Guide

What is product marketing?

Definition, strategies and examples

Product marketing refers to the process brands use to integrate their products or services with the wants or needs of a customer. Product marketing represents the intersection of the product, marketing and sales teams to bring awareness to a product and how it can provide value to a customer.

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What is product marketing?

Product marketing is the process of introducing or driving awareness of a product to consumers. This includes determining the positioning and messaging of the product, launching the product to your audience and confirming that marketers and customers continue to understand the value of the product to result in demand and sales of the product.

Why is product marketing important?

Product marketing is important because it creates the foundation to position and promote products. A successful product marketing strategy continues even after a product’s launch to ensure that people stay aware of the product and how to use it.

Marketing a product is particularly important since products represents one of the four P’s of the “marketing mix” model of digital marketing, which can help advertisers reach relevant audiences, drive sales and improve efficiency.

What is product marketing responsible for?

Product marketers have multiple responsibilities, from the very early stages of marketing research and development to the post-launch work that comes with analyzing the results of a strategy and launch. This also involves working with other teams across their organization.

Product research

Product research includes collaborating with product managers to gather pertinent information so that product marketers will be able to communicate how this product will meet the needs of customers. This could include conducting surveys or interviews, working with focus groups or testing the product.

Product messaging and positioning

Customer research is crucial to determine the positioning and messaging that will set your product apart in a busy market. The most relevant research will clearly define the wants and needs of your customers, explain how your product solves those challenges and articulate how your product is different from competitors’ products. During this process, the product team, marketing team, and sales team should all be aligned to communicate a singular, consistent message to the customer and build long-term trust with your brand.

Product-related content

Once there is a consensus on the messaging, product marketers can work with content teams to communicate the benefits of the product for the target audience. This could include a landing page on the company website to increase interest in the product. Ideas for marketing copy could include eye-catching headlines with blog content featuring case studies or Q&As to increase interest in the product.

Product launches

A successful product launch encompasses a comprehensive plan that starts with product development. It should also touch upon the different objectives and work backward from all the stated goals to ensure that all steps are completed in a timely manner. The launch should combine the goals of other teams, such as product and sales, at your company and include a sales enablement strategy to leverage messaging with the market. It should also incorporate specific product messaging from content marketers to hit all the metrics and KPIs that your team wants to achieve.

How do you create a product marketing strategy?

In an effective product marketing strategy, product marketers, in conjunction with product managers, shape the story they want to tell the customer about its products. A successful road map encapsulates how to position and promote the product to buyers, from development to launch and beyond.

campaign and results

Step 1: Research and develop the product

From the very beginning, product marketers should work alongside any product managers and developers to test the product for customer needs in controlled environments. While product managers focus on the more technical aspects of product development, product marketers can work together with product managers to develop a road map to solve customer needs and communicate the value proposition to maximize product adoption.

In addition, product marketers also need to perform market research to determine the audience for the product, especially when advertising worldwide in a new marketplace. Another important decision is to determine the appropriate price point.

Formulate

Step 2: Formulate the product story

Prior to the launch, product marketers must craft the positioning and messaging of the product and how it can make customers’ lives easier. This should answer questions like: What makes this product unique, what problems does the product help solve, and why should your target audience choose your product over similar items from competitors?

Digital advertising, in particular, can be a great way to disseminate your product story via search, display, online video, streaming media, audio and social media advertising.

Content creating

Step 3: Create content with a well-honed narrative

To prepare for the product launch, product marketers should work with content creators to show the value of the product for the customer. This content can include research, case studies, interview profiles or landing pages to generate interest in the product through marketing collateral. A thorough go-to-market strategy should include how to reach out to different types of target audiences or buyer personas to best engage the relevant audiences with the applicable campaigns.

launch

Step 4: Launch the product

By the time your brand is ready to launch the product, product marketers should have a plan ready with tactics from other teams that include, but are not limited to, social media, content marketing and sales enablement. This go-to-market strategy should have specific, measurable goals and metrics of what the product marketers want to achieve. Some common benchmarks focus on discoverability, maximizing product sales, driving awareness or reaching new-to-brand (NTB) shoppers.

In addition to digital strategies, other methods to generate buzz can include in-person events in experiential marketing campaigns or custom advertising solutions for specific brand goals.

Review lunch

Step 5: Review the launch and continue to iterate

After the launch, it’s important to reflect on the results of the product marketing strategy to determine what is and isn’t working. This can include looking over data points, monitoring buyer feedback and aligning with different departments to achieve product success and the ultimate goals of your brand. Campaigns should continue to be regularly monitored to make any adjustments to improve metrics across different teams.

How do you measure a product marketing strategy?

Product marketing metrics allow you to measure the success of your marketing efforts. They help you identify what's working and what could be improved. Important product marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) to track include leads, revenue, conversions, retention and customer satisfaction.

Product marketing examples

Here are five examples of brands that developed successful product marketing strategies.

Case study

Mattel and their media agency, iProspect UK, increased product sales in Europe with sponsored ads. By focusing on refining keyword lists, the agency designed a strategy that examined what products to promote by finding the right product sales opportunity in the customer journey to maximize brand awareness. Results included a decrease in average cost per click (CPC), as well as an increase in return on ad spend (ROAS), click-through rate (CTR) and overall product sales attributed to advertising.

Mattel

Case study

The Johnson & Johnson skin care brand wanted to grow the sales of their Hydro Boost product line in India. Their agency, Interactive Avenues, leveraged Amazon DSP to drive awareness with a full-funnel strategy by leading buyers to the product detail pages for the best-selling Hydro Boost products, which increased sales with both new and returning customers.

Neutrogena

Case study

Buffy, a sustainability-focused direct-to-consumer brand, worked with the full-service agency eShopportunity to increase the product sales and brand awareness of their eco-friendly home goods. By outlining a keyword strategy that targeted common search terms for comforters, eShopportunity generated more than 30 million impressions for their client, thanks to updated product detail pages and a new Store, with 90% of their product sales coming from NTB customers.

Buffy product

Case study

To expand in other marketplaces, the French brand Vilebrequin partnered with SEELK, an agency that specializes in Amazon Ads solutions, to drive awareness of their luxury swimwear. SEELK used the creative format of Sponsored Brands to improve awareness of lesser-known product categories in a strategy that yielded more than 10 million impressions and a 20% increase in total sales.

Vilebrequin apparel

Case study

Omada, an Italian kitchenware manufacturer, worked with MOCA Interactive to help them expand into additional European marketplaces using Sponsored Products and automatic targeting. The agency's multi-phase strategy sourced relevant keywords for each product in the UK, France, Germany and Spain, and the campaign resulted in a 10X sales increase over the previous year.

Omada kitchenware

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