Product marketing is a critical component of any company’s marketing strategy. It ensures that the right products are being promoted to the right audience and enormously affect your bottom line.
Often, this is a confusing topic for business owners and managers. How do you go about product marketing, anyway? Is it something that I should be doing myself or handing off to an expert? And how does this affect my overall strategy as a marketer?
Today we’ll answer those questions and more with an in-depth look at what exactly product marketing is and how you can get started.
In this guide, we will cover everything from product positioning to pricing strategies to maximize profit margins while attracting new customers.
Let’s dive right in!
What does Product Marketing involve?
Product marketing is a little different than traditional product management. The goal of any good product manager should be to ensure that the right products are being developed and promoted for their audience.
Still, they often overlook how those products fit into the larger context of your company’s overall strategy or communication plan.
A great example of this is how many product managers will develop a new feature or update and then immediately start promoting the changes to customers without any thought as to why they are making those updates in the first place.
It’s great that you’re updating your software, but if users don’t understand what those improvements mean for them, it can negatively affect your business.
Product managers should be asking themselves questions like:
- What do we hope to accomplish by making these changes?
- What is the result we’re hoping for, and how can our product help get us there?
- How does this change fit in with everything else we’ve done so far, and what impact will it have on existing features or users?
However, this is where many businesses get stuck when it comes to their marketing initiatives. It’s not enough to know the answers to these questions.
You’re going to need a clear strategy in place before you can answer them, and that goes back to your overall company mission statement or vision for how it fits into its industry.
Once you have this foundation laid out, everything else will fall into place much more quickly. So let’s dig deeper into understanding how you can make your product marketing initiatives more effective.
7 Steps to Better Product Marketing
Know your target market
First and foremost, you need to know who your target market is. Forget the generic “everyone” or “small businesses like mine.” You’ll never be able to reach them if you can’t identify them specifically by name and demographic information such as age range, location, etc.
After all, what good does it do to promote your product if you don’t know who will be interested in it?
Once you have this information, it’s time to move on to the next step and start defining what success looks like.
How to define marketing initiatives?
It is where many businesses get stuck when they try to define their marketing initiatives. It’s not enough just knowing the answers; you need a clear plan in place.
Before you dive into marketing plans and initiatives, it’s vital to first ensure your small business management is intact so that your team can handle these new activities seamlessly.
That’s why so many companies hire experts to handle their marketing initiatives, especially when it comes to product marketing. They understand how difficult this is and know what results they can expect by working with them.
Now that you’ve defined your target market and have a general idea of where you want the business to go, you can focus on the product.
Create a product that is worth the price
For your business to be successful, you need a product that is worth the price.
You may have all of these grand ideas about how much demand there will be and how many new customers will flock to your site as soon as you launch it, but if people don’t want what you’re offering, then your marketing initiatives won’t make a difference.
You need to take your time and focus on creating a precious product for the price you are charging, not just something you think people will buy because they have no other option or alternatives available.
It also ties back into knowing who your target market is. You don’t want to invest all this time in developing an incredible product and then miss the mark when it comes to who you’re selling it to.
It is where you need to take a step back and evaluate what your business truly needs. If you’re a startup, it’s ideal to prepare a separate startup marketing budget to ensure everything is in place.
How to calculate a product’s market value?
The first thing you should do is create an ICD (Idea, Customer, Developer) document that outlines all of the requirements for your product in detail so everyone knows what they’re working towards.
Once this document has been approved, you can create a product roadmap. It will outline your entire development process while ensuring everyone knows what’s expected of them and when it needs to be completed.
It will also allow you to adjust the timeline if necessary so that everything stays on track from start to finish, which should help eliminate any problems or delays in the future.
Bonus: Create a timeline for your product marketing initiatives so that you know when each stage of development is ready to market. Many businesses get caught up because they don’t have their entire workflow mapped out in advance like this, which can lead to severe problems down the road if you aren’t prepared for them.
Utilize social media to promote your product
In the age of social media, it’s simply not enough to launch a product and hope for the best. Instead, people rely on their networks to help them make decisions about products all the time, which is why you need to start building up your own as soon as possible.
By putting up a social presence and starting to interact with your customers, you will be able to see what they like, don’t like, and everything in between.
In addition, it can help you make significant changes or adjustments when necessary so that the final launch goes off without a hitch.
