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Your product development and marketing efforts are like french fries and ketchup.
Each of them is good on their own, but they're even better together.
You can get the same type of synergy with your product and marketing by smartly combining the power of both.
But what does that look like? And how can you make sure your product marketing strategy is perfect?
We'll answer all of those questions in this article, but first, let's take a look at what product marketing is.
At its most basic, product marketing is the process of creating demand for a product or service. It involves everything from developing a product's positioning and messaging to creating marketing programs that generate awareness and interest in the product.
Product marketing bridges the gap between product development and sales, and it's a critical function in any company.
If you want your product to be successful, you need a good product marketing strategy. Here are just a few of the reasons:
So, now that you know why you need a product marketing strategy, let's take a look at what goes into creating one.
Product marketing is a bit like baking a cake — there are a lot of ingredients, and it takes time and effort to get it right. But, with the right recipe, you can create something that's both delicious and satisfying.
The same is true for product marketing.
To get your strategy right, you must carefully select the right ingredients and put in the time and effort to make it work.
The key steps are:
Volumes have been written about the importance of intimating with your audience, and all the nuances surrounding the concept.
But let's be honest: If you want to develop a product strategy that truly works, you'll have to focus on your audience.
That means understanding their needs, wants, and desires. It also means knowing who they are (demographics) and what motivates them (psychographics).
Only by understanding your audience can you create messaging and positioning that resonates with them.
You have multiple tools at your disposal to help you understand your audience. Primary research (focus groups, surveys, interviews, etc.) is a good place to start. But don't stop there.
Use secondary research (industry reports, market data, etc.) to get a broader understanding of your audience.
Other less common ways to sharpen your understanding of your audience include:
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that your audience is always changing, so you must continually update your understanding of them.
Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you need to define the product vision.
The product vision is a long-term strategy for the product that outlines what you want it to achieve. It should be aspirational, meaning it should be something that you can't currently achieve but is worth striving for.
It should also be concrete, meaning it should be specific and measurable.
The product vision provides the framework for all of your marketing efforts. It should be the guiding light for your team and help them make decisions about what's best for the product.
Many founders neglect their product vision because they're so focused on the day-to-day tasks of running a business. But, if you don't have a clear vision for your product, you'll lose focus in the long run.
OKR stands for Objective and Key Result. It's a performance management system that helps you track and measure progress against your product vision.
Your OKRs should be aligned with your product vision. That means your objectives (the things you want to achieve) should be based on your key results (the things you need to do to achieve your objectives).
This system helps you stay focused on what's important and measure progress along the way.
To set your OKRs:
For example, if your main objective is to “double revenue by thrid quarter” your key results might be:
If your objective is to “reduce churn,” your key results could be:
This framework is especially helpful for startups who are constantly in flux and evolving their product. It helps you stay on track and measure progress along the way.
Just make sure to keep your OKRs simple. The more complex they are, the harder they are to track and measure.
Once you have a clear vision for your product and set your OKRs, you need to define your pricing strategy.
Pricing is one of the most important aspects of marketing and it's crucial to get it right. If you charge too little, you may not cover your costs and you'll lose money. If you charge too much, you'll lose customers.
Finding the right price is a balancing act and it can be tricky. But, with a little research and experimentation, you can find the right price for your product.
Here are a few tips for setting your price:
In the book Persuasion: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries defines positioning as “an organized system for finding a window in the mind.”
In other words, your product positioning is how you want your customers to think about your product. It's the story you tell about your product and the benefits it provides.
Your positioning should be based on your key results and your target market. You need to make sure your messaging is clear and consistent.
Here are a few tips for crafting your positioning:
Focus on benefits, not features. People don't buy products; they buy solutions. When you're crafting your positioning, focus on the benefits your product provides.
Note: To dig deeper into product positioning, read “7 Vital Elements of Memorable Product Positioning”
Once you have a clear vision, set of goals, and positioning, it's time to deploy your strategy. This means creating a plan for how you'll market your product to your target market.
Your marketing strategy should be based on your budget and resources. It should also align with your overall business strategy.
A few tips for deploying your marketing strategy:
As your product changes and evolves, so should your marketing strategy. Your target market may change, your positioning may change, and your goals may change.
Make sure you're always adapting your strategy to fit the current climate. Keep an open mind and be willing to experiment.
The perfect product marketing strategy doesn't exist, but as you test and tweak your strategy, you'll get closer and closer to what works best for your product and your business.
Product marketing isn't easy – if it were, everyone would be doing it! But with a clear vision, set of goals, and well-executed strategy, you can create a successful product marketing campaign that will engage your target market and drive sales.
It all comes down to understanding your product, your target market, and your goals. So learn as much as you can and then put that knowledge into action.
The results may surprise you.
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