Product Marketing Strategy: Everything You Need to Know to Win in 2024 [Downloadable Template Inside]
Having an innovative product is only one of the things that bring in the numbers you want for your company. A lot of growth depends on how you strategize what you have into something that prospective customers and businesses will want.
Successful product marketing strategies ensure that you not only know who to target and how to position your product but also that you don’t underestimate its worth.
Let’s dive in!
What is a Product Marketing Strategy?
A product marketing strategy is a blueprint for how to position, price, and promote your product in the market. It is a detailed plan of action and aims to ensure that your product establishes a strong economic foothold, and should be rigorously based on data-informed points, your ideal customer profile (ICP), competitor analysis, and industry trends.
The role of product marketing strategies is to convince prospective buyers that your product is the solution to their problems and that it perfectly meets their very specific needs. It is a highly critical part of business strategy to help a particular product reach its maximum potential within your target market.
Seems complicated? Don’t worry, this article will simplify everything that makes up a good product marketing strategy for you!
Factors to Keep in Mind for an Effective Product Marketing Strategy
A solid product marketing plan is specific and targeted, but they do have certain criteria in common. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind before you get started:
- Product Marketing is a Continuous Process
Product marketing as a process spans the entire life cycle of a product, from its pre-launch research and innovation to its successful launch and second phase growth, and finally product maturity. As such, your strategy must take into account the different styles of marketing that each phase demands. For instance, the first stage will require a focus team to test the product’s viability, while the last stage will focus on staving off the product’s impending irrelevance as a function of time.
- Differentiate, Differentiate, Differentiate
The existence of competing products is inevitable in this economy and differentiating your product is quite literally what sets it apart. Do not underestimate the importance of competitor analysis – it is what will prepare you to identify the unaddressed pain points of your target customer and help make your product’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) all the more impactful.
- Cross-Functioning is the Name of the Game
Product marketing plans require relentless coordination across multiple teams within your company itself. You and your product marketing team must be updated with the latest information from Research & Development, coordinate with the Sales Team regarding channels and distributions, keep abreast of Public Relations reports, and adhere to the Legal Team’s requirements to effectively market your product. It’s a lot, but your strategy will be all the more coherent because of it. No man, or product, is an island!
- Consider Budget Redistribution
Shifting your budget from development to sales and marketing is crucial to the company and product’s success and helps set realistic expectations for the same. Once your product matures, you will have to rethink your allotted budget for sales and marketing. For a mature SaaS company it is advisable to follow the rule of 40 - 20 - 20, that is,
- spend 40 percent of your budget on sales and marketing,
- 20 percent on product and Research & Development, and
- 20 percent on General & Administrative expenses.
Read on for further guidance to streamline your marketing strategy!
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Product Marketing Strategy that Works for You
This step-by-step guide outlines the chronological processes involved in planning effective marketing strategies which will help you prepare for and incorporate the most important aspects and roles of product marketing into your specific strategy as a product marketing manager.
Conduct ICP and Pain Point Research
Defining your target audience is the first step to effectively marketing your product. To come up with an ideal consumer profile for your product you can
- Analyze pre-existing customer base data for established quantitative feedback from customers and insights on customer journey.
- Collect fresh primary data through the means of surveys, questionnaires, and cold outreach to understand pain points that your product can solve.
Use the qualitative data to differentiate the businesses you intend to target. For instance, if your product is an organizational software platform, you may need to position it differently based on what your targeted business’ primary use of it is going to be for.
Refine and Position Your Product
To market your product effectively, you must understand it. Know what makes your product unique and focus on the data you’ve gathered from your pain point research, coordinate with a focus team and developers to ensure that your product messaging is on point. If you’re uncertain of how to perfectly position your product, make sure to keep in mind the four Ps:
- Product Differentiation - what makes your product different from its competitors?
- Product Pricing - what is the value of the product for your ICP?
- Promotion - where and when can you promote it so that it catches the attention of your ICP?
- Place - is your product marketed purely online, purely offline, or hybrid?
These points will help you decide the kind of marketing efforts you need to employ, depending on the stage of the product’s life cycle, functionality, and longevity. Continue reading to better understand how to price and promote your product for the best results!
Set Achievable Goals
Before pricing, promotion, and distribution, you must set your goals. It is easy to get caught up in big promises and aim to improve all marketing parameters, but realistically, stretching yourself too thin to cover all angles is not a sustainable marketing strategy.
Follow the rule of threes, and stick to measurable and limited goals. Identify the most important metrics that are key to the success of your product and business, and focus on meeting the set criteria be it in terms of customer retention or engagement, number of subscribers, number of units sold, a definite budget, and brand awareness to name a few. Look into established and useful frameworks such as OKRs to structure your goals!
Price Your Product Right
Pricing strategies are a very important facet of a successful marketing strategy, and strategizing the most suitable way to price your product must take into account target market research and consumer budget. There are two prominent ways in which you can go about pricing:
- Competitive pricing, which is utilized when your product has similar established competitors in the market, and is based on keeping abreast of industry trends, or
- Value-based pricing, which allows you to maximize your profit according to what you have inferred its worth to be for your target buyer persona.
This is a bit tricky, as there are pros and cons to both pricing strategies. Pricing your product low can both create a positive impression of a bargain or a negative impression of cheapness, whereas pricing your product too high can be interpreted as both luxurious or overpriced.
However, value-based pricing has an edge because it is specific to your product and the needs of your potential customers. It allows you more flexibility in terms of offering one-of-a-kind packages and price points and demonstrates that you believe in the uniqueness of your product, even though it requires more time, research, and experimentation to get the price right.
Define Tactics and Channels
For SaaS products, marketing is typically spread across multiple marketing tactics over different marketing channels. Thus, different channels and tactics can be utilized to target different pockets of your target audience at different stages in your product or business’ life cycle. For instance, email marketing is a very effective strategy for startups because it is highly customizable, but growth marketing only makes sense if you have a working strategy in place.
If your product is new, it is advisable to limit yourself to one tactic across different channels, to better track your new strategy as well as to make sure that you don't overshoot your budget. Don’t worry, you can always diversify your marketing strategies once your business booms!
Launch Your Product
It’s time! Deploy all the information you have gathered from the previous steps to design a successful launch plan for your product on the chosen channel, be it a physical event or through social media channels. You can also choose between
- Soft-launching, especially if you want to work out the kinks in your product, obtain feedback from customers, and gauge product-market fit, or
- Committing to a General Availability (GA) launch, which works best if you want to attract prospective buyers and employ common marketing tactics.
Product launches should ideally highlight the benefits of using your product and include attractive offers such as free trials or personalized demos.
Familiarize Consumers With Your Product
Product marketing strategies are incomplete without accounting for post-installment processes that keep your B2B buyers satisfied and willing to renew their subscription to your product or recommend it to other potential buyers. Onboarding your users is a necessary service to familiarize them with the benefits of your product, and can further be divided into
- Primary onboarding, wherein the goal is to get users to understand the value of your product through tutorials or a series of automated marketing activities.
- Secondary onboarding, where you double down on the best features of your product and ensure that the users know that there are more ways of utilizing it for their interests.
- Tertiary onboarding, which focuses on retaining users and turning them into premium buyers who have access to all the features of your product.
There are various marketing automation tools that you can use to aid with onboarding depending on what stage of onboarding you’re on and the channel you’ve chosen to interact with your users.
And that’s it! You are now ready to come up with your very own product marketing strategy. Feel free to customize the above structure to suit your needs. In case you’re still unclear on how to proceed, continue reading for some concrete examples, and a downloadable template to help you further.
6 Examples of Effective Product Marketing Strategies
Free Service, Premium Features
Apple was a pathbreaker for introducing in-app purchases within the App Store and this template has been vastly popular in the digital space since. Incentivizing a growing consumer base with a free service or product is a great marketing strategy, especially when you can tier their engagement according to the money they’re willing to spend. Gaming apps use this feature all the time by gatekeeping special boosts or currencies unless the user pays real money for them.
Tutorials for Easy Onboarding
It is imperative for SaaS products to ease users in with a seamless and easy-to-follow onboarding process. An interactive tutorial goes a long way, as does asking for the user’s preferences to uncomplicate their service experience.
For instance, Notion, a productivity and note-taking web application onboards new installers with a tutorial that explains its interface and also identifies better organizational tools according to the user’s needs, that is, whether they are part of a collaborative work team, a student, or whether they want to use the app for personal organization. It’s smooth, interactive, and intuitive.
Gamifying your product makes it more attractive to users from the resulting dopamine boost and sense of accomplishment associated with rewards or special events.
Spotify does an annual Wrapped with colorful graphic design templates and personalized highlights from each user’s music tastes over the year, increasing word-of-mouth marketing through current customers who post screenshots of the same and boost social media marketing. Duolingo’s reward system similarly tracks users’ achievements, with the added stake of maintaining their streak, ensuring that the app is accessed daily.
Nested Product Placements
Collaborating with another industry or business to embed a product placement within their well-established product or media is one of the most effective strategies to market your product. For instance, most social media applications offer advert spaces at a set rate depending on the degree of visibility you want and can afford. Social media marketing via influencers who are adept at inserting product placements in their daily content is also a solid product marketing plan. In a quid-pro-quo, the 2013 film, The Internship was able to use Google’s offices as its set, and the movie itself contained multiple product placements for the multinational technological goliath.
Interactive Product Demo
An interactive product demo can highlight the key benefits of your product, in a lively and engaging manner and encourage meaningful customer feedback. Gong, a revenue intelligence platform, has effectively enabled lead capture and improved conversions by targeting prospective customers through an interactive product demo.
Video Marketing Campaign
In 2014, Slack produced a video titled “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…”, which was filmed in a mockumentary style like the popular tv show, The Office. The video perfectly summarized and highlighted the platform’s key features and benefits, with the added bonus of inserting relatable workplace humor in a B2B campaign. Video-centric product marketing campaigns can also be experimented with by adding animation and graphic design to the mix, depending on your budget and time constraints.
A Template to Help You Create an Effective Product Marketing Strategy
Now that you’re prepared, you can download this template to refer to on your very own product marketing strategy planning journey:
Trends Impacting Your Product Marketing Strategy in 2024
Surveys by Gartner and Forbes have predicted trends in marketing for the year which will help you gauge and make the necessary tweaks to your product marketing plans, in line with the interests of your business and product. Some pointers that you should keep in mind are:
- Focusing on Retention over New Lead Acquisition
Personalization will be key in 2024, as consumers will rely on pre-established consumer patterns in uncertain economic times. Additionally, B2B companies are predicted to increase their investments in customer loyalty programs by 2024. This is an excellent way to retain high-priority B2B buyers and increase first-party data collection for honing their marketing strategies in the future.
Instead of spending precious capital on new lead acquisitions, adjust your budget to enhance the customer service experience for existing users. After all, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush!
- Tracking Developments in AI
As AI becomes more accurate, its use across marketing operations will increase, and your business will need to adjust in the face of increasingly data-driven decision-making. Before coming up with a marketing strategy for your product, you must understand what advancements in AI mean for your product both in terms of research and innovation as well as marketing.
Incorporating AI in your marketing strategies may be as straightforward as making the interface of your software product or demo interactive, or leaning into gamification, thus ensuring high or repetitive consumer engagement. Keep in mind that as a relatively recent incorporation, prospective customers' attitudes towards AI will largely depend on its ability to filter and combat misinformation. To this end, most marketing enterprises are predicted to establish a content authenticity function by 2027.
- Incorporating Video Content
Limiting content marketing to copywriting is no longer an option in today’s attention economy. Although websites require text, it will never be as attention-grabbing as a short video that auto-plays on your company’s online platforms. A video can be easily shared and reaches a wider audience, and works best when integrated with written content such as captions or slogans.
💡Tip: Embed an interactive product demo video on your website to capture high-intent leads and increase your conversion rates
- Diversifying Product Placements
According to Gartner, by 2024, most brands will redistribute at least 10 percent of their budget to product placement in entertainment content, especially in streaming content or via social media posts by influencers. The trick is to make it harder if not impossible for potential customers to skip or opt out of viewing advertisements for your product, and they are more likely to pay attention to them if collated with the media they already consume. Prepare to work with social commerce in 2024!
From all the tips and tricks outlined above, it is evident that a good marketing strategy is the stepping stone that can help bridge your product-company gap by boosting financial growth parameters. Remember to be thorough with your research, clear about your expectations, and gather feedback from customers and your sales and product teams every step of the way.
There is no one-size-fits-all template when it comes to product marketing strategy, so always keep an eye out for the best product-market fit to inform tweaks to your plans over time and demographics.
All the best for all your future strategizing!Is your one-of-a-kind product not getting the attention that you’d hoped for?The flaw might lie in a subpar product marketing strategy.
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