Launching a new product can be a very exciting proposition. It can also be very expensive if you aren’t familiar with the process of marketing the product once you get it ready for mass consumption. Product Marketing mediums are not all created equally. Some mediums work well for some products but terribly for others.
In order to develop a marketing strategy for your new product. You first have to evaluate who your target market is, where they purchase your product at (retail vs. online) and how much they would expect to pay for your product. Once you know these three things, you can move on to developing your product marketing plan.
Product Marketing strategies should start by determining how your customers find out about your product when they are about to make a purchase decision. Some of the most common ways are listed below:
Depending on the method customers use to find your product, the next step is determining if they are active or passive consumers.
Determining who your target customer is
Active consumers are people who are actively trying to purchase your product. They use sites like Google to find more information about your product or product category before making a purchase decision. Active consumers have strong purchase intent and will make a purchase if your offer is compelling enough.
Active consumers use Search Engines, Amazon, Trade Publications and In-Store shopping to find products in your category.
Passive consumers are people who would buy your product if you can get a compelling offer in front of them. They are harder to target and often cost more money to acquire from a marketing perspective. This is because a lot of guesswork goes in to determining who makes up your target market and what offers are relevant enough to them to entice a purchase.
Passive consumers can be found on a myriad of websites that cater to those with a particular interest in different topics.
Marketing a new product
Marketing a new product is much different than marketing a product that has been around for a while. New products have a lack of brand or product collateral. Collateral is the amount of content that can be found about your product using a search engine. You are also up against the lack of product or brand recognition in the existing competitive landscape. If all your competitors have hundreds of reviews and your product has zero, it might be hard to get that initial traction without a solid plan to address that issue.
Marketing a new product requires a product marketing plan. We will talk about that in the next section.
PRODUCT MARKETING PLAN
Developing a product marketing plan starts with a comprehensive review of your product and the marketplaces where it’s consumed. From there, you can develop a plan to get it in front of your target consumer in a way that is affordable. Most product marketers fail to realize that product marketing plans require hard data that may not be available to you right away. For instance, you won’t know what your CPS (Cost per Sale) is until you pay for marketing and get the conversion data back. This is where trial and error play a huge part in starting a product marketing plan and then tailoring it as you get the data back. Often, where you start and end are completely different than what you anticipated.
STEP ONE: CONSUMER ANALYSIS
The first step in creating a product marketing plan is to determine who your target customer is. What are their interests? Where do they find product information? Where do they shop at? Once you know these things, you can develop a plan to get content where they will see it.
For instance, let’s pretend that you developed a new video game and you want to bring awareness to it. Your target customer would be video gamers, a lot of video game enthusiasts watch YouTube videos of others playing games. Creating content for YouTube about your game would make sense. Better yet, getting video game influencers to create a video of them playing your game would be a huge hit.
STEP TWO: MARKETING MEDIUM RESEARCH
Determine what marketing mediums reach consumers where they are consuming similar content or making purchase decisions. Once you make a list of these marketing mediums, you need to gather information on how to market using these mediums.
For instance, using our video game example from before, let’s say you decide to target consumers using YouTube. You would then need to gather information about YouTube In-Stream marketing so you could put together a strategy for marketing on YouTube.
STEP THREE: MARKETING MATERIALS
Once you have established the marketing medium you will use to reach your target audience, the next step is create the marketing materials your campaign will use. This could be banner ads, videos, text ads, image ads, Instagram posts and so on. A lot of attention should be paid to this stage so that the marketing materials you create are cohesive with your overall brand including website, logo and other printed materials like business cards.
STEP FOUR: TESTING
Before you jump in and spend all of your marketing dollars on one particular marketing medium, you need to do some testing. Use your marketing materials to start attracting customers and measure what it costs to acquire each customer. Your cost of customer acquisition should be lower than your gross profit margin in order for it to make sense.
For example, if it costs you $4 to make a product and you sell it for $24, you have a gross profit of $20. That means it must cost you less than $20 to acquire a customer in order to turn a profit on your marketing. If it costs you $40 to acquire a customer and your profit is only $20, you have a real problem.
STEP FIVE: SCALING YOUR MARKETING
Once you have determined what marketing mediums produce an actual ROI (Return on Investment) it’s time to scale up your marketing to make the kind of money you want. If a marketing medium is producing a consistent rate of return, put as much money into that marketing medium as possible and keep reinvesting in it.