With an idea in mind, you set up a product team to build an innovative product. But is that all for your startup to succeed?
Can building a stunning product be enough for your startup to rocket?
You need to market your product to the right audience with an effective message, and at the appropriate channels for it to succeed. With the right startup product marketing, one can build a higher audience base and get their product off the ground.
But what is product marketing and how do you get started with it? This write-up will help you understand everything about product marketing.
What Is Product Marketing?
Before getting any further, the first thing one needs to know is the meaning of product marketing. Going by the term ‘product marketing’, one might think it has either to do with the product or with marketing.
However, it goes way beyond the product and marketing as two different entities or scopes for a startup. It touches the product marketing embraces the four Ps of marketing – product, price, place of distribution, and promotion. A startup requires both a product marketing manager, as well a product manager to get ahead with product marketing.
Let’s understand the main elements of product marketing – product, audience, messaging, platform, price, promotion, and analysis. Here is the one important thing everyone should know about the main elements of startup product marketing:
Product: The basic thing is to have a fully developed product that is centered around the customers so that it becomes easier to market.
Audience: The audience should always be at the center of any product marketing strategy. It should affirm their expectations.
Messaging: Communication is the key and one should craft an effective story around the product to make it more convincing.
Platform: The next important element is the platform where you launch the product. This marketing strategy should be in line with the platform’s requirements.
Price: Your monetization strategy should be in line with the target audience. Make sure to price the product such that it gets more buyers or subscribers.
Promotion: The most important aspect of any product’s success is promotion. Make sure your promotion strategy puts your message in front of the right audience at the right time.
Analysis: Tracking is imperative for success. Analyze how well your product performed as well as what went wrong to improvise the strategy.
Why do Startups need To Invest In Product Marketing?
Over the past few years, there has been a rapid growth in the number of startups launching their new products. However, not every startup product has managed to succeed. While a lot depends on the type of product, market requirements, and features, marketing also plays a crucial role. Here are some reasons why startups should invest more in their product marketing campaigns and efforts.
- Product marketing helps understand the users and their requirements to improve products, enhance messaging, etc.
- Product marketing supports the sales-customer relationship.
- Product marketing enables the startup to differentiate its product from other competitors.
- Product marketing enables the startup to generate and close opportunities for user acquisition, customer retention, and building loyalty.
- Product marketing helps you know your competitors as well as the market inside out.
- Product marketing helps you segment your market into groups to target and position your product more effectively.
- Product marketing helps startups create more assets that are required to promote the product like videos, guides, demos, sales collateral, landing pages, icons, manuals, whitepapers, etc.
Indeed, just having a product will not suffice for any startup. They need a full-fledged product marketing strategy to get started. With product marketing, they can get the strategy required to bridge the gap between the different aspects of the product, buyers, market, sales, and customer experience.
Startup Product Marketing Strategies That Work
Product marketing has evolved and expanded in the past few years. With the advent of MarTech, there is more to marketing than the traditional ways of getting your product out there. Technology has seeped into all aspects of marketing, simplifying the process and making it more efficient.
Analyze The Market
The first thing to do for any new marketing effort or even launching a new product is to analyze the market. One needs to identify the target audience, competitor, business environment, and much more before starting out. Over 1,000 apps are submitted to the App Store every day. Putting your product out there without proper research will lead to failure. You need to understand how fierce the competition has gotten and analyzed the market thoroughly to have a well-research strategy.
Here are some things to analyze while performing market research:
Who is your target audience?
Why should they be attracted to your product?
Who are your main competitors?
How are those competitors targeting the audience?
You need to find answers to all these questions before drafting your product marketing strategy. With this information at hand, you can have a better understanding of the market to develop a fail-proof marketing strategy for your product.
Build Buyer Personas
The key to product marketing success is finding the target audience and building the buyer persona. Once you have performed the market analysis, the next thing to do is build the required buyer personas.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your target customer. It is based on the customer demographics like age, occupation, motivation to buy, platforms they are using, place in the buyer journey, and much more. These buyer personas give you specific information about your potential buyers, their background, the motivation behind buying, and what makes them tick.
Here are the characteristics you should consider when building your buyer persona:
- Job title
- Income Level
- Preferred mode of communication
- Personality traits
- Education level
This information can help you build your buyer persona. With the buyer personas at hand, it is even easier to build a stronger product marketing strategy.
