How old were you when you first saw a Skittles commercial?
Back in the 1980s coming up with a unique product was much easier than it is today, but product marketing still involved a significant number of steps.
A New York marketing agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles managed to turn a colored candy (one of the many) into a widely recognizable product. Forty years later, kids all over the world know what to “taste the rainbow” is all about.
Product marketing requires a comprehensive approach to positioning, pricing, and promoting a specific product. In this article, you’ll learn:
- How product marketing is different from traditional marketing
- Why you need a powerful product marketing strategy
- How to build a product marketing strategy
- Where to find supporting tools for your product marketing strategy
Let’s take a closer look at how product marketing strategy works.
Product Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
Product marketing is a part of a traditional marketing strategy. It’s a strategic approach to promoting a specific product.
While conventional marketing focuses on brand awareness, relationship building, and customer retention, product marketing aims to promote one product.
These two types of marketing can have a variety of tactics in common. However, the focus of product marketing is to generate demand and stimulate the adoption of a product among existing clients.
Product marketing involves understanding the audience for a specific product and creating a message that appeals to it. It goes further to cover the pricing and launching of the product.
Ian Thomas, a product marketing leader at Cognizant Security says, “Product marketing creates the product/service/company message and marketing gets that message out to the world.”
Product marketing is more strategic and analytical while conventional marketing involves more coordination, communication, and execution. Product marketers often focus on the customers at the bottom of the funnel.
The Importance of a Powerful Product Marketing Plan
If you already have a solid marketing strategy, do you really need to work on a product plan separately?
The simple answer is yes. Otherwise, the ROI of the entire campaign suffers.
Product marketing is an integral part of your marketing strategy. It allows your product to achieve its maximum potential with the target audience.
A comprehensive product marketing plan can:
- Enhance brand reputation: As the product meets the exact demands of your target audience, the reputation of your brand improves.
- Boost product visibility: With the right plan, you can make sure that your products are seen, used, and recommended by your target audience.
- Improve brand loyalty: A successful product launch improves brand loyalty and helps with new lead generation.
- High success chances: A strong plan can improve the product’s chances of succeeding. With 95% of new consumer products failing, a smart approach to product marketing is a must.
When designing a product marketing strategy, you:
- Learn more about your customers and understand them better
- Figure out how to target buyer personas more effectively
- Set the stage for long-lasting brand loyalty
- Give the product a proper position on the market
- Study your competitors closely
- Improve sales and boost the company’s profitability
By creating a product marketing strategy template, you can reduce the time you spend on product marketing while capitalizing on your positive experience.
Step-by-Step: Product Marketing Plan Template
Like Thomas Edison said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
When that opportunity comes, you want to have a stellar plan on your hands. That’s why creating a product marketing strategy in advance is the key to becoming part of the 5% who succeeds.
Let’s take a closer look at the steps you need to include in your product marketing strategy.
Run a SWOT Analysis
By evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of your product, you can figure out how big its chances are to conquer the target market. The first thing to do when running a SWOT analysis is to identify the competition.
For example, if you are planning to launch new bite-size candy, the obvious competitors are Skittles, M&M’s, and even Snickers. Keeping these companies in mind, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- What are my product’s weaknesses compared to the competition?
- What are my product’s strengths compared to the competition?
Running a competitive analysis allows you to understand how to capitalize on the strengths of your product and the weaknesses of the other guy’s products. This can help you create a successful marketing plan and roadmap.
For example, Snickers fun-size candy contains 160 calories. If your candy has less, it’s a great thing to focus on.
Define a Buyer Persona
For your product marketing strategy to work, you need to be selling the product to the right buyer. Identifying this buyer is half the job.
While your marketing team already has several buyer personas for other marketing purposes, you need to focus on the persona that needs a specific product the most.
- Conduct surveys to gather information on your existing audience’s needs and pain points.
- Take advantage of social media analytics to gather information about your existing and potential customers.
By understanding your buyer persona’s needs and pain points, you can make sure that your product marketing strategy addresses them in the most efficient manner possible. It will also help with your content marketing efforts since you must create content that’s highly appealing to the target customer.
Position the Product and Create a Unique Message
Positioning your product on the market is among the toughest part of your product marketing strategy. You need to identify the ways your product addresses the customer’s pain points.
When positioning your product, you have to find answers to the following questions:
- Which features make the product unique?
- In which way is the product better than the competition’s?
- Why is this product perfect for the target audience?
- How is the product different from the competition’s?
In some cases, positioning your product can be as simple as pricing it on the high end to capitalize on the air of quality or on the low end to make it look like a good buy. You can also position your product by aiming its benefits specifically at one segment of the audience (e.g. candy designed specifically for teenagers).
Once you position your product, you can turn the gathered information into a pitch and a slogan. By developing a unique message, you give your product marketing campaign and the content strategy a big push forward.
Identify Product KPIs and Goals
Just like any digital marketing strategy, product marketing needs careful analysis. To run it, you have to identify product marketing KPIs and align them with your business goals. The common product marketing goals are:
- Increased revenue
- Higher customer engagement
- Stolen market share
- Improved brand recognition
Keeping these goals in mind, you can track the following measurable KPIs:
- Product usage
- Sales close rate
- Customer lifetime value
- Net Promoter Score
- Market share
These metrics need to be monitored throughout the campaign to make sure your product marketing activities are helping you achieve your business goals.
Price the Product
A product marketing manager is responsible for working with the sales team to price the product. You can choose among several pricing strategies, the most common of which are:
- Value-based: a strategy that considers the value of the product in the eyes of the consumer.
- This strategy requires significant research since you need to consider a variety of internal and external factors. It needs you to leverage insight into your audience, competitors, and the market.
- Value-based pricing methods can generate higher profits than other methods.
- Competitive: This strategy involves setting the price to take full advantage of the product in relation to the competition.
- Basically, you look at what your competition is doing and set similar prices. When it comes to pricing, being a copycat isn’t a bad thing.
- You simply capitalize on the research your competition already did. However, you lose the opportunity to position your product based on its price.
Other pricing methods exist as well. It’s up to the product marketing manager and the sales team to determine the ideal option for each product.
Adopt an Omnichannel Marketing Approach
Even before the product is launched, it’s imperative to create an omnichannel approach to product marketing. A seamless buying experience across all marketing channels used by your customers can help you achieve your business goals.
Channels to take advantage of include:
- Social media
- Paid ads
- Non-digital marketing (radio, TV, billboards)
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
Taking advantage of the right marketing automation tools can help you create a consistent message across all marketing channels while boosting the campaign’s ROI.
Allow Opportunity to Meet Planning for Your Business
Product marketing doesn’t have to be a complex process that takes a toll on your company’s budget. With the right strategy, you can outrun the competition and become one of the lucky 5% who succeeds.
Don’t jump into the product marketing river without the right tools. At Welcome, we have an impressive collection of apps, templates, and insights incorporated nicely into one platform.
We don’t want to brag, but our team did an excellent job marketing each one of our solutions.
Would you like to do the same? Get started with a free Welcome account today!