It’s one thing to love the product you’ve developed, and another thing altogether to get interested customers to buy it. Marketing your product can build this excitement among consumers and boost interest among the people likeliest to purchase what you sell. Read on to learn how to market a product.
Product marketing involves tactics tailored to promoting a specific item to the end user who may buy it. This segment stands apart from other marketing types because it’s hyper-focused on this one item, as opposed to more general goals like brand awareness. Below the surface, though, all successful marketing strategies, including product marketing strategies, follow these 10 steps.
Your target audience comprises the people most in need of your product. To determine who’s in this audience, identify the pain points that your product solves. Then, figure out who’s most likely to have these problems and thus buy your product. For example, your kitchenware line might be a hit with recent college graduates outfitting their own kitchens on a budget for the first time, but college students in dorms may have no use for your products.
Whoever might be most likely to use your product is your ideal buyer, and this buyer’s theoretical persona can be presumed to represent your audience. Demographics such as gender, age, income, interests, and location can describe your ideal buyer persona. In the case of products targeted at businesses instead of consumers, an ideal buyer persona might include business size, industry, titles of purchasing decision-makers, and reselling potential.
Products don’t have to be living things to have stories. After all, you developed the product, so tell your story. What was the problem you noticed? How did that affect you? How did you decide to solve it and go about doing so? What’s changed in your life after solving the problem? How can consumers experience the same changes and improvements?
The key takeaway here is that listing a set of features is just the start. Follow this with an explanation of how these features make a difference. For example, if you sell compostable clothes, say they’re compostable and explain why compositing matters. You could say, “Our clothes are 100% compostable, so if they become unusable, they can help plants grow instead of contributing to landfills and environmental decay.”
Your brand identity should also tie into your product story. To again use the compostable clothes example, an appropriate logo (a key brand identity component) might be a T-shirt with the earth and recycling symbols in its center. This logo should also appear prominently on all your business cards so you can get your brand values across as you find new customers.
When figuring out how to market a product, what you think about your product comes second to what the consumer would think. You might believe you’ve come up with the greatest product ever, but if consumers ask why the price is so high and you can’t justify it, product promotion becomes tougher. You can prepare for these questions by stepping into the consumer’s shoes and thinking about all the questions you typically ask as you shop.
A great starting question might be, “What does your problem solve?” Better yet, take this question to its logical extreme: “Why does this problem need solving? How is my life better with this problem solved?” Write down your answers, then incorporate them into your product story. This way, you answer as many consumer questions as possible from the jump, leaving buyers with fewer doubts — and more reasons to buy.
Your product’s price is part of its story. A high price connotes a luxury vibe that may draw consumers looking for high-end products. If that’s who comprises your target audience, then great — you’ve gotten the job done. However, if your goal is to offer often-unattainable products at fairer prices, the number to the right of your dollar sign needs to reflect that objective instead.
You can explicitly explain your pricing in your brand story if doing so is key to highlighting your distinguishing factors. Are your prices lower because you’ve eliminated the middlemen common with your competitors? State that explicitly. Are your prices higher because you’re using higher-quality ingredients than your competitors? Emphasize that fact in your marketing strategy, too. And speaking of competitors...
Chances are you’re not reinventing the wheel, but maybe you’re making much-needed adjustments to something that already exists. In other words, you’ll inevitably have competitors. How you market your product can help you stand out from these competitors.
Look at which marketing channels and tactics your competitors are and aren’t using. Check what kinds of information are included on your competitors’ websites, product listings, and social media pages. Use all this information to guide your own strategy. Similarly, compare price points and product quality to determine which prices would best suit your products.
Some areas in which your product may offer differentiating qualities include:
Perhaps most importantly, scour your competitors’ customer reviews to identify pain points not being addressed, then make sure your product addresses them. Furthermore, explicitly state in your product story that you’re addressing these pain points. This way, shoppers dissatisfied elsewhere can try again with you.
As explained above, knowing which marketing methods are and aren’t working for your competitors is key to choosing your own marketing strategies. Competitor research, though, is only the start. There are certain marketing methods you should implement into your strategy no matter what. These approaches include:
Once you’ve taken the six above steps into account, you’re ready to write your marketing plan. This document outlines each and every portion of your marketing approach. You can refer to it whenever you need to remind yourself how to go about your marketing plan. You can also use it to check how well your marketing efforts are going.
A marketing plan should incorporate all the above steps and various numerical considerations. For example, your plan will include your product’s price, but how many products will you need to sell at that price to meet your revenue goals? Just as importantly, what are your revenue goals? Include these numbers in your marketing plan. This way, you’ll remember what meets your definition of success as you compare your marketing plan to your actual results.
With your marketing plan in place, you can go ahead and launch your product. Publish your product listings everywhere you plan to sell your product, and stock the shelves of your physical storefront. Post about your product launch on social media and spread the word via email newsletters. Make your new product the focus of your website’s homepage for a good while. And then, pat yourself on the back for all your hard work, but don’t stop yet.
Congrats — your product is officially on the market and being promoted! But that’s not the end of the process. Instead, you’ll need to look back at your marketing plan, compare it with the revenue figures you’re seeing, and identify your strategy’s strengths and weaknesses.
If periods of high social media engagement correspond with peaks in purchase volume, you can assume that a continued focus on social media marketing is smart. If you see low open and click-through rates for your email newsletter, you may want to market less through this channel and more through others. Reshape your approach based on your observations, and good results will be more likely.
After you reassess your plan, it’s time to implement all your changes. The best marketing plans rarely look the same for long — Their initial state should give way to refinement that yields better results. Some adjustments will yield the results you want, while others might miss the mark, and that’s OK. As long as you keep analyzing your process and tweaking it as needed, you should eventually wind up with great results.
Adhering to the above steps can benefit your company in the following ways:
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