You’ve spent months designing and developing your product. You’re ready to launch. But what if the product launch fails?
Product designers and developers are focused on the technical aspect of product creation.
But no matter how perfect the codebase is or how great its features are, the efforts are wasted if the product doesn’t get into the hands of the right people.
As marketers or business owners, it’s your job to create a marketing strategy to ensure the success of your new product.
- 71% of companies who exceed their lead and revenue goals have created buyer personas
- High-performing companies were 2.3 times more likely to research their buyers’ motivations.
- 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company that provides personalized experiences.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”Abraham Lincoln
Understanding your consumers and providing a personalized experience based on their customer journey will help you convert more sales.
In this article, we’ll dish out the steps to create a bullet-proof product marketing strategy so you’re ready to launch and capture the attention of your ideal customers.
What is a Product Marketing Strategy?
A product marketing strategy is a high-level plan to bring a product to the market by promoting it to the right audience.
Developing a product marketing strategy requires knowing your ideal customer persona, understanding your unique value proposition, and how you’ll craft the messaging to attract customers.
The goal of the strategy is to sell your product to the right audience and deliver on the promises that are being advertised.
Each product marketing strategy should define and clarify the following:
- The target audience or buyer persona.
- The unique value proposition and how it fits into the marketplace.
- Where the product will be promoted.
- How the product will be promoted.
- Tracking the behavior of your users to improve user experience and retention.
But the strategy isn’t just about the pre-launch phase. Product marketers must work with the product development team, sales team, and customer service team to ensure the success of a new product.
The marketing team may work with the product design team to ensure the product addresses the customer’s needs.
They will have to create a marketing vision that describes the features and benefits of the product to help the salespeople better sell the product.
Lastly, the marketing team will have to collect feedback from the customer service department to adjust the product and help drive adoption.
There are three stages to a successful product marketing strategy: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.
- Pre-Product Launch: Product marketers will determine the positioning, messaging, and promotion for how the product will enter the market.
- During the Launch: Marketers ensure that customers have a great experience with the product.
- Post-Product Launch: Marketers will help drive adoption by focusing on driving demand and usage of the product.
“Product marketing has suffered from an identity crisis as long as I have known the term. Product marketing, when done correctly, is usually in charge of three things: First, deciding a soon to be released product’s positioning and messaging. Second, launching the product and making sure users understand its value. Third, drive demand and usage of the product.”Casey Winters, Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite. Source: Drift
Why is creating a product marketing strategy important?
A product marketing strategy is critical to the success of your product. Without a plan, the product won’t reach its full potential.
Attract the right customers
When you understand your target audience, you can design and market your product to the needs of your consumers.
They’ll be more interested in what you have to say if you craft personalized content and messaging to your target persona.
For example, this dentist advertisement demonstrates that they understand the fears of their consumers. They know that their audience may fear going to the dentist because the procedure might be painful, and that’s why they explicitly mention that the procedure will be painless.
Once you know everything about your buyer’s personas, you can quickly determine where you can get their attention. Determining who your buyers are lets you know where to find them.
Similarly, once you’ve identified your buyer’s demographics and psychographics, you can better attract them to your product. Not to mention, you’ll create a better product that is better suited for your customers.
Gain a competitive advantage
Creating a winning product in the marketplace requires you to study your competitors.
A business must find the gap between what is currently offered in the market and what customers want.
It’s essential to provide customers with something unique that other businesses don’t offer. Most companies are formed due to something that is lacking in the marketplace.
HubSpot was founded because they noticed consumers were tired of being harassed by marketers and salespeople. As a result, they created CRM software to empower businesses to focus on helping the customer through inbound marketing.
Many startups use a SWOT analysis to determine whether a product is worth releasing.
A SWOT analysis is a framework to help evaluate the product’s competitive positioning in the marketplace. Leaders will assess their product’s potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Use the SWOT analysis to help you find out where your product excels, where it could improve, and what opportunities you could capitalize on based on current market conditions.
Developing a product marketing strategy helps to increase sales and maximize profits.
