Product marketing, defined in simple words, is the process of launching a product to the market and helping it reach the target audience. The process that starts with writing the positioning and messaging of the new product, doesn’t just end at the launch. It involves positioning the product in the market, driving sales and getting constant feedback to highlight the areas of improvement.
Stages of product marketing
1. Before a product launch
Product marketing majorly owns the overall marketing strategy to place the product in the right space. Identifying the target audience, positioning, messaging, and delivery are some of the key aspects that make up the role of product marketers.
2. After a product launch
A great product can only reach so many people if it doesn’t attract the attention of the people, it’s actually made for. By creating a consistent messaging to appeal to all potential consumers, product marketing is integrated with sales to ensure the product reaches the right place and people.
Product marketing responsibilities
1. Product messaging
The features and benefits that your products provide need to be highlighted as selling points. This is done through careful messaging that appeals to your target audience. Less is always more while building the product messaging. Even the most complex products are sold more when paired with simple, easy to understand messaging that clearly suggest an action for the user. As a matter of fact, 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results, eg: ‘Click to call’ buttons (Think with Google, 2019).
2. Market positioning
Market positioning includes thorough research about the need of the product in the market, competitor analysis, ROI calculation and drawing up a value proposition. It helps product marketers present the benefits of the product to their target audience.
3. Buyer personas
Buyer personas describe your target consumers and include their key characteristics like age, goals, problems, personality traits, likes and dislikes. These personas help the marketing team tailor the product messaging to build a connection with the target consumers and help them understand the product.
4. Product demo
Before the final launch of the product, product marketers create a buzz around, highlighting the product’s value proposition and benefits. These demos are in the forms of presentations, speeches or videos. However, 80% of video marketers claim that video has directly increased sales (Wyzowl, 2020), which indicates that videos have the most effective impact on consumers. The demos are presented to individual clients, corporate clients, webinars, seminars, conferences or broadcasted on social media.
5. Launch plan
The launch plan of the product includes cross-functional activities that are required to support the launch. These activities include media coverage (TV, newspapers), social media announcement and press releases. When it comes to social media, Instagram is the social channel with the second-highest ROI among marketers (HubSpot, 2020) and therefore, made the best use of.
The product is only a success when it generates enough revenue to cover the cost of development and testing and yields profits. 51% of shoppers say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make online (Think with Google, 2019). The marketing and the sales teams work together before, during, and after the product launch to create consistent messaging across all channels of communication to encourage sales.
7. Feedback & improvement
After the product makes its way into the consumers’ lifestyle, the role of product managers is to constantly gather feedback about it. This feedback is then sorted under broad categories and relevant and realistic points are extracted and implemented towards improving the product features.
As products get more advanced and the competition rises, product marketing needs to constantly evolve to meet consumer needs. In the end, it all comes down to identifying the target consumer, identifying ways to understand their problems, providing solutions and building relationships with them.