Unlike a business plan, a product marketing strategy focuses entirely on the customers. It mainly focuses on a plan for action. The complete focus on customers include what a business intends to sell, to whom it will sell to, at what price the product will sale and at what price the product in questions should sell.
A great strategy also covers how a business will get products to its customers, what the business will say about the product and where and when they will be talking about the product in question.
Obviously, companies spend millions of dollars to market a new product each year. This can happen even when the target audience already has a well-established relationship with the company. The millions of dollars used for marketing are spent on social media tools, website optimization, business analytics and investments on areas that will make the marketing a success.
Some businesses have gone to the extent of hiring marketing managers and developed marketing materials like videos, written content and conference attendance. The problem is that this approach is not nearly enough to create the awareness of your brand to make a sale. In fact, a business that runs without a product marketing strategy is more likely to lag behind in its marketing activities compared to a business that has a simple marketing strategy in place.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, owns a small business or developing into a major new company in the city and on the internet, thinking differently is the key. That there is stiff competition in the market is understandable.
Reaching the levels already established businesses already have will not be easy without an effective marketing plan. According to most business experts and advisors, hiring a Marketing Manager and a Marketing Team with a strategy in place will not only close the market door for your brand and make no sales but also make it hard to complete with companies that have been established for years in the market.
Developing a Product Marketing Strategy
Defining your products
People are not going to buy a product they have no idea about, and will more likely ignore your business and transact with the one that provides sufficient information about what they offer. Take your time to describe your product.
Clearly explain what the product does, its physical characteristics, its features and the benefits of using the product. Make sure you describe the benefits of the product in emotional as well as functional terms. You need to know the benefits of your product(s) well before you even release it to the market. Give information about the price of the product. However, do not be rigid with price as it has range and will always vary by market based on profit objective, perceived value and competition pricing.
Profiling competition and identifying competitive advantages
You must have a plan that will help you to evaluate competition to determine their key product attribute, market shares and sales volume in terms of dollars and units. Do not forget to research on specific target market segments, key customers, customers’ perception, product positioning and the distribution strategy used by the business.
Your product must have productive competitive advantages to sell well. You therefore need to develop a foundational competency that is cost prohibitive for the competition in the market to develop well. The best thing would be to analyze your strength and weaknesses in line with the competition in the market so that you are able to determine your competitive edge.
Exploring, understanding and describing the target market
It is going to be difficult for you to market and sale if you have no idea who the buying influencers and decision makers are. This clearly shows how critical developing a customer profile for the target market is. Your target could b businesses or individual customers.
If your main goal is to reach out to businesses, you should clearly define and describe that kind of business. Your description should include the types of business, location, job title, revenue levels and important feature of the business that must not be left out. If you are planning to reach out to customers, describe their geographical location, age, taste, preference, marital status as well as the level of income. Do not forget to include psychographic. This is important because it helps to offer insight, opinions, beliefs and perception of the people you would like to be your customers.
Understanding marketing issues and research trends in the current economy
Take time to identify the most important trends in the marketplace and then assess the effect they will have on your product. The best way to do this would be to read research reports, consulting trade agencies or organizations and reviewing all the trade publications that you can have access to. Now proceed to examining the dynamics of the market.
These include the unmet needs, the changing motivations and the emerging marketing segments. A clear and effective product marketing strategy use tools as surveys to help gain more insight of the market. Evaluating the trends in the marketing and doing a research on the same will help you identify the best opportunities and in addition, helps you to identify the markets that offer the best opportunities.
Positioning your product
Positioning your product is an important part of developing an effective marketing strategy that works. Positioning is complex and therefore may take quite some time. You need to make sure that your position is special, credible and relevant.
It must also be able to solve a problem and or relieve a stress if it is t be considered an effective product. Remember, customers are smart people too these days, and they will not settle for something they are sure will not benefit them to say the least.
Creating a commission strategy
Lastly, you must be able to create an effective communication strategy that will help you sell your products to your customers. Your marketing strategy should be able to deliver effective communication that educates the target market and creating a positive image for the business. Effective communication is going to enhance your sales force in the business as time goes.
Goal definition and customer retention
You must be in a position to determine what you want to accomplish. Ideally, you should be able to set realistic goals, make them challenging yet achievable. Your goal could be to improve sales, expand market share, and influence a perception and so much more. Whatever the goal, make sure it is achievable. Now, customer retention is more of a business survival.
Usually, getting new customers is quite expensive that retaining the old ones, usually five times the cost. The best thing, however, is to use the already existing customers to attract referrals while keeping in mind that you cannot be everything to everyone so most customers are less likely to engage to your product. Instead of wasting your time to keep customers who may not be fit for your business, focus your energy on the few that are worth the keep.
Your marketing strategy must have a realistic budget based on the life cycle of the product and the spending level of your competitors. Lastly, measure the effectiveness of the market, keeping track of results so that you stand the position of improving your marketing efforts. Measure results, rates and other important metrics in your product marketing strategy and make changes where necessary to improve your marketing venture.