Your Product Marketing Checklist

And, now for something completely different! Instead of discussing strategies, abstract theories or marketing techniques, this time we’re going to go over an essential yet overlooked element: your product marketing checklist.

A checklist includes a summarized list of each step related to marketing your product. Once the foundation is laid down, your product marketing checklist will naturally undergo many changes. Re-ordering your steps, addition to each step and omissions are just a few examples.

Across the board, this is the big ‘standard’ checklist everyone follows for marketing best practices. I use this list and so do all of my colleagues.

If you haven’t come across this list before, you’re in luck. You are about to receive a useful bit of information that will help you collect your thoughts and strategies.  This list will allow you to approach your next marketing project with a surety you didn’t previously have.

#1 – Research and Testing

The research and testing stage of a product is the most important early step for a product. But, it applies to your marketing as well.

You must research the net, look at syndicated studies, and pull data from publications, websites, databases, blogs and reputable sites. Customer interviews, customer surveys, focus groups and beta tests are part of this research.

Other types of in-depth research include competitive analysis on patents, reverse engineering, SWOT analysis, pricing studies and market research into share, volume and branding.
Along with all this useful info is one more step: copy testing, concept testing and product evaluation. They are significant as the final phase of ‘research and testing’.

#2 – Product planning

In the product planning stage, you have to identify how the product will be identified by others. Who will constitute your demographics?

This includes market segments, targeting customers,  choosing channels of outreach and competitive positioning.
Product definition, in this stage, is composed of feature sets, functionality, and the creation and presentation of your prototypes to the public. The last step includes pricing and trade, discount schedules, cost analysis market share values and other similar measures.

#3 – Marketing Strategies

Now you’re ready for long term marketing. This goes from launching the product clear through to the first cycle of a product’s lifespan (or beyond if it works well enough).
At this point, you define branding, re-branding and sub branding. You also define names and identifying details of the product (by way of logo, graphic theme etc.). Finally, you handle trademark and registration.

There was a time when you’d jump to advertising, but now, in this decade, the internet comes first.  Web development of the main landing sites, SEO marketing, and PPV outreach are all critical to your product’s success.  Then it’s onto email campaigns and webinars.

You can still make use of traditional advertising. Media, print and broadcast over TV and radio are still popular (though they are losing their effectiveness in the digital age).
Don’t forget the publicity factor. This includes news releases, press lists, kits and events, placement articles, and distribution. Once it’s all out there, it’s time to promote! This includes sales programs, training, and events like contests, coupons and sweepstakes.

There remains one little tidbit I would like to mention. Other ‘not-so-standard’ marketing factors include literature or speaking and presenting at trade shows (requiring brochures, manuals, catalogs, flyers and other things). This is a form of direct marketing.

You have just read through a condensed product marketing checklist. In the future, I will break down each section into further detail. Stay tuned!

Kevin Goldberg