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Product Marketing

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byAswathi Jayachandran
Edited byAswathi Jayachandran
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Product Marketing? 

Product marketing is the process of bringing a product to market and communicating its unique value proposition to potential customers. It involves conducting thorough market research to identify the target audience, understand their needs and preferences, and determine the most effective ways to reach them through strategic positioning and messaging.

Product Marketing

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A well-executed product marketing plan can help increase the visibility and demand for a product. Still, the success of a product is also influenced by other factors such as product quality, market demand, and competition. While product marketing can play a significant role in driving sales and profits, it is just one piece of the puzzle in the overall success of a product.

Key Takeaways

  • Product marketing involves promoting and positioning a product to meet customer needs and increase market demand.
  • It requires a deep understanding of the target market, including customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, as well as competitive analysis.
  • Key strategies include market research, product positioning and branding, pricing and packaging, and go-to-market and launch plans.
  • A successful plan will consider the entire product marketing lifecycle, from product development to eventual retirement.

Product Marketing Explained

Product marketing is associated with launching or positioning the product to differentiate it from competitors, increase its visibility and demand, and ultimately drive sales and profits. This process often involves a combination of advertising, public relations, promotions, and other marketing activities designed to reach existing and new customers.

It manages the three primary stages of the consumer funnel: acquisition, engagement, and retention. During the acquisition stage, it focuses on raising awareness of the product or service through advertising and other marketing activities. During the engagement stage, the goal is to convert prospective customers into buyers. Finally, in the retention stage, it keeps customers satisfied and engaged with the product through post-purchase support and customer relationship management. Furthermore, it involves a wide range of activities beyond just advertising and can play a critical role in the overall success of a product.

The identification of consumer demand and needs is another focus. But it emphasizes finding out more about the customer who purchases the company’s goods. Creating value is the main responsibility of product managers. In turn, the product marketer concentrates on expressing the product’s value. Creating buyer personas, positioning the items and communication that appeal to prospects and customers, and developing apt market strategies are part of marketing items. In addition, it involves developing strategies for product distribution and promotions.

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Types

Several types of it are differentiated based on the stages of the product lifecycle and the target audience. Some common types include:

  • New product launch marketing: This type of marketing focuses on introducing a new item to the market and creating awareness and interest among potential customers.
  • Rebranding and repositioning marketing: This type of marketing is used to change the perception of an existing item in the market, often by changing its packaging, branding, or target audience.
  • Product line extension marketing: This type of marketing focuses on expanding an existing product line by adding new products that complement existing offerings.
  • Performance improvement marketing: This type of marketing is used to improve the performance of an existing product by modifying the product mix or its marketing mix.
  • Competitive response marketing: This type of marketing is used to respond to competitors’ marketing efforts and differentiate an item from its competitors.
  • Segment-specific marketing: This type of marketing focuses on specific market segments, such as geographic, demographic, or psychographic segments, to tailor marketing efforts to the unique needs of each segment.

A company’s type depends on the specific item or offering, market context, and overall marketing objectives and strategy.

Examples

Example #1

As a brand, Apple has focused on enhancing the user experience by innovating and introducing various products, such as watches, mobile phones, laptops, personal computers, etc., with clear, self-explanatory names. The company has employed various strategies to appeal to a younger target audience, including free coding classes. Apple’s product design, user interfaces, brand logo, assistance features, and how it is advertised are focused on providing bare essentials. 

The main goal of this minimalism is to make the products simple to use so that even non-specialists may readily understand and use them. Apple keeps every minute detail, including the unboxing process, minimalistic, giving users an authentic and special experience.

As a result, using the products is more pleasant. Even their marketing philosophy reflects the same. The product name and a clear image of the product are the only information included in a standard Apple billboard or commercial; there are no technical details, prices, or expensive special effects. Cutting out the noise attracted an audience for them and worked in their favor.

Example #2

IKEA, the furniture brand, used traditional advertising methods such as print advertisements to market its bedding products. However, when every brand is running behind social media and influencers, the brand takes a turn and chooses to advertise them in ways that capture attention. For example, it produced a new print advertisement across the Middle East on the back of the GOOD magazine and named it SOMNIG (the Swedish word for sleep).

The print ad had a USB port that needed to be charged before use. It was created to demonstrate the level of comfort that users can obtain from their beds and mattresses. The ad had to be detached from the magazine, and there is a tab behind it that, when opened, emits white noise, which is proven to help with sleeping. The ad was printed with lavender-infused ink, which is known to relax and enhance sleep quality. The sound waves help circulate the lavender aroma. It was an innovative product marketing strategy.

Importance

Product marketing is an important aspect of a business’s success. It helps the business understand the needs and wants of its target audience. Understanding consumer needs is key in determining the right marketing strategy to add value to their lives and promote the offering effectively. In addition, a deeper understanding of the target audience contributes to higher profits through a wider reach of sales.

In addition, it also helps businesses understand their competition and differentiate themselves from others in the market. By researching and analyzing the competition, a business can create a unique market strategy highlighting its item’s distinctiveness, leading to increased popularity and revenue. Effective product marketing also requires coordination between various teams and departments, such as design, finance, sales, and marketing, to ensure successful planning and execution. Lastly, it helps improve a brand’s image by promoting a product that appeals to a larger audience and enhances its overall image.

Difference Between Product Marketing And Service Marketing

Both the terms look similar, but they have some differences. Let us observe them taking the help of the following table.

Key differencesProduct MarketingService Marketing
NaturePromoting a product that can be seen, touched, and experienced physically.Promoting intangible services that can only be experienced through personal interaction.
PersonalizationMarketed to a large, general audience with limited customization options.Services can be personalized to meet individual customer preferences.
Delivery Involves tangible products that can be directly delivered to the customer.Services are intangible and cannot be directly delivered; they must be experienced.
DifficultyEasier to execute marketing campaigns due to the tangible nature of products.More challenging as the intangible nature of services makes it harder to market.
Expiration Products have a limited lifespan and may need to be updated or changed over time to remain relevant.Services can be available indefinitely as long as the service provider continues to offer them.

Product Marketing vs Product Management vs Brand Marketing

All three terms seem similar, but they have some differences. Let us observe them taking the help of the table below.

Product MarketingProduct ManagementBrand Marketing
It is mostly focused on promoting a product. It is customer and market-oriented.It is in charge of organizing the teams that build the product and its development and product-oriented.Brand marketing is a marketing component that employs strategies to raise a product line or brand’s perceived value over time. It is company-oriented.
Product marketing teams handle new product information and related updates.Product management teams handle new product information and related updates.The teams handle new product information and related updates.
It is responsible for aligning the product, packaging, and popularizing it.Product management is responsible for aligning product requirements with market demands.It is responsible for maintaining brand equity or gaining brand value.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a product marketing mix?

It combines strategies and tactics companies use to promote and sell their products. It includes product features, price, place (distribution), and promotion (advertising and sales promotion). Moreover, it aims to ensure that the product is positioned in a way that appeals to the target market and achieves the desired level of sales and profitability.

What is the product marketing lifecycle?

The product marketing lifecycle is a product’s journey from conception to retirement. It consists of 5 stages: product development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

What do product marketing managers do?

They oversee the development and promotion of a company’s products. They conduct market research, develop product positioning and branding strategies, work with product development teams, create product pricing and packaging strategies, and execute product marketing plans. They also collaborate with sales teams, measure and analyze product performance, build relationships with key stakeholders, and stay up-to-date with industry trends. 

This has been a guide to what is Product Marketing. We explain its examples, types, importance, & comparison with product management & service marketing. You can learn more about it from the following articles –

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