Developing a great product is only part of the challenge for a small business. The product only adds value to the bottom line when people are buying it. That means every product needs a strong promotional strategy in place before its launch. This article provides highly effective ways to market a product.
Product marketing is the middle step between product development and sales to your customer. A product marketing strategy raises awareness so that the great new product you’ve spent months designing, testing, and manufacturing does not languish on the warehouse shelves.
Product marketing, done well, will, according to the Product Marketing Alliance (PMA), represent “the voice of the customer,” articulate “a product’s value in a way that resonates with the market,” and drive “product adoption and advocacy.”
To create a promotional plan before a product’s launch, it can help to:
- Identify the problem your product can solve
- Tell a story about the product
- Develop a target audience
- Take risks in your marketing
- Set a strategy with clear objectives
Identify the Problem Your Product Can Solve
The PMA begins its full product marketing framework with “discover.” This is when you gather information about your competitors and consumers’ needs to identify the problem your product can solve. Even back in the days when someone might take opium to cure a cough or cocaine for a toothache, the way to sell a product was to focus on how that product filled a need.
Product marketing is not about listing all of the features of the product just because they are there. Instead, highly effective product marketing presents the specific value of the product to the customer. This shifts the strategy from focusing on a feature to discussing how the specific product delivers what the consumer wants.
Tell a Story About the Product
Having done your customer research and reviewed the market and competitors, you are in a position to aim your product marketing messaging. Position your product in a way that resonates with the buyer by telling a story.
Listing product benefits won’t connect with the consumer. That’s not how our brains work. We need something to emotionally invest in to engage more fully in the marketing campaign. Think about the ever-popular Budweiser beer Super Bowl commercials with those intrepid Clydesdales. They don’t spout beer features. Instead, they make an emotive appeal with their familiar horses. You might remember 2014’s “Puppy Love,” in which a puppy repeatedly attempts to escape its kennel to find its four-hoofed friend.
Develop a Target Audience
Successful product marketing targets a particular audience. You will use the research into customer needs, market trends, and competitor offerings to determine your product’s unique value. Then, your product marketing team will tell that as a story to an audience, having done the legwork to understand:
- Buyer pain points
- Customer challenges
- Audience demographics
- Buyer likes and dislikes
- What might hold them back from buying your product
- Why they might choose a competitor instead
For more on developing the essential buyer personas for your marketing campaign, read our …
Take Risks in Your Marketing
Your marketing team is likely made up of creative people. Encourage them to take risks when developing your product marketing strategy. By taking the approach your competitors won’t, you could find success.
Consider the Nike example. They were falling behind Britain’s Reebok as America’s athletic sneaker leader. So, they went in a new direction: celebrity athlete endorsements. In 1972, the brand signed a Romanian tennis player known as “the Bucharest Buffoon.” In 1973 and 1974, Illie Nastase was ranked number one in the world. They also signed Steve Prefontaine in the mid-1970s, an American middle-distance track star. In 1985, they added the not-yet-famous Michael Jordan to their roster. By 1990, Nike’s revenue reached $2.2 billion.
Set a Strategy With Clear Objectives
Create a focused product marketing campaign. Today, you can use many different approaches, including traditional advertising, public relations, content marketing, digital advertising, SEO, community events, and more.
- Overall revenue goals
- Market share
- Brand perception
- Trials started
- Demos requested
- New customers
- Product usage
Your Business as a Product Marketer
Marketing is essential to the success of your great ideas and hard work developing that new product. With these highly effective ways to market a product, you can sell that product and realize your dreams of business success.
Getting a product to market can be time-consuming. Having a clear plan of attack from the outset will help. Along with having a marketing strategy in place, you will need a quality business website to tout your products and services. An entrepreneur can also benefit from streamlining other processes to simplify your business operations.