Set Clear Goals
Without proper goals, any marketing strategy will seem like a failed gimmick. You need an end goal to measure your efforts with or else all the efforts put into product marketing will seem like going in vain.
Goals give startups the sense of direction they need to go ahead with their marketing plans. For a startup, where each employee has to don several roles,
One of the strategic ways to set up goals and succeed with them is through SMART Goals. By SMART goals, we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. This means that you need to be very specific about your goals and make sure that they are not just relevant to your product but also easy to measure. A simple example of such a SMART goal could be to publish 5 posts on LinkedIn by a particular date.
All that one needs to know is that they should be able to create realistic goals that can be achieved and measured. However, they should be smart in setting the goal.
Any new product should have its marketing goals like acquiring x number of users in a specific number of days.
Develop The Messaging
The next important step in product marketing is the creation of the message to be put out to the target audience. The message should not be too complex to confuse the users. Instead, it should be extremely simple and clear. Do not fill your product messaging with jargon and slang that your product users will have trouble understanding.
You need to answer some questions in your message to make it more effective. Here are some of the question you should infer in your messaging:
Who should use this product?
What problem does this product solve?
What makes this product different from others?
Answering these questions in the message will make it more clear, targeted, and effective in getting the attention of the target users.
It is important that you develop a message that is straightforward yet compelling. Keep the end-users in mind while developing your message. Whether the message is on your social media, your website pages, landing pages, ads, blogs, whitepapers, or any other mode of communication, make sure it is clear enough to get your message to the users.
Another important aspect of developing your message is to differentiate it from others. Don’t bore your audience with the same sales pitch or messaging that is available everywhere. Your product stands out from the crowd and so should your messaging. Align your message’s value with your target users’ story. However, keep your product’s value proposition central to it throughout.
Create the GTM Marketing Plan
GTM marketing plan means the go-to-market marketing plan. This is the roadmap that any startup needs to follow while taking the product to the market. It includes a number of other things like how to achieve a competitive advantage, generate product demand, acquire more users, and increase customer retention.
The simplest way to create the go-to-market plan is using the 5Ws and 1H plan. This means your product marketing plan should answer questions on the who, what, where when, why, and how of your product. This means your marketing plan product launch should answer all these questions:
- Who should the product launch target?
- What’s the key problem your product will solve?
- Why would the users buy your product and not your competitors?
- Where are the target customers and what channels or platforms you should target during launch?
- When is the best time to target the customers and at what stage do they make decisions?
- How will you reach them with your message?
Answering these questions can help you make a failproof roadmap for product marketing.
Play Smart With Pricing
The pricing of the product is an important factor in its marketing. You need to play smart to ensure that it is neither too expensive nor too under budget.
The price of the product should be central to the product marketing strategy. You need to perform complete research of the market and the prices offered by your competitors to price the product. Once the product is priced, it is important to market the price in a way that drives customers to your product.
Make sure your marketing message conveys the major benefits of the product and how the price will drive value for them. If your product is at a lower price, tell them how you have not cut any features or compromising on the quality. If your product is the priciest in the market, let them know what makes it stand out and why each penny they pay will be worth it.
One of the smartest ways to price your product is to offer a free version for a limited time and enticing them with the product’s features. This freemium version has been effective for many startups trying to monetize their product.
Launch Product On ProductHunt & Its Alternatives
Most startup products fail because of a poor launch. One of the best ways to effectively launch a product is to launch it on Product Hunt.
However, over 20,000 products are launched on ProductHunt each month. So, you need to be more strategic in how you market your product there so that it comes among the top products and reaches the required audience.
You need to start by posting your product on ProductHunt by signing up. Make sure it has the right links, thumbnail, description, images, tagline, title, makers, etc., to offer as much information about your product as required. Ask others to hunt your product on ProductHunt and encourage them to offer feedback and upvotes. Once your product starts getting upvotes, it will automatically rank higher and get hunted by the community.
In The End…
For startups, product marketing plays a crucial role in a product’s success. 2021 will be the yea when startups come up with new and innovative products. Thus, the competition for marketing would intensify. You will have to up your startup product marketing game.
Make sure that you are assessing the feedback and analyzing all metrics of your marketing to