Given the fact that everything that you provide, be it nuts and bolts or strategic business consultancy, is effectively your product, marketing the same covers the entire range of disciplines and approaches.
However, the five central components of a successful product marketing strategy remain the same whether you are a store on the high street or a global internet e-commerce company. Focusing on these will ensure that your product marketing approach has a strong foundation
1. Define your Customer
The absolute starting point is a clear understanding of your potential customer base. Who are they? When do they want to buy and where do they want to make the purchase? Are they new or existing customers or a mixture of both? What features and functions do they need? What information do they need in order to make a decision? Are there any emotional drivers which prompt them to buy?
A detailed analysis and clear set of customer demographics will allow you not only, building volumes and frequencies into your plan, to predict potential sales volumes, but also to more clearly define your product in terms which will convert into sales.
2. Match your Product
Your product marketing ‘pitch’ can now be built in terms of both the features and USP’s of the product itself but also directly related to the demographic into which you are selling. Leveraging this relationship can encompass branding, design and packaging, pricing and point of sale promotion right through to the strap lines you use to lead your campaign. It will, through clear targeting of your market, focus your efforts and of course reduce the amount of wasted message and money trying to promote to people who would never buy in any case.
3. Evaluate your Methods
With marketing and promotion sitting as both an important and expensive element of your business plan, it makes sense to establish what the most effective routes to customer acquisition and retention are rather than blindly trying everything. Look at how you have won (and lost) customers in the past, and don’t be afraid to look at your competition’s successes and failures to add to your learning. Using and improving on the most effective methods for customer acquisition and retention requires constant attention, as today’s markets have a habit of being rather dynamic. Also, don’t be afraid to innovate where you can.
4. Create and Control your Touchpoints
This is where the campaign goes live, where you implement the learning above and join the hunt for customers. Whether you are handling a special point of sale marketing promotion for a seasonal product offer or launching your new global e-commerce platform the keyword here is control. Its all well and good aiming for launch but it is imperative that systems, practices and marketing focus are in place to ensure success. Focus and consistency across all touchpoints enables you to control all of the elements that influence customer opinion of your products or services.
5. Measure Continuously and Improve Ruthlessly
This is where theory is compared with reality, plan with actual. This should not be a signal to simply collect information for the inevitable review but should be an opportunity for some brave thinking and action. If your plan is not meeting your business expectation, don’t be afraid to modify or at least add some heat to the mix to drive for success. Also, keep a close eye on your competitor’s response to your product marketing initiatives to ensure they don’t steal any position at your expense.