The goal is not just to get people talking about your product but also to talk about you positively. If people don’t trust your brand name or aren’t willing to put their reputations on the line for it, then they won’t be able to sell anything, no matter how good it is.
It means that every time someone interacts with you online via social media or any other platform, you need to make sure they are handled as professionally and politely as possible. For this, using social media engagement tools come in handy.
What is the right way to utilize social media?
Remember that this is the brand we’re talking about here, so it’s also essential to develop a strong sense of social responsibility and be mindful of how what you say and do reflects on the business overall. It will help build trust over time and allow people to see how serious you are about your product.
It is also where a strong sense of social proof comes into play and why businesses must build up as much as possible throughout the development process. To hone your social media strategy, use cross channel analytics to have a better track of user interactive data.
Bonus: Consider hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit or another platform that allows users to ask you questions and receive answers in real-time. It enables you to engage directly with your target market, which can help create a stronger bond between them and the product itself.
Still, it also offers other benefits, such as feedback on features they would like to see included or how they think others should use them.
Social media is a fantastic marketing tool that allows you to reach an audience of millions with the click of a button, so don’t underestimate its power and leverage it as much as you can. In addition, if you’re also preparing email campaigns, then don’t forget to track vital email marketing statistics.
Research what other companies are doing with marketing and adapt their strategies for success
It may sound like something easier said than done, but the truth of the matter is that there are dozens if not hundreds of companies out there doing amazing things with their marketing, and you can learn a lot from them.
Some businesses will be using social media to promote their product, while others prefer more traditional (and cost-effective) strategies like print advertising. If you are a SaaS business, then you also need to consider certain important SaaS metrics.
Having a solid understanding of your target market comes into play because it will allow you to get inside their heads and see what they are interested in, which can help you determine the best marketing strategy that resonates with them most.
Once you know this, all that’s left is for you to do some more research into what other companies are doing that get the job done.
Take a look at their website, social media accounts, and overall strategy to see how they approach things so you can get an idea of why they resonated with your target market in the first place. Also, start using a resource management software to keep all the marketing-related resources, inspirations, and more at one place.
It will help give you some ideas about which strategies might be best for your business and allow you to make a more informed decision.
Targeted strategies will always be the most effective, so don’t fall into the trap of using broad strokes across all platforms because it’s only going to spread yourself too thin and won’t have nearly as much impact on your audience.
What else to consider while creating marketing strategies?
Remember that no two businesses are the same and what works for one might not work well for you, so it’s always best to approach marketing from a targeted perspective rather than a broad one to get the most out of your efforts.
Having an expert handle things can come in handy because they have likely worked with hundreds if not thousands of businesses already, so they know what best practices are for product marketing.
There’s no shame in this because you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to learning everything about product marketing, which is why hiring an expert can help take things up a notch and get your business on track toward success faster than ever before.
You can even learn a thing or two from them, which can help take your business to the next level when done right. In addition, you can create a separate standard operating procedure for your marketing team to ensure a flow of work throughout the process.
Quick Tip: Get in touch with local businesses doing something similar to what you want to do and see if they are open to getting coffee for an informal chat about their experience so far. It will give you some good insight into what you can expect from your strategies and allow you to make a more informed decision when it comes time to put something in place.
Be Innovative with your Marketing initiatives.
While you should always make good use of your social media accounts, it’s also essential to keep in mind other ways to reach potential customers aside from the internet.
Some businesses will be using the good old radio commercials or take out ads on local TV channels. In contrast, others prefer online advertising like Facebook and Google Adwords because they can target specific demographics. These will allow you to reach a wider audience than ever before, which can help get your product in front of more people, so it has the chance to shine.
The downside is that this isn’t precisely cost-effective because most businesses will need hundreds or even thousands of potential customers for these ads to have any real impact on their bottom line.
Be creative when you sell your products – offer giveaways or discounts as incentives for people to buy from you.
It’s always best for businesses (and their bank accounts) to find the cheapest way possible of advertising so that they don’t end up spending more money than they need to.
It will be especially true if you are trying to reach a national audience because it will get expensive quickly, which is why most businesses like this prefer more targeted strategies that don’t cost nearly as much and can still yield some impressive results in the end.
For example, it could mean reaching out to bloggers who write about similar products or hosting giveaways to get the word out about your business.
How to make market initiatives more creative?
