Marketing concepts, strategies, and its successful implementation gratify customer needs, augment sales, maximize profit and give an edge over the competitors. Marketing is a branch of management which formulates and executes strategies which build a bridge of beneficial relationship with the targeted clientele. There are five key substitute concepts on which a marketing strategy is built: the Production concept, Product concept, selling concept, marketing concept and Social marketing concept.
The concept of Product marketing puts emphasis on the affordability of the product, which makes it adorable among consumers. This is one of the oldest marketing orientations. Embracing this marketing strategy has a risk of losing vision on actual goals and focusing too intently on their own operation. Adhering strictly to this idea can lead to marketing shortsightedness.
What is Product Marketing?
The Product concepts prominence the consumers will favor products that offer quality, performance, and innovative features. Product quality and continuous improvement of the product are part and parcel of this marketing strategy. Volkswagen manufactured a bus in 1950, which became an icon on its own standard. Recently the company launched a new VW bus that is electrically operated, with sleek features and modern design. The marketing style of Volkswagen is innovative, striking, and distinctive and keeping in line with the “hippie” vibe, the company is identified for decades. The TV commercial with the song “The Sound of Silence” playing in the backdrop goes well with its brand image.
It is a process of launching a product in the market. This includes the message and points the products carry, launching of the product, making the sales team and consumers aware and knowledgeable about the product. It is also to ensure to increase the consumption and demand of the product. It is a continuous process and does not end once the product is introduced in the market. It is essential that the targeted consumers are responsive to it and know how to use it. Feedbacks of existing customers are equally important to upgrade the product to increase its lifecycle.
A great product is nothing if it does not sell. It must grab the attention of the people for whom it is meant for. It is important to identify the audience and ways to reach them. There are seven critical steps in product marketing.
- Product Research: An ingenious and useful product is not made of vacuum. The product should be tested internally and externally in restricted laboratory conditions prior to introduction in the market.
- Product Story: Products should be introduced in the market with an underline story. It describes the function ability of the product, what problems it solves, who is supposed to use it, how it solves the problem and what unique features it carries that is absent over the competitor`s product.
- Product-Focused content: A well described, meaningful content must be in the campaign of the product. Various alluring, informative blog content, case studies, marketing copy should be there on the website of the company accurately describing the product.
- Launch Plan: No product marketing team is comprehensive without an in print launch plan. It should be clear about each one`s responsibility for the marketing process at each and every point.
- Product Launch Meeting: After the launching of the product, every person involved in this process should meet to share their side of story and experience.
- Community Engagement: As the product is launched in the market, it makes enough murmur in the industry. It is important for the marketing team to listen and take advantage of what the market is saying. Reaching out to existing customers, partners give valuable information.
- Sales Empowerment: A product is made for the market, the sales team is waiting eagerly to do new business with the product. It is of paramount importance that the product marketing team meets the sales team before, during and after the product is introduced in the market.
Product marketing Vs. Conventional marketing
Product marketing is part and parcel of conventional marketing; in fact, one of the most important marketing concepts. Conventional marketing makes strategies for brand image, creating sales channel, public relation through the meeting, conferences and many other things. Product marketing tries to understand and predict industry trends, acquainting with peers product knowledge and up-gradation, identifying the aspects to make their product number one. It is about creating new demand among existing customers. It is about convincing customers to buy the product, so the marketers can build a strategy to support the campaign. It is about identifying the targeted audience and to deeply understand the psychology of them and enhancing the product to be more appealing and fitting.
Conventional marketers focus more on lead generation, SEO and creating and converting leads into customers. It is about promoting brand comprehensively. Conventional marketing and product marketing have their own set of advantages, depending on business needs and situations.
Why is product marketing important?
The core part of marketing is to understand the customer, the need of the customer, how to bring into line the product to their needs. Product marketing is crucial in a marketing strategy. It is about understanding, the prevailing market, customer, and competitors and how to manipulate them in your favor. Product marketing gives you an insight into the competitors’ product and their marketing strategy. It helps you to position your product in the market, ensuring the growth of both revenue and demand. With a better understanding of a customer problem, the product is made more attuned to them. It streamlines communications from PR to websites to sales meetings, so the message is clear, consistent and associated with the value of the product. Reputation is built when a product meets customer expectations. Product marketing aims to build the brand equity of the company.
