Like a ship without a compass, failing to build a product marketing strategy will leave your applications lost in a sea of competition.
If you’re serious about your small business, you need to understand the importance of product marketing. You’ll also need to learn how to implement product marketing best practices.
This strategy has become an essential part of small business internet marketing. However, its role and benefits can often be unclear. This lack of understanding leads to mixed ideas about the advantages of the product marketing experience. So let’s break down the finer details of what this marketing tactic is and how you can use it to boost growth for your small business.
What Is Product Marketing?
Simply put, product marketing is the process of bringing a product to market. This approach includes the positioning, messaging, launch, and education of consumers.
With a failure rate of nearly 50%, even the most ingenious products are not always well-received. It can be a challenge to pinpoint the exact reasons for a new product’s lack of success. However, if you don’t know how to leverage product marketing effectively, chances are it’s contributing greatly to your lukewarm reception in the market.
Read on to learn the four product marketing pillars that should drive your next launch:
- Product Positioning: establishes how your product will fit in the marketplace. It also identifies your target audience and the needs your solution will fill. During your product positioning, it’s important to consider consumer pain points
- Product Messaging: includes product descriptions that demonstrate value and the fulfillment of a need. Product messaging also creates a narrative that builds a movement around your product
- Product Launch: First impressions are everything. This is especially true when launching a new product into the market. Product awareness and market disruption are always ideal results of a product launch. This is also an excellent opportunity to establish trust, educate consumers, and increase revenue streams
- Sales & Consumer Comprehension: Products that do not clearly demonstrate their value have little chance of sparking interest. Accordingly, one of the main roles of product marketing is to develop collateral and messaging that educates the consumer
Benefits of Product Marketing for Businesses
Product marketing is one of the few strategies that touches product, marketing, and sales. This makes it a critical aspect of your small business internet marketing strategy. Five of the lasting benefits of a product marketing framework are:
- Increased Brand Awareness as you share the features and benefits of your product
- Product Education that will leave your customers more familiar with your brand’s value
- A Loyal Brand Following that grows as you develop your brand story
- Increased Demand as you educate your target market on the role your products play in their lives
- Lower Cost Per Customer Acquisition as you build consumer trust
Top Tips to Leverage Product Marketing from a Small Business Perspective
Here are six marketing tips for software products that you can implement today to reap the benefits of digital marketing:
- Take advantage of the audience insights provided from surveys, A/B Testing, and usability tests. Use these insights to create products that generate demand, have inherent shareability, and fill a need
- Understand the experience consumers face when using your products. An overly complicated application has little value in the current consumer culture. Make use of your audience insights to improve the user experience through continual product development
- Create clear messaging that highlights your product’s strengths in meeting the target audience’s needs. Use this messaging to create a narrative that will engage your community and build your following
- Schedule regular growth marketing experiments to form hypotheses. Use these hypotheses to test variations that challenge your current product offerings
- Develop informative and easy to understand collateral and content. This can include e-fliers, landing pages, and blog posts
- Whenever possible, it is better to show rather than tell. Develop demos and explainer videos to bring your products to life. The end goal is to make users feel the ways your product will help them before even purchasing
The Tips in Action — Product Marketing Case Studies
With more than 5 million monthly users and a growth of over 100% year on year, the scheduling tool, Calendly, owes much of its success to product marketing.
Upon its launch, Calendly used consumer insight to address a pain point that was felt by many in the workplace – setting schedules in a busy work environment. By crafting a narrative directly towards their target audience, Calendly quickly grasped a foothold in the SAAS marketplace.
The first demonstration of Calendly’s expertise in product marketing is their use of narrative to overcome a challenge. A succinct product description featured at the top of their homepage allows viewers to quickly understand the product’s benefits.
Calendly also makes sure users have a full understanding of the features included. They do this by sharing informative videos. These pieces of content build upon the narrative that scheduling meetings does not need to be a painful process.
Calendly excels at highlighting pain points and using them to leverage their product. One of the other main factors contributing to Calendly’s success is that the entire platform was built on its need to share. A single user can do nothing on the platform. To get started, a user must share a link that invites another user to join. The collaborative, social sharing nature of the product enabled a loop of visibility and demand that skyrocketed Calendly towards success.
What can you learn from Calendly? Identify your target audience and their pain points before finding ways to demonstrate your product’s ability to fill their needs. Integrating an inherent need to share can also give you a big boost.
RecipeIQ came to our mobile app development services team with a mission to give home cooks more control over their family’s health. They aimed to create a mobile app that would extract the nutritional information from any recipe. Our marketing team then developed an app marketing strategy that has led to over 60,000 downloads to date.
The first step in developing RecipeIQ’s product marketing strategy was to create a narrative that addressed the target audience’s needs. You can see this exemplified on the App Store, where pain points are addressed, and the product’s value is clearly stated:
RecipeIQ also chose to showcase informative videos highlighting the app’s features. They displayed these videos on their website and the app listings themselves. These videos are used to address the pain points that home cooks face when calculating nutritional information from homemade meals. They also demonstrate how the app can solve the user’s challenges with just the snap of a photo.
One additional factor contributing to the app’s success was the implementation of growth experiments. Through keyword research and testing, the team was able to optimize the mobile app’s listings in the app stores. These experiments led to an increase of over 600% downloads in just three months.
Ultimately, the product marketing strategy for RecipeIQ paid off. Target market research enabled a narrative that addressed pain points and filled a gap in the market. The ReceipeIQ team is also continually improving the app to enhance the user experience. Placing the user’s needs at the center of every development has boosted RecipeIQ’s number of downloads. They’ve also managed to create an entire nutrition-focused community around the app.
Lighten the Load — Working Alongside a Small Business Marketing Agency
Creating your product alongside a software development services company is just the first step of developing a profitable business. Your product’s real value lies in your product marketing framework. This framework should pinpoint how you meet consumer’s needs. Once this is established, you’ll be ready to engage your target audience.
The powerful role of product marketing is clear. The question for you is, do you have the time to implement product marketing best practices? Using audience insights to create a narrative is essential. Additionally, it’s important to consider the content and strategies you will use to connect with your audience and spread your message far.
You may find that working with a full-service digital marketing agency boosts your efficiency as you plan your internet marketing strategy. It can also help you avoid some of the top digital marketing mistakes. When mapping your next project’s path towards success, finding a small business marketing agency that understands your challenges should be a top consideration.
Curious to learn more? Schedule your free marketing consultation to discuss how we can help build your product marketing strategy.