If you are running a local business, then targeted strategies should be much more cost-effective because it will not take nearly as many people to impact your bottom line.
You can always consider giving away something free like samples or coupons in exchange for people’s contact information to get the word out about your business while also staying within budget.
Even if you are running a national campaign, it doesn’t mean that targeted strategies are off-limits, especially if you have some money to burn and don’t mind spending more on advertising to impact potential customers. Of course, it will take more time and more creativity on your part, but it’s still worth looking at as an option. In addition, leverage customer data to draft more creative initiatives and get higher responses.
For example, you could run a targeted ad campaign via Google Adwords or Facebook and use the contact information that you get in exchange to send personalized follow-up emails with coupons and samples. Focus on boosting the email engagement through the follow-up process.
Hence, people know what they can expect from your business right away without having to go through the process of ordering something and then waiting for it to show up.
It is just one example, but you can be creative with running your business depending on what type of product marketing strategies are available in your area.
It’s best if you talk about these options with an expert so they can help point you in the right direction.
Have a clear idea of what you want from your product marketing
It’s essential to have a clear idea of what you hope to get out of your product marketing before anything else. It will make the process easier for everyone involved and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
The first thing that needs to be determined is how much money you are willing to invest in your product marketing efforts.
Having this information will help you know what options are available depending on how much money is allocated for advertising, and it can also be helpful if you have a set budget because the experts that work with businesses like yours should always try their best to get as close to your spending cap as possible while still delivering results.
There are a lot of variables that go into product marketing, which is why it’s always best to have an expert on your side who can help you make sense of all the information at hand and turn it into something actionable instead of overwhelming.
If you want success, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes for your business to be the best possible.
How to define goals for your product marketing?
The ultimate goal of your product marketing is to get more attention for it. Even though this seems simple enough, it can become easier to track and show results when you turn it into measurable stats.
You can export Google Analytics data as it will help you understand how your audience is interacting with your campaigns.
For example, if your product is in the B2B space, you’ll want to look at how many new leads are generated with each campaign you conduct.
You will also want to look at the quality of your leads and see if they are worth pursuing or if they need to be reworked so that they have a higher chance of converting into future customers. Of course, success doesn’t happen overnight, but if you stick with it, then you can achieve anything.
You can’t just advertise to people and assume that they will buy because you’re the only option available. It is where product marketing comes in and why it’s so essential for your business to succeed.
Of course, everyone wants to sell more products, but the key is not just doing ad campaigns while ignoring other aspects of your marketing strategy.
Measure your progress, optimize, repeat!
The last thing you want to do is waste money on something and not know how effective it was.
There are several different ways for businesses like yours to measure the return on their investment so they can judge whether or not what’s being done is working as intended.
It could include seeing how many sales were made, if the leads you generate convert into paying customers, etc. Use a lead generation software to have a precise track of leads that are interacting with your campaigns.
The key here is to be as specific as possible when measuring your progress and understand what it takes for potential customers to become actual customers for something like this to work out well.
It will help determine whether or not specific strategies are worth pursuing or if they need to be scrapped altogether.
That’s the real challenge of product marketing, especially when trying new things for the first time. The key is understanding what works and making sure that everyone involved has an eye on the same prize in mind, so nothing falls through the cracks or comes across as disjointed.
How to measure your marketing campaign’s progress?
Product marketing is a team effort that requires everyone to be on the same page and communicate as necessary. Unfortunately, many companies have been known to fail because they ignored this, which is why it’s so essential for your business to focus on what works best for you.
Thus it’s important to use task management software to ensure all are on the same pace.
The product itself may not tell the whole story, so marketers need to step in and help tell this story through the lens of their audience. Additionally, product marketers need to ensure there’s a perfect synergy between your marketing and sales efforts.
The ultimate goal is to find a balance between selling your product without being too pushy or creating something that has no potential for growth. There are two main types of marketing that business owners have at their disposal to optimize product performance. They are organic marketing and paid marketing.
Paid marketing is when you pay for ads that will bring people to your website or specific content to help them understand why they need your product in their lives. Use gantt chart tools to track progress of your marketing campaigns and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Product marketing initiatives are essential for any business looking to grow and stay relevant in the industry, but they are also complicated.
It is why it’s so important to do your research when trying new things or working with outside experts who can help you bring everything together into something that works seamlessly while still delivering accurate results at the same time. It’s all about finding the right balance and knowing what to expect.