Did you know that out of 30,000 new products introduced every year around 95% fail?
That’s harsh, right.
This is what Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor said, the reasons ranging from lack of funding, poor timing or lack of a proper marketing strategy. So how do you make sure your venture gets the best shot possible? Before we deep dive into that you should know what exactly is product marketing.
What is Product Marketing?
Product marketing, as the name implies, is the process of not just bringing a product to market but also promoting it through a company like Search Initiative and selling it to the right customer. To accomplish this, a product marketer needs to understand the target audience, properly position the product and leverage messaging to boost the overall product revenue.
Why do Companies Need Product Marketing?
Let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario. You’ve built a tool that helps companies detect forgery. For this your ideal customer can be anyone – from a legal advisor to company CEOs to a nonexpert. On the launch day your tool is available for download. But there’s a problem.
You just got 2-3 downloads on the day and around 10 downloads in the 1st month.
What went wrong?
Although your tool can help a lot of people and companies as well, you didn’t market it properly – so no one knew about your product which eventually led to a lesser number of downloads.
If you organized a wedding party and didn’t send out invitations, no one would come – obviously!
That’s exactly what happened. Your tool didn’t reach the target audience and to ensure it does, you need to have a solid product marketing strategy in place that highlights:
- The products you offer
- Your target customers
- Positioning of your product
- Channels to reach these customers
- The price of your product
This will eventually help you define and use the right strategies to target your buyer personas, prepare a plan and ensure that all the teams are aligned towards one common goal – helping your product reach its maximum potential. Product marketing needs you to look at your products from a strategic perspective to ensure their success in the current market. Here are 5 steps that can help you build and optimize your product marketing strategy:
- Understand your target audience
- Position your product and deliver the right message
- Don’t shy away from assigning goals
- Work on pricing strategy
- Ready for launch
Let’s deep dive
Step #1: Define and understand your target audience
Understanding your target audience opens portals of information which is why it’s the first step to almost every marketing or business strategy. As a product marketer you need to understand your product in and out and then create a buyer persona. This will help you overcome any challenges and address the pain points your ideal customer has. Once this is in place, everything will revolve around this, be it your marketing strategy, content or even at times feature additions in your product.
Step #2: Set it apart with the right positioning
Once you know your audience and the challenges they face, you need to deep dive into how your product helps overcome these challenges and then put the same message out there. You need to resonate with your audience, walk a mile in their shoes and this will help you create a message for your ideal customer.
For this step you might also want to know your competitors and try to set your product apart from what already exists in the market. Answer these questions to curate a proper product messaging:
- What are your product USPs, what makes it unique?
- Why is it better than the competitors?
- What’s the value your customers will get out of your product?
- Why should customers trust and buy your product?
Once you address these queries and convey them to your audience with a short and understandable response, they will happily invest. This allows you to ensure the entire company is consistent in the content and information they share about your product. Additionally, you can provide this information to your support team if you think it’s necessary, as they may be fielding support calls and working with your customers who’ve already invested in the product.
Step #3: Set goals for your product
A key step into understanding whether your efforts are showing results or not is by setting goals and evaluating them. These goals will vary based on the industry, marketing goals, your product, etc. Some common ideas for goals companies have for products are: increasing sign ups/website traffic, increasing sales, customer engagement and retention, brand recognition, etc. However, every SaaS company must list out some specific goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART goals).
Step #4: Price your product
An important aspect of product marketing is setting the right price for your product which can be based on various factors – the product offering, the market demand, the competitors pricing, value your product delivers, etc. There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right pricing strategy for your SaaS product. Before coming to a conclusion, you might also want to take suggestions from the sales, marketing and product department.
Step #5: Time to launch your product
The launch can be divided into – the internal launch (product that goes within the company) and external launch (product that goes outside of your company) for the ideal customers. Once your product is launched for the audience, performance monitoring a.k.a monitoring some key SaaS metrics will come into play where you can track the response of the market to your product and later make iterations if necessary.