Only 5% of products ever find success. Too many companies believe in the old adage that a good product will sell itself. Such a mystical piece of merchandise has never existed.
Even the best products can fail to an inferior competitor with better product marketing. That’s why an ingenious product marketing strategy is essential for the longterm success of your company. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to years of R&D and product testing.
Successful marketing campaigns take months or even years of research and preparation. The best time to start is now. Stand out with this guide to creating a product marketing strategy.
1. Identify Key Competitors
Most products are derivative and fall under the umbrella of established markets. Yes, maybe your shampoo uses patented, cutting-edge bottle technology to ensure the perfect dollop every time.
But it’s still shampoo. And that means you’ll have to contend with competitors, even if your product is objectively superior at the given price point. Figure out your competition and you can find success even when the market is saturated.
The best product marketing ideas start here in the research phase. Do your competitors share your target audience? If so, perhaps there’s an untapped demographic to tap into.
How are your competitors positioning their products? Any flaws in their product marketing strategy are opportunities for your own. For example, can create a better message when theirs isn’t quite tapping in to the target audience.
2. Know the Audience
And who is the target audience, anyway? Every product is a solution to a problem, no matter how small. Remember this perspective as you consider potential customers.
Let’s go back to our shampoo example. Hopefully, everyone with a head of hair uses some type of shampoo product. That doesn’t narrow things down.
But think back to the ways our shampoo product differentiates itself. Since it always distributes the correct amount of soap, you never have to worry about wasting it. Thus, the product is thrifty.
Who likes thrifty products? Environmentalists and people with low income. There, we’ve just identified two potential audiences who may be interested in our product.
You can narrow things down based on your existing brand. There may be certain associations with your brand that could clash with other audiences. If you’re known for a high-end lotion then you may have trouble using that brand name to market a thrifty budget shampoo.
Consider gathering empirical data from case studies and customer interviews. This is one reason companies regularly rely on group testing to discover the messages that work — and the ones that fall flat.
3. Create the Message for the Product Marketing Strategy
You’ve determined an audience based on competitor research and consumer testing. Now it’s time for the hard part. The hallmark of an effective product marketing campaign is innovative messaging.
Product messaging is the way you position your merchandise and connect with the target audience. You want to explain why customers should choose your product over the rest, especially if they solve the same fundamental problem.
Maybe they should use your product because it’s more effective. You see many marketers take this approach. But can you name a single product that uses this line of reasoning?
It doesn’t stick. It’s not memorable. And the reality is any product can claim it’s more effective in a certain category, making this distinction moot.
Remember: It’s about your audience. You need to connect with them. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do so is to rely on a narrative.
You want the narrative to be poignant and relevant to the audience. Figure out the key message, bundle it in a targeted story, and you’ll relate to the targeted demographic.
4. Communicate With Smart Packaging
Packaging is everything. Its the way your product stands out on the shelves and conveys key messages. Even online products need to consider their use of logos, color, and font.
So how do you integrate your message into the product packaging? Start with the label and go back to the previous steps. Maybe our target demographic is teenagers and the product is supposed to be fun.
Which designs and color choices are fun for teenagers? That’s something for your market research to decide. But it may include popular culture icons such as emojis.
There are marketing and branding opportunities within the packaging, too. Tempt your customers with the addition of domed labels and they’ll advertise the product for you. If you want to learn about the untapped marketing potential of domed labels, click here and find out more.
5. Get the Word Out
There are over a dozen advertising mediums to tap into. Not every channel is worth your time and money, however. Once you’ve launched the product, you can’t expect people to bump into it on the shelves and try it.
You need to get the word out.
As always, it goes back to the very beginning. What types of media does your target audience interact with? Social media will cover the majority of your market, but television and mail brochures are more specialized.
Just the same, don’t forget about promotional events, product reviews through blogs or YouTube, or even a large in-person launch. You’ll definitely want to use a variety of these mediums.
Research the market and choose a few channels that your target audience is most likely to interact with. This will get you the biggest bang for your buck.
Measure for Success
To determine the efficacy of your product marketing strategy, you need to set some firm goals. Keep an eye on your analytics to see if you’re hitting the desired benchmarks. You can consider alternatives to your messaging approach should things start going south.
Thankfully, marketing is research-based. Follow the data. With the right execution, you’re sure to experience a successful product launch.
Want to grow your small business? Then search our website for more industry advice.