As a business owner - or even a business enthusiast, at that, you must have heard about all the different types of marketing. As a primary aspect of starting and running a business, marketing endeavors have become one of the most important things that one should learn about. And while all types of marketing strategies have but one goal: to bring the products and/or services to the market and reach as many customers as possible, it is interesting to note that many factors make each marketing strategy different and best for various situations. However, some encompass marketing and still focus on a specific target. A good example of this is product marketing.
What is Product Marketing?
When you look it up online, multiple definitions of this term will be given. Like any other marketing technique, its specifics all come down to the type of business one owns and the type of strategy that the product marketing manager employs. But let us try to come up with a definition of our own, shall we?
Product Marketing, taken in its most literal definition, is composed of two words that can be easily understood: “Product” and “Marketing”. According to Oxford Dictionaries, a product is “an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale”.
In contrast, Marketing refers to “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services”. With these definitions on hand, we can say that product marketing is all about promoting and selling an article or substance created for that exact purpose. Let’s go deeper into this initial definition guide to product marketing.
See, the process for the marketing part and creation parts goes hand-in-hand, yet it also involves so much variation in its steps and principles. Thus, a product marketing manager does not only need to know and understand one process but two (or even more, if you consider each step a process in itself).
Product marketing, therefore, obviously starts with the creation - the product in itself. And while most business-minded people who want to start a business already have ideas locked up, there is still much to consider before the actual manufacturing or retail process begins. See, the creation process starts with the why, the how, and the what. “Why are we creating this product?” Or “What is the purpose of this product?” “How are we going to create this product?” and “What will we need to create this product?” And so, even before we get to the marketing part of product marketing, the product marketing manager is already busy with many considerations and factors. Each of these questions can be answered with lots and lots of research, brainstorming, and calculations about internal factors. When all of these are primarily (because it may be a continuous process) thought of and done, we move on to the marketing process.
Now, product marketing seems simple on its surface but looking back on it - the “marketing” process involves both promoting and selling. This second process thereby revolves around one thing: the market. Thus, one needs not only to come up with techniques and strategies on how to promote the creations and how to actually convince people to buy them. This means that one needs to understand how to properly introduce the product to the market, attract attention, maintain that momentum, and win over people who open their wallets for you. Doing lots and lots of research comes back into the picture, but now going along with observing behavior and analytics and considering external factors.
That’s a lot of information, agreed. But let’s not get overwhelmed and sum it up altogether. Product marketing involves two processes: creation and promotion to sell. Each of these two processes has various steps that ultimately ask product marketing managers to study and analyze the entirety of the business and the industry it belongs to while also focusing their time and attention on the most crucial aspects of their specific business. Some are more engineers (creators) than salespersons (promoters) and vice versa.
But all in all, we can conclude that product marketing is a type of marketing that focuses highly on understanding and building a strong foundation about the product and its relationship to the market that it will be part of.
From “what is product marketing”, let’s now focus on the “why” you should really invest and make an effort to do it beautifully.
Knowledge is Power. Understanding your product and your business and your target market, and the industry you are joining fills your bag with valuable treasure and tools that you will be able to use throughout your business journey.
Efficiency at Its Finest. Sometimes, accomplishing an effective business step or action is not enough if it could have been done more simply and less expensively. Doing product marketing will enable you to carefully develop plans that specifically achieve your goals most efficiently.
Appropriate Product, BestPosition. With product marketing, you develop the best marketing strategies. Your product marketing managers also made way for you to create a highly needed product for your target audience and a product that ensures its own spot in a growing market.
Focused Promotion Improves Sales. Maybe the most defining importance of product marketing is that its main objective of tailoring your product to the market also ensures that your products will be highly appreciated. Thus, your business sales will inevitably increase.
Guide to Product Marketing Process
Now that we know what is product marketing and its importance, let’s now shift our focus to how exactly we’ll be doing this whole process. These steps are not necessarily done in this order. They must be done continuously throughout your business journey.
The first step to your guide to product marketing involves lots and lots of research. Like what we discussed earlier, both the creation and marketing aspects of product marketing need to include gathering data from across the board. Here, you have to be able to accomplish customer research, product research, market research, competitors research, and all other types of research that you and/or your product marketing manager deem necessary. This may also include doing investigations, interviews, and looking into different analytics. Do not be afraid to go far and deep because you never really know how useful certain information can be in the future. Just make sure that you organize and categorize the gathered data properly so that you can easily find what you need.
2. Make Sense of the Information
Once you gather enough data that you or your product marketing manager deem appropriate, the next step is to make sense of all that data. This entails meetings and conversations with the right people involved, brainstorming with them for ideas and conclusions, and final plans for your product marketing strategy. Depending on your business model, the industry you’re in, and the goals you have, you might end up having plans for short-term objectives, long-term objectives, or both. Many factors and considerations would have to be exhausted and thought through before you really determine these plans. Simply said, this step in the guide to product marketing involves making the best out of the data you have. Just remember in every step of the way that you ought to be doing what’s best for your business.
3. Transform and Share to the Market
Image taken from Strikingly Product
On to the last bit of your guide to product marketing! For this part of the process, we focus on your plans' actual execution and implementation. You already have your map, and now it’s time to journey toward your chosen path. While this may seem like the easiest step since you already have a basis created and laid out, you have to be careful not to take it lightly because this might be the most crucial step to product marketing. Your plans coming to life will define how your business will be perceived by the market and how your products will be received by potential customers. Now, transforming information and plans into actions and steps appropriate for the market can come in all forms. This might be creating videos or taking photos to share on your social media platforms, hiring ambassadors and influencers to promote your business, buying and publishing advertisements, or creating your own website. It ultimately boils down to ensuring that you find the right platforms and tools to help you transform and share your vision with the market.
One of the best tools for this job is an online website builder: Strikingly. It comes with tools and features that can help you accomplish your plans. From having a blog section, picture and video gallery, and various templates, building an online store, online payments, and setting up global shipping, Strikingly can be the best tool for product marketing you can use. It even comes with its own Strikingly analytics and different forms so that you can not only promote and sell but also gather data and research. Sign up now and watch your best product marketing strategy come to life.