Researching the competitors in your market and the problems people face allows you to attract qualified leads and convert them into customers. You’ll be able to craft your message to make your content relatable to their goals, fears, interests, and ambitions.
When you understand where your product fits into the niche, you can state the features and benefits to your leads. As a result, you’ll achieve a higher response and conversion rate.
As we now understand why building a product marketing strategy is important, let’s examine a 6-step process for creating your first product marketing strategy.
1. Create a customer avatar
There’s no point in designing a product your customers don’t need.
“You could have the greatest product on earth, but if you’re trying to sell it to the wrong person – you’re never going to hit your sales numbers”Digital Marketer
Customer research is critical to identifying what your target audience wants. It allows you to better serve them by providing products or services to fulfill their needs.
To collect data about your customers, start with the demographics and psychographics of your customers:
Demographics: Find the demographic characteristics for your future customers – location, household income, job title, age, gender, etc.
Psychographics: Research the audience’s motivations and needs. Look into common psychographic traits such as personality, attitudes, and hobbies.
Demographics and psychographics are valuable data for using advertising platforms like Facebook Ads. Their platform lets you target specific audiences such as location, age, gender, languages, interests, behavior, etc.
You also want to dig deeper into your research. Creating a customer avatar will allow you to articulate your customer’s goals, values, challenges, and pain points.
For example, Digital Marketer is a website that provides training, workshops, and classes about digital marketing. They have four buyer persona’s who they believe would be interested in their certification classes.
- The marketing employee: Looking to earn a promotion or land a new job by acquiring new marketing skills
- The marketing freelancer: Interested in increasing their offerings or distinguishing themselves from other freelancers
- The marketing agency owner: Want to sharpen the marketing skills of their employees to serve their agency clients better
- The business owner: Want to help the marketing department by brushing up on the latest marketing skills and tactics.
Follow these steps to create a customer avatar:
- List out the customer’s goals and values. Ask yourself, what do they want to accomplish, and what do they strongly believe in?
- Identify their challenges and pain points. What keeps them up in bed late at night?
- Think about where your audience obtains their sources of information. For example, marketing freelancers may read DigitalMarketer.com or Neil Patel’s blog.
- Identify possible objections in the buying process. Think about the reasons that could prevent this customer from buying. Also, what is their role in the purchasing decision? Are they the primary decision maker?
Here’s another example of a customer avatar interested in purchasing an SEO course or using SEO software like a keyword research tool.
How to do customer research without talking to customers
Talking to potential customers is always the best way to gather the information for your customer avatar. However, sometimes, it may be logistically inconvenient.
Online conversations are much more easily accessible and allow you to get more data in a short time frame. Also, customer research is an excellent way to validate your product idea.
Here are some methods and places to look:
- Surveys allow you to gain deeper insight into your ideal customer’s opinion. Consider offering a freebie in exchange for people who complete your survey.
- Reddit has large crowds of subcommunities on nearly every topic imaginable. Use the search bar to input relevant keywords and phrases in your niche. Scan the posts and comments and engage with the community.
- Facebook Groups offer niche communities where anyone can join them. Use relevant keywords to search within the group, such as “help me,” “how-to,” or “struggle with.”
- Quora has 300 million active monthly users, and many go on to look for answers to questions.
- Find industry thought leaders, public figures, and experts in your industry. Some of them will often tweet and elicit thoughtful responses from their audience. Scan the comments and see what they are saying about a given topic.
- Niche online communities can be a hidden gem to learning about your audience’s struggles. There are many online forum communities where you can join. Discord has categories that allow you to join servers to chat with members about topics. Hundreds or thousands of servers are within each category, such as Business, Financial, Design, Programming, Investing, Writing, etc. You can also look at customer communities such as the HubSpot community or Trailblazer community to see what customers say about their product. Finding a related competitor community gives you insight into the problems their customers could be facing.
2. Identify your unique value proposition
Marketers must understand what makes the product unique and why customers need it when developing and promoting it.
Customers don’t buy because you are selling a product. They buy because you are fulfilling a need in a way that other businesses cannot.
You can add value to customers by:
- Saving them time.
- Giving them extra value for their money.
- Eliminating an inconvenience that other competitors do not.
- Offering resources or an experience that others do not.
A unique value proposition is the unique positioning that your product has in the marketplace that stands out from competitors.
You can develop your value proposition by asking yourself a few questions:
- If your product didn’t exist, what would customers use?
- What features do you have that others do not?
- What value can you add to your customers that other competitors can’t?
In addition, a product should have a clear vision of what it can achieve. For example, Uber’s vision is “go anywhere and get anything.” They are a tech company that helps movement happen with a push of a button.
Marketers can develop a product vision board to help them clarify who the product targets, what their needs are, what the features and selling points of the product are and how your business will benefit from it.
Craft your product messaging
Every product needs a concise and easy-to-understand messaging for its unique value proposition. Great product messaging should be persuasive, memorable, and simple. Furthermore, it should contain the following:
- Tagline: Communicate what the product does.
- Problem statement: How the product solves the problem.
- Core features: How the product goes about solving the problem.
- Value proposition: What makes your product unique from its competitors.
Leadpages does an exceptional job with their product messaging:
- Tagline: Turn clicks into customers.
- Problem statement: A drag-and-drop landing page builder to capture qualified leads and convert them into customers.
- Core features: A drag-and-drop builder, conversion tools, and templates to build the perfect landing page.
- Value proposition: “All you need is better than all in one.” The tool bundles everything that works into pre-made builders and templates.
3. Create a product marketing strategy
Now that you’ve created your buyer persona and unique value proposition, it’s important to establish the 4 P’s of Marketing into your strategy. The 4 P’s of marketing is a framework used to market your product. These 4 P’s consist of:
- Product: What are you selling?
- Price: How much are you charging?
- Place: Where will you promote your product?
- Promotion: How will customers find out about the product?
Since we’ve already discussed how to find your product’s value proposition, you can move on to the price, place, and promotion aspects.
Pricing will vary depending on the product and industry you’re in. If you’re in a saturated space, you may have to offer the lowest price. However, you can charge a premium if you’re in a relatively new space.
Here are some questions to consider:
- How sensitive are customers to price?
- How does your price compare to competitors?
- What would be the lowest price that you’re willing to sell your product for?
- What is the highest price customers would be willing to pay for the product?
Next, consider the place. Where do your potential customers hang out?
In a virtual world, looking into the channel with your target audience is important. If you own a lead generation software, you may want to use LinkedIn blogs and ads since many decision-makers like to network there.
Ask yourself these questions to find out where your potential customers are:
- Where do your customers spend their time digitally?
- Which distribution channels do your competitors use?
- Do you sell to consumers or businesses?
When determining the right promotional strategy, you may want to research what messaging and offers work best with your audience.
We recommend two research tools to help you spy on what your competitors are doing.
Ubersuggest, for instance, lets you search competitor websites to view their traffic numbers, their best-performing pages, and the top SEO keywords that they’re ranking for. This helps you find potential keywords you can rank for.
Facebook Ads Library is another tool that allows you to find ongoing or previous ads that your competitor has used. Check out their best-performing ads to analyze their ad copy and offer. You can go down the rabbit hole in their funnel to see how they are converting their audience.
Once you’ve analyzed your competitors’ promotion strategies, you can incorporate the effective ones into your inbound marketing strategy.
4. Build out your content marketing plan based on the customer lifecycle
Every prospect goes through a customer lifecycle journey where they start as cold prospects and eventually become paying customers.
Your job is to deliver timely content to prospects based on where they are in their journey.
In short, there are four stages:
- Awareness – Visitors become aware of your brand through social media, blog posts, or collaborative marketing.
- Engagement – Visitors turn into a lead when they opt-in to a lead magnet or free trial.
- Conversion – Leads eventually become buyers once they are properly nurtured or onboarded to the product.
- Retention – Customers become active users and refer your product to other people.
Notice that the type of content varies based on the stage of the buyer’s journey.
Users should educate visitors about the problem through blogs and social media posts in the awareness stage.
Encharge uses their blog posts to educate visitors on how to use marketing automation and email marketing to help SaaS companies, content creators, and agencies improve conversion.
Next, users interested in implementing marketing automation may start a free trial with Encharge.
Lastly, Encharge will use a series of onboarding emails to get users acclimated to the tool. You can send emails about the features, and case studies and even answer common questions.
5. Implement email marketing
Like content marketing, your emails should be automated based on time or triggers.
Time-based emails are triggered by a set time. Conversely, triggered-based emails are sent where a person interacts or fails to interact with your product.
Where time-based triggers are useful: If you are offering a 14-day trial, it may be beneficial to send a time-based email to ask for feedback on the software on Day 10. This reminds them to use the product and see whether they like it or not.
Where action-based triggers can be useful: If a trial user becomes a customer before your onboarding flow ends, you can remove them from the previous flow.
Further reading: Time-based Vs. Action-based Onboarding Emails. Can they work together?
Types of emails
It is critical to send the right emails based on where the prospect is in their buyer’s journey. There are a few email types you should use within your product marketing strategy:
Nurturing emails are designed to establish trust and engage prospects. These emails primarily educate and entertain users. They may include funny anecdotes, links to blog posts, or even case studies.
Onboarding emails welcome new users and get them accustomed to your product. It may provide an overview of the product and how to use its features.
Sales emails directly ask for the sale and may use psychological tactics such as scarcity or exclusivity to push the prospect into buying.
Develop winning headlines
When writing your emails, it’s important to generate eye-catching subject lines. Boring subject lines mean your emails won’t be opened.
47% of email recipients decide to open an email solely based on the subject line. Additionally, 69% of recipients will report the email as spam depending on the subject line.
Follow these tips to improve your email subject lines:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- A/B test your email subject lines.
- Use personalization tags such as name or location.
- Segment your list so the email is targeted based on the user’s specific action or lack of action.
Encharge has a free AI-powered email subject line generator to give you unique subject lines for your new product campaign.
5. Use analytics tools to improve customer retention
Analytics tools can be used to analyze user behavior with your product. The data provided from these tools can help you improve your funnel, website, and software.
Crazy Egg provides visual representations of where customers click when they land on your website. Furthermore, they give valuable statistics such as page clicks and bounces and even provide sources of where the traffic is coming from.
Encharge can provide critical email metrics to help you improve your marketing campaign. This information can help improve your email flows or the content within the email. The metrics include:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Clickthrough rate
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Forward/share rate
- Return on investment
- Unsubscribe rate
MixPanel is a product behavioral analytics tool that captures data about how customers interact with your digital product.
- User profile: The data helps you understand who your user is, where they are in their journey and how they got there.
- Conversion data: You’ll be able to see the drop-off rates for every aspect of your digital product.
- Engagement activity: It measures the engagement of each user through event properties. Marketers can create the desired event properties such as time or number of watched videos, features used, etc. As a result, you can restructure your digital product or marketing to increase engagement.
- Retention data: Analyze the retention rate of your product and see where users are dropping off. Prioritize what areas of your products move the needle.
Using behavioral data, Amplitude helps digital creators understand how users interact with their product or marketing funnels. The software gives you more than the basic counting numbers.
The platform shows you a user’s customer journey and their path to achieve a particular outcome. Furthermore, they’ll recognize trends that lead to conversion and patterns that lead to drop-off.
Amplitude also uses AI machine learning to provide recommendations to your app, website, or funnel to improve conversion metrics such as sign-ups, purchases, and downloads.
Heap is an analytics platform that helps digital marketers understand how and why users engage with your product. The platform gives you fast and definitive answers on how customers behave on your site, such as:
- Which events on your site have the highest drop-off rate?
- Which behaviors correlate with conversions and retention?
- What are the different paths that users take on your site?
- Which steps are you not tracking but should be tracking?
With Heap, you can use data analytics to understand what metrics and behaviors matter the most.
Understanding Customer Lifecycle
Besides analytics tools, you’ll need to understand the psychology of the customer lifecycle. Understanding the customer lifecycle will help you guide your leads into customers and turn first-time customers into recurring customers.
These are five steps to the customer lifecycle:
- Acquisition: Visitors become aware of your brand and usually enter your website from various channels.
- Activation: Users will purchase and enjoy their experience as a customer.
- Retention: Customers will come back and continue using your product or service.
- Referral: Your customers will refer the product to others.
- Revenue: Customers are happy to continue paying for your product.
When it comes to acquisition, you’ll want to choose the right marketing channels to promote your product. We recommend selecting the marketing channels that:
- Provide the most significant volume of traffic.
- Have the Lowest costs.
- Are performing best.
Activation requires plenty of A/B testing to identify which features, offers, and marketing copy drives conversions.
The goal is to use features on the page to engage users to have a happy first visit.
Retention involves using automated email marketing sequences to onboard the customers. These emails deliver value and educate customers on how your product helps them to drive retention.
Referrals can be driven by creating a loyalty program to encourage referrals by users.
Revenue is increased when you find ways to improve the lifetime value of each customer. Perhaps you can offer users a VIP or premium plan or provide complementary tools to enhance their experience.
Examples of successful product marketing strategies
Studying effective campaigns gives you insight into their strategies to capture and convert leads.
Here are a few examples of successful product marketing strategies:
#1. HubSpot Academy SEO Training Course
HubSpot is a CRM tool to help manage leads and customers throughout the sales cycle. They build brand awareness by first educating people on attracting leads through SEO. Once a person builds an SEO strategy, they’ll need to effectively manage their leads in the pipeline with HubSpot.
How to replicate HubSpot Academy’s strategy:
Educate customers about the problem you’re trying to solve. If you own an SEO software tool, you want to educate users on the importance of SEO and the mistakes most websites make when attempting to rank on Google. As they learn more about SEO, you’ll become their authority, and they’ll trust you. Once you’ve established trust, it’s much easier for you to present them with an offer about your new product.
#2. Jim Kwik Learning Course
Jim Kwik offers a course that teaches people how to study effectively. There are a few things that Jim does incredibly well:
- The ad addresses the concern of the audience. Most students are worried they won’t have time for another course. He mentioned that it only takes 10 to 15 minutes per day.
- Jim builds brand authority by mentioning that he is trusted by Harvard, NYU, Caltech, Stanford University students, and more. He also notes that he’s been a brain coach for nearly 30 years.
- Lastly, he eliminates the risk of buying his course by offering a 100% money-back guarantee.
How to replicate Jim Kwik’s strategy:
Jim effectively addresses and quells the concerns that his target audience has. He knows his audience won’t trust him immediately; therefore, he tackles the concerns one by one. In your promotion, it’s vital to acknowledge your audience’s potential objections.
Brainstorm all of the possible objections they have and make sure to overcome them. You can have an FAQ page to answer them directly. Additionally, you can use authoritative tactics such as mentioning high-profile businesses you’ve worked with or sharing case studies to demonstrate the effective results you provide.
#3. DollarShaveClub Subscription Razor Service
With over 27 million views on their ad, Dollar Shave Club was able to gain 12,000 new customers on their $1 per month trial for their subscription razor service. As a result, the ad generated $144,000 in recurring revenue.
The ad did a few things exceptionally well:
- Communicated that their razor service was affordable and convenient
- The ad was funny, which made it shareable and lowered the CPM.
- The ad had concise messaging that made its features and benefits memorable.
How to replicate Dollar Shave Club’s strategy:
It’s crucial to convey your unique value proposition. How is your product better than the competitors? Clearly and boldly state your USP to your customers in your content and advertisements.
Build your product marketing strategy today!
Creating a cohesive product marketing strategy is like doing your homework before the test. It sets you up for success.
By understanding the buyer’s persona and creating your unique value proposition, you can attract more qualified leads and convert them into paying customers.
Get clear on the direction of your marketing and product and do the work to develop your marketing master plan.
Now it’s your turn! Steal our best strategies and then execute your product marketing plan. Sign up for a free 14-day trial with Encharge and build your marketing automation system today!
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