What is product marketing?
Definition, strategies, 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.
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.
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.
Product marketers have multiple responsibilities, from the very early stages of research and development to the postlaunch work that comes with analyzing the results of a strategy and launch. This also involves working with other teams across their organization.
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.
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.
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.
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 that your team wants to achieve.
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 roadmap encapsulates how to position and promote the product to buyers, from development to launch and beyond.
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 roadmap 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.