them in your sample distribution strategy. If not, why not partner with digital influencers and relevant content creators to provide a link so more people can claim a sample and get to know your product?
A sample distribution strategy can introduce your brand to people who have never heard of it, providing a channel to receive feedback. With opinions and information about what people thought of your product, you can guide the future stages of your product’s life cycle.
6. Get your team ready for launch
Your sales team must be prepared to answer every question about the product. Before launching, make sure everyone is ready.
After all these stages, it is officially time to launch your product. Work continues beyond there. For a successful product marketing strategy, you need to be prepared to make adjustments according to the feedback you receive or the results you observe.
You might discover that the locations where you launched your product did not perform as well as expected. Or you might get feedback from customers saying they couldn’t open the packaging. Many different things could happen, and you must be prepared to make the necessary changes to keep your brand growing.
For this very reason, providing a communication channel with your customers is important. Distributing samples is a great way to encourage honest feedback – sometimes even before launch. If you offer samples and encourage customers to register and receive news about your product, you can build a relationship with people who are interested in your brand. This strategy will help you guide the future stages of your marketing campaigns and your company’s development.
4 Tips on How to Develop Your Product Marketing Strategy
By now, you understand a lot about product marketing and the life cycle of a product. Still, developing your own product marketing strategy can be daunting.
Here are some tips on building a successful strategy and growing your brand:
1. Define your target audience
We have discussed how important it is to understand your audience and how they behave. It should be no surprise that this is the first step in building a successful marketing campaign.
You need to know who your potential customer is to define what message will be able to convince them to buy your product. You can also develop your product according to an untapped need in the market, which will be attractive to a specific group of people.
The more you understand and define your target audience, the more customised your brand and product will be, creating a communication strategy that truly speaks to the people you want to reach.
2. Study the market
Before entering the market, analyse your competitors, what they do and what kind of need your product could answer.
Analysing your competitors’ marketing strategies will also give you an idea of what could be successful or present a challenge. You can also understand the strengths of your product in comparison to what is available in the market, indicating your positioning and message.
3. Develop your communication strategy
Once you deeply understand your target audience and your competitors, you can develop your communication strategy. Formulate your message and identify the opportunities you’ll have to convey it.
You can include influencer marketing, content marketing, and sample distribution in your communication strategy. There are many different channels you can use to reach out to customers, and each have their advantages. Everything will contribute to more potential customers hearing about your brand and choosing to buy from you.
At this stage, you should also decide where your product will be placed and what channels people will use to buy it.
4. Monitor results and ask for feedback
As we’ve discussed, product marketing is all about launching a product or a new version of a product. For that reason, you should constantly monitor results and encourage customers to give you feedback, so you can guide your product positioning, messaging, and sales strategy according to how your customers react.
Gathering information and analysing data can improve your product and grow your business. You will want to keep your product relevant to your target audience, taking your brand through every stage of a product’s life cycle.
Final Thoughts on Product Marketing
Product marketing is only one of the possibilities to promote your product and brand. Usually, you will need to combine more than one strategy to succeed.
Consider including a sample distribution strategy in your product marketing campaign. Launching a new product is about getting people to discover what you are offering, and sending samples to potential customers is an ideal way to do just that.
Often your clients are already out there. All they need to do is learn about your brand. This is precisely the work of marketing. When well executed, marketing plans can completely define the trajectory of a product, its success, and growth. The better the marketing strategy, the longest a product will stay relevant.