What’s needed for great product marketing strategy? I’ll answer that in eight basic steps.
To form your product market strategy, ask six questions:
- What problem are you trying to solve (most)?
- Who most has this problem?
- What will you offer to solve this problem – for that market – better than anyone else?
- How mature is that market then they buy in this category of product / service?
- What is your profit strategy?
- How are you trying to position your brand with that market?
I’ll explain why, but there’s two more steps:
- Build, price and articulate a stunningly good solution to the problem the way the market wants to buy it.
- Build and execute a cracking set of tactics to take it to market.
Let’s dive in. I want to show you some articles that we’ve researched, and then expand on strategy recommendation. I’ll also explain why each of those eight steps, as well as their order, is important.
Our first article from the western Australian government, boring definitions and not insightful. Nothing there for you.
Marketing strategies and Tactics on the Victorian Government’s website. Our researcher forgot to put her settings into global. She went to the Australian Google so forgive her for that, but she came up with another horrible one. Seven P’s. The seven P’s described as tactics kills me. These are not tactics, these are strategies. Tactics are things you do to the buyer. It’s a useless article.
The third article we found was by Mars. It’s just what we need, more P’s and now four C’s. Getting sucked into acronym hell is just silly.
Three wasted articles. Next one. Blissfully brief, but absent of any unique insight. I’ve got one good one to show you, then some clear conclusions, so don’t nick off just yet.
All right, this is the most shared article. It was shared squillions of times – Facebook 2,100 times, LinkedIn 1,500, Twitter 2,600. It’s a great practical list of social media tactics to support your product launch. I know we’re looking for product marketing strategy but I couldn’t get past this list of excellent tactics which came up when I Googled ‘Product Marketing Strategy’.
Although disconnected, there’s a set of concrete and discrete things you need to do in order to take advantage of social media when launching your product marketing strategy. In the recommendations they’re saying:
- How will you position your product or service’s core attributes and how do they differ from alternatives?
- What else goes into the solution to make it complete for the customer?
- How will you price, package and merchandise it?
- How will it be sold?
- Who’s your target market? And
- That you should use social media to create buzz around your product launch.
It’s a bit of a tick list – there’s no real sequence or logic to that flow.
I’ll do my best to argue the six questions you need to ask and two steps that you need to take to get your product market strategy right.
- Be really clear about what problem you’re trying to solve.
- Who most has that problem?
- How will you offer to better solve that problem for that market than anyone else?
We’re starting with a buyer, what their problems are, then we’re moving into the product. Next question:
- How mature is the market when they buy this product or service.
I won’t dive into Morris’ chasm theory, but in essence, depending on how mature your market is, you want to have a deliberately incomplete or complete, bundled or un-bundled product. Don’t get the answer to this question wrong.
- What’s your profit strategy?
Again, I’m not going to go into Porter’s differentiation and cost leadership strategy. I’ll link it to an article I did eons ago that you might find useful showing you where that ties in together, shortly. Finally,
- How are you trying to position your brand?
Some of these questions are kind of serial once you have them answered.
One, two, and three, certainly are. Four, five, and six, not so much. Then you need to, build, price and articulate a stunningly good solution to that problem that reflects how the market wants it solved (complete, incomplete, high priced, low priced). Guided by your profit strategy, that’s what market maturity gives you. Meaning don’t build a solution that costs millions if you’re trying to take a cost leadership position.
If you’re making a differentiated solution, don’t make a look alike product. That’s where I’m going with the profit and positioning strategy. Positioning is not enough to take your product to market. You need a cracking set of tactics. The social media ones were great –
- Get the market troubled about the problem.
- Make the need clear.
- Communicate how you will meet the need better than anybody else.
That last little piece was obviously saying we need tactics all the way through the buyer’s journey, not just for part of it.
Clearly if you’re using funnel plan it’s going to force you to answer those questions.
- What problem are you solving?
- Who has it?
- What does my solution look like now you’ve got a way to think about answers to all those questions?
It will ask you to find tactics for each stage of the buyer’s journey. If you don’t have a funnel plan just yet, you can get a free one at ‘funnelplan.com’. If you want deep analysis on building a complete solution and get loads of coaching, then you may take one of the paid options. Either way, to build your clear plan check out funnelplan.com.
- Small Business for Marketing – Product Strategy
- Business Department – Victorian Government for Marketing strategies and tactics
- MaRS for The marketing mix in marketing strategy: Product, price, place and promotion
- Rick Suttle for Product-Marketing Strategy
- Harvard Business Review for 10 Tactics for Launching a Product Using Social Media
- align.me for How to earn more profit than your competitors