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Running a business

What is Product Marketing? Definition, Strategies, and Examples

Product marketing deals with the process of bringing a product to market. However, a product marketer’s job doesn’t end with a successful product launch. In fact, it continues with a product marketer collaborating with the marketing, and sales teams to ensure the launched product continues to do well.

What is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is a subsection of marketing that is focused on everything directly related to making a product successful in the market, from market research to product positioning to creating effective go-to-market strategies. It also involves understanding how a product continues to perform post-launch right across various stages of the product life cycle.

Why is Product Marketing Important?

Having a successful product launch and growth without product marketing is difficult. Without knowing what to develop, who to advertise the product to, and what your competitors are doing, you risk your product falling by the wayside. 

Effective product marketing will help you understand your place in relation to the market and will help you effectively communicate your value proposition to the target audience. 

In short, a good product on its own may not be enough to ensure success. You need a positioning strategy and effective messaging to ensure your product resonates with potential customers. Product marketing lays the groundwork for that.

What Does a Product Marketer Do?

A product marketer’s potential responsibilities within a team includes:

  • Market research – understand customer’s challenges, understanding the competition, and identifying market opportunities
  • Working with product teams during development stages
  • Creating a go-to-market strategy for a new product 
  • Creating messaging and positioning plan
  • Internal product communication
  • Creating marketing collateral to support the product and sales enablement
  • Collecting customer feedback
  • Launching of new product features

When you engage in product marketing for your business, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for all products. A product marketer’s main responsibility is the strategy around marketing a product, and that will depend on your target audience and business context within your industry.

Product Marketing Strategies

Your product marketing strategy determines the positioning, pricing, and promotional methods of your new product.

Here are some general tips to consider to apply to the process.

1. Pair a product launch with content marketing

You need to tell an engaging product story. You can do that with a supportive content marketing strategy around your product.

Create content that:

  1. Speaks about a customer’s pain points
  2. Emotively agitates those pain points
  3. Frames your product as a solution
  4. Hits these beats with compelling, consistent brand messaging

Educational content is critical to communicating the value of your product to customers.This content could be in blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, or other formats that your audience consumes.

2. Develop a product launch plan

Create a detailed product launch plan that covers pre-launch, launch, and post-launch - across the full product roadmap.

Research and development take centre stage during pre-launch. Think about your market, your target audience, and what your product could offer that no other product can.

The main goal of launch is to reach the appropriate audience at the right time in the right place. This entails picking the most effective channels to reach your target audience.

Post-launch involves measuring success. How did the results measure up to your targets? Are there areas of improvement to learn from?

3. Retarget existing customers

It's a marketing cliche that customer retention costs a lot less than customer acquisition. As part of your product marketing strategy, it’s worth remembering to consciously retarget existing customers instead of focusing on attracting new customers.

You could do this with:

  • Custom ad campaigns for previous customers
  • A retargeting email marketing campaign to subscribers

Your retargeting plan should ultimately aim to remind clients of the benefits of doing business with you in the first place. If you provided solutions before, you can provide solutions again.

4. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate

During the pre-launch process, your team should have answered the following questions:

  • Why are we making the product?
  • Who will benefit from the product?
  • What is unique about the product?
  • What solutions does the product provide?

Post-launch, take the time to reflect on your answers and gauge whether or not your assessments held true. It may be that you need to reevaluate and adjust marketing methods. It may be that you’ve realised the product appeals to a different audience. 

You can be flexible and adjust your product marketing strategy as necessary. 

Examples of Great Product Marketing

It’s always helpful to take inspiration from case studies. Let’s examine three examples of great product marketing.

Zoom

How many people were aware of Zoom before the pandemic? Zoom rose to the occasion and framed itself as a solution to the challenge of remote workplaces. The video conferencing software quickly became integral to daily life for workers, doctors, teachers, family and friends.

Its product marketing team worked quickly to adapt to customer needs. That meant listening to user feedback and providing solutions to their pain points.

They are not the only video conferencing software on the market, but that agility to quickly position themselves as the best solution helped them dominate. They continue to improve their experience. They launched Zoom Apps in 2021, allowing for more productive workflows through third-party integrations.

Apple

Apple are masters at product marketing for many reasons.

To focus on one aspect, their messaging consistently focuses on the benefits to users as opposed to the features of their products. 

An older example of this, take their messaging for an early iPod product. At the time, it was going head-to-head with a device from Microsoft. Microsoft Zune’s marketing collateral focused on detailed lists of features.

Apple, on the other hand, condensed their messaging into a simple, easy-to-grasp concept: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”

This shows the power of focusing on the end-user instead of the product itself in product marketing.

Product Marketing Strategy

Product marketing is a never-ending process that requires considerable time and effort. However, failing to engage in product marketing strategies could lead to your product falling flat and you’ll be unable to achieve business goals.

It’s important to understand this is true regardless of how amazing your product may be. Without product marketing, it’s set to fail.

For more information on marketing strategies and other business advice, head to our small business blog

FAQs

What are product features?

Product features are the specific traits or attributes that help to identify a product. A product’s features are often the elements that offer value to the customer.

What are product benefits?

Product benefits are any of the positive impacts that a product or service has on the consumer. They are what the consumer gains from the product or service. 

What is product positioning?

Product positioning is the process of understanding and deciding where your product might sit in the competitive marketplace. That means understanding how your product relates to other similar products available to consumers. To position your product effectively, you need to identify your unique value proposition.


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