Product Marketing: Lessons We Can Learn from the Best
Coming up with a great product is no mean feat. If it were, then everybody would be an inventor or product developer.
However, even though creating something that fills a gap in a market or has mass appeal is tough, it’s just the beginning.
Product marketing is vital to ensuring the success of a product when it’s brought to the market. Despite ample research and development, 75-95% of products fail within their first year, with a failure in marketing being partly to blame.
The stakes are high for companies launching new products, so what lesson can we learn from the very best to reduce their chances of failure?
What is product marketing?
Product marketing is concerned with bringing a particular product to market. It includes deciding the messaging surrounding the product, how it will stand out, and ensuring that customers understand what you are providing them with.
A failure to have customers understand your product can lead to its failure, even if it’s a great product. Product marketing also covers launching the product and driving demand.
An example of a company with excellent product marketing is Apple for having people queue for days for its latest phones on launch. But how has Apple mastered the art of product marketing?
Marketing the user benefits
Apple is such a large company that the average person on the street will know exactly what company you mean if you mention it to them. There is a good chance of an iPhone in their pocket or bag. Throughout its history, Apple has mastered the art of getting consumers excited about its product launches.
The Silicon Valley giant is now a household name for technology products and software. Apple’s success can be attributed to its beauty, but they are not simply style over substance.
Products such as the iPhone or Macbook Pro add value to people’s lives, and that’s precisely how Apple markets its creations. Apple doesn’t focus on the many features its products have; it focuses on how they benefit users.
The brand uses its list of features to showcase the person it could be to its consumers. This narrative makes Apple an aspirational brand at relatively affordable prices, putting itself right in the sweet spot for market domination.
Push the boundaries
Apple’s approach to product marketing isn’t the only way; there are multiple types of product marketing, so it’s crucial to find one that works for you. For instance, fashion brand United Colors of Benetton’s marketing strategy from the 1960s until the 2000s shocked social norms.
The fashion brand stepped things up during the 1990s and made a name by pushing boundaries and people’s buttons.
Social issues such as AIDS, religion, sexuality and racism were at the centre of the ‘90s push, which saw Benetton expand its worldwide store count to over 7,000. The buzz surrounding the brand led to intrigue, which translated to sales.
However, it’s difficult to continue pushing the boundaries before going too far or consumers growing apathetic to what you are doing. Benetton’s sales plummeted after the 1990s, so going big and bold doesn’t always work out in the long run.
How does it look?
Whether it’s a massive product launch by Apple or Google or a new cupcake from the bakery around the corner, how products look makes a massive difference.
Specifically, how products look when marketed, though having a good-looking product is also a good idea.
Your product needs to look its absolute best when taking promotional shots. That comes down to two options; hiring a professional photographer or investing in good quality cameras and lighting.
After all of the hard work put into developing a product and creating a message, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste.
The better the camera and lighting equipment used, the better images of your products will be. Some of the best recent launches showcase how important promotional shots are to the success or failure of a given product.
Sticking with a target audience
Launching or marketing a product involves doing plenty of research to target the right audience. Perhaps one of the best lessons for identifying and sticking with a target audience is Pepsi.
The US-based corporation has positioned itself as a company full of vitality and youthful energy, which is why its primary customers are aged between 15 and 35.
Its product marketing campaigns always strike a chord with its target market by using famous people consumers relate to.
Like its recent campaign where Pepsi teamed up with pop star Doja Cat, this highly targeted and repetitive product marketing has led to Pepsi becoming one of the biggest household names in the world.
Integrate across the business
It’s important when considering product marketing that the responsibility isn’t placed at the feet of one specific person or department, for that matter. Marketing must be integrated into the business because that’s how things grow stronger.
Everyone in the business can contribute to the marketing approach, from customer service to sales and product managers. Each department is a specialist in its subject and can add value to the marketing campaign through its perspective and insights.
For instance, the person working in customer services will better understand any limitations the products may have through complaints.
Likewise, sales staff will better understand the features that make customers buy into the product. Collaborating with all of this information will lead to a better overall picture of your product and market it.
Big and small businesses know to make the most out of social media and online marketing. We spend so much time online these days, so it’s the perfect place to reach your customers.
Statistics show that viewers are four times more likely to use YouTube versus other platforms to find information about a brand, product, or service. You could do an honest, in-depth review of your product to showcase its capabilities in action.
With the potential to do a tonne of online research before buying a product, consumers trust your product more when they can see how it works online.
You could consider sending your product to influencers and have them showcase your product for you. Influencers can reach millions of potential clients. This helps you reach a broader audience than you might have through your own social media channels.
A product review, especially from an influencer, is very effective in increasing brand awareness and generating sales. Other ways in which online or social media product marketing can boost business include; promotional offers, discounts for minimum orders and newsletters.
Taking your product marketing to the next level
It’s essential to learn as much as possible from successful businesses and how they market their products. Sometimes it’s not about reinventing the wheel but instead adapting the wheel to suit your needs.
Things like social media marketing, showcasing user benefits and just making your product look amazing will ultimately give your product marketing a much-needed shot in the arm.