If we ask you to define product marketing in simple words at this moment, would you be able to?
Worried that your answer is no, there is no need for that. You are not the only one having difficulty answering the question. Product marketing, although the word is common but finding a good definition is very hard. It is one of the few fields which touch all three aspects of the product, marketing, and sales in one job.
Product marketing evolves around interacting with your target customers, learning their ways, and developing the best method to reach out to them. Simply put, it asks you to obverse, plan, and then launch.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds, but that is why we are here to help. This article covers all the crucial aspects of product marketing and its methods. So, let’s cut the chase and get into it.
The first essential that needs to be answered is what is product marketing? In simple terms, Product marketing is basically the process of introducing a new product to the market. The main aim of this process is to create awareness of the product in the market and increase its demand and usage.
This process is included in one of the four P’s of marketing which primarily consists of product, price, place, and promotion. Product marketing works in such a way that it showcases everything directly linked to the product to ensure its success in the market.
It is done by deciding the product positioning and messaging, the actual process of launching the product, and ensuring that the salespeople and customers understand it.
For a better understanding, think of product marketing as the link between the products and the market. The market demands will inform which products are made. And how they are presented to potential customers in every marketing campaign.
These two types of marketing can be differentiated easily since product marketing revolves around the product. And it is based on the fact that a product that best serves the market will always be successful irrespective of any other influences. Product marketing vs. brand marketing is differentiated in the following ways.
On the other hand, brand marketing revolves around these ‘other influences’ stated above, that these factors determine which product wins over the other. It involves the emotional connection between the brand and the customer. It is based on the fact that this emotional connection holds more sway over the customer than the basic details about the product.
However, sometimes, especially at the level of smaller companies, marketing managers are the ones who take care of both product marketing and brand marketing. The marketing campaign might include the essence of both.
The easy way to differentiate between product marketing vs. product management is by understanding the definition of both of these terms.
Product management is the process of creating the product and also making sure that it functions optimally for consumers. At the same time, product marketing is about introducing the product in the market and making all its benefits known to the customers.
These two processes work hand in hand to ensure a product is functional and successful as well. Without the product marketers, product managers would have no idea about the market needs, what new product can be introduced, or how to improve existing products. Similarly, without product managers, product marketers would not have a functional effect to introduce in the market in the first place.
The product marketing strategy you develop will serve as a guide to your company, defining the position, price, and promotion of the new product you launch. This guide is there to help you from the initial development to the launch of the product to the customers.
So let’s look into the steps of a product marketing strategy that will help you optimize your product in the market.
The first step before you launch a product to the market you need to start with a deep analysis of the market. You cannot launch the product without doing your homework on whether the investment would even be worth it. For this, you can ask yourself a few questions that can be helpful to you in the market research.
The next step in product marketing is the development of the product in which the knowledge that is gathered related to the product and market is applied to develop something better. In this stage, you try to reach the needs of your customers.
Defining your target audience and creating a buyer persona can help you better understand the audience you are selling to. When you are able to understand the needs and challenges of your customers, it can help you optimize your product that resonates with your audience.
After the thorough market research and application to the product comes the most critical stage where you need to develop ways to highlight your product that revolves around your customer’s needs.
In this stage, you need to think of ways to launch your product better than your competitor did. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. They are your competitors for a reason and have their research down. What can set your product apart is the positioning and messaging. Here you answer the customer’s questions related to your product and how your product is unique.
These questions can be as follows:
These are a few questions you can ask yourself, and then after combining them all, you will be able to create impactful, vital points that can become your product statement. The statement must be exciting and should capture the tome of your brand. The main focus should be on the benefits of your product.
Now comes the dynamic stage when you launch your product to the market. This product marketing stage includes the launch plan, which consists of the following points.
It might sound like the job of product marketing is done after the launch. However, it is just the beginning of the analysis of how your product is doing in the market. The product marketer now monitors the audience’s sales and engagement with your product. And whether your marketing techniques have proved to be effective or not.
They also analyze the customer’s feedback and continuously work to ensure your product is doing well in the market and constantly optimize the product according to the need.
Product marketing examples can help you understand the process of product marketing better. It can help you understand how various big companies have made efforts to introduce their product to the market.
In the summer of 2014, the famous beverage brand Coca-Cola launched its Share a coke campaign. You might remember looking at the store for Coca-cola with your name on it. The marketing campaign was that the brand replaced their ‘classic Coca-Cola label’ on selected drinks with labels that said ‘Share a coke with _.’
This product marketing strategy became so successful that the sales of the brand drastically increased, considering their sales had been steady in previous years. People rushed to look for the names of them and their loved ones. Moreover, it also helped in the reinvention of the classic product.
Another example is KURU Footwear. Whenever they launch a new product or tease an upcoming line of shoes, they would always make sure to put these as the highlighted images on the front page of their website. Not to mention that they would also include special deals to further market their product launch, from free shipping to promos and discounts.
This strategy is particularly effective as the highlight delivers the news of the upcoming product and the discounts and free shipping incentivize visitors to be more inclined to learn more about the new item for sale. KURU Footwear utilizes these two long-existing strategies to make the most out of its product launch.
Apple is known for its effective marketing strategies and product marketing. However, in 2007 the most successful launch was made with the first-ever iPhone, which caused immediate success in the market. The whole campaign started with Steve Job’s keynote at MacWorld 2007. Where he introduced iPhone as an ‘iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator.’ all in one.
Although the device was not the first smartphone to be introduced to the market, the way Steve defined the whole product, a friendly fusion of everything, was what convinced the customers to invest in it. His primary focus was on the convenience of the product throughout his whole speech.
On launch day, people queued outside the Apple stores to immediately get their hands on the product. The advertisements that were made focused on the most groundbreaking feature, which was the onscreen keyboard that popped up when needed. Every step of the product was carefully planned and executed from the keynote to encouraging people to upgrade. Everything worked together to make the product successful.
Other product marketing examples include Airbnb, which has helped optimize the way people travel, book their hotels, and plan out their whole trip. They have worked to optimize travelers’ look for places like homes and apartments to stay at while traveling. At first, the company’s priority was the top vacation rentals that were located near the city center. This way, users could only find rentals in urban areas.
However, later it recognized the search pattern of the users. And showed that in the year 2021, the domestic stays in rural areas have increased by 110 percent. This way, Airbnb optimizes the rentals with a high search ranking. This shows how your customer’s behavior can help optimize your product marketing.
If you keep up with the latest fashion trends, then you might be aware of the big beauty brand, Fenty Beauty, led by the world-famous singer Rihanna. The brand has avoided using the word ‘inclusive’ in its products because its goal is to offer inclusivity without saying it.
They offer various shades for various skin tones. Their target audience is a diverse group of people belonging to different races. The audience sees themselves in the product. They advertise models from various skin tone spectrums, making this beauty brand stand out.
A Product Marketer, or Product Marketing Manager, is the person that promotes products and their features to an organization’s target audience by studying the company’s products and highlighting its key features. The job is to attract customers and create marketing campaigns for the products.
The primary responsibility of the product marketer is to promote the product and its value among the customers. The main goal is to achieve it using various techniques and imagination. These can be as follow:
Product marketing is a sensitive and crucial step that will determine the success of your product and how well it does among your customer. Every step of this process needs to be done carefully and analyzation. How well you bring your product to your customers and how well it helps your audience with their needs is what will help your product stand out from your competitors.
Not only this, but you also need to keep track of your product after the launch and continuously optimize it according to your customers’ evolving needs.
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