Responsibilities of Product marketing
- Responsibility of a product marketer somewhat varies according to industry, products, company, size of the company and resource at his disposal. It is the responsibility of Product marketing to create a story about the product and effectively tell it to the audience, which is referred to as positioning. Identifying the targeted audience and facilitating sales to sell it to them successfully. Formulating and implementing a product-centric marketing plan. While the marketing team aims at a broader perspective like lead generation, SEO, product marketer narrows his focus on the steps people will take to purchase the product.
- Identifying the targeted audience and buyer’s personality is essential to selling the product in the most realistic way. Knowing the customer base can improve the product significantly and resolve the problems they are facing. A product marketing strategy make, erect and carry out content and campaign suiting the targeted audience perusing them to make the purchase.
- The foundation of market success is excellent planning, research, and advanced thinking before the product is introduced in the market. The profound knowledge of the targeted customers and using market research and competitive analysis by product marketing develops excellent market strategies.
- Another area of responsibility of a product manager is to maintain a direct and cordial relationship with sales. Bonding with the sales you can spot and draw the right customers for the existing product.
- Positioning is another important aspect of a product manager, in the process of storytelling, you state why the product is made, for whom it is created, what kind of problems the product solves and why is the product unique. It is essential for a long-run relationship with customers that the product meets the expectations of the targeted audience. Through intensive research and analysis of the socio-economic character of the targeted customers, to tailor-made the product satisfying their demand and need. There must be a good reason for buying the product over the competitors.
- The product must withstand the erosion of value over time; it should be relevant over time. With time outlook, wants and challenges alter and evolve. Product marketing strategy must keep the product relevant among customers. Regular modification, up-gradation keep the product alive among customers.
- The product manager helps to communicate information about new products and find the finest way to present the product’s message, brand, and advantage to a potential customer. Providing reliable marketing direction and idea cultivate the product all through the lifecycle.
How to market a product
According to research conducted by Harvard Business School around 30,000 new products are launched every year, out of which 20% are successful, and the rest fails. There are numerous reasons behind it; there could be a lack of demand or improper marketing strategy.
Understand the targeted audience
The stepping stone of a successful marketing strategy is to understand the persona of the targeted audience; trying to sell bacon to a vegetarian will never be triumphant. Understanding the demographic information, culture, tradition of the targeted audience gives an edge to the marketing strategy. The product must meet the expectation and solve a problem for them. By asking the right questions to the targeted audience, you get the right answer to tackle the right problems. By having direct, early conversation and engagement with the target audience, you will have a better grasp of their goal and challenges. It gives you an opportunity to modify, alter the product or price structure before you walk halfway down the road.
Positioning and messaging
In-depth research and learning about the targeted audience gives you a clear vision about their needs, challenges and pain points. From here starts the journey of addressing their problems and resolving their challenges. This alone does not differentiate you from your peers as they are also initiating a process of solving the problems of customers. The major point which makes a significant difference is positioning and message the product carry. These plans answer the key questions the customer has in their mind and tells them why the product in exclusive. In the storytelling process clarify why the product is unique, why it is better than that of a competitor, what features that made the product ideal for them, what benefits they get from the product.
Once you have gathered that information you can accumulate these facts into an influential, forceful and shareable proclamation that captures the positioning and messaging comprehensively. The answers to the positioning and messaging should be in an elevator pitch, which gives you a second chance of conversation. Exhilarating, elating words should be used in the propaganda of the product. The essence of the statement should support the essence of the product. Overall benefits of the products should be stated, not a particular one; this gives more impact.
It is important to know your product inside out before preaching it. Self-knowledge about what the product is, how it works, the cost of the product, what problems it solves, what advantage and added features it has, truly evaluate the product. It gives you a better understanding of how the product fits on a larger perspective of the target audience. Formulate a flexible plan which works best for you, and for the product. While chalking out the plan, keep in mind the revenue goals and the time period for accumulating it. You need to stay flexible all through the process, as launching a new product is a learning process, and you might need some minor modifications or major changes as the event unfolds.
You yourself are aware of the benefits and advantages of the product offer, but the consumers are not aware of it. Just because the product is launched with pomp and show it does not educate about the product. A high degree of customer education is needed to make the launch of the new product successful. You must make them aware of not just of the product, but why they need it in their life. You can educate them through informative blog posts through fascinating short videos. An FAQ page on the products web site gives answers to common queries by existing and potential customers. A free trial if possible gives the potential customer a firsthand experience about the product. Designated and dedicated customer support really enhances the brand value of the product. Display testimonials on the web page of the exiting satisfied customers, 88% of the online viewers trust online reviews as they trust personal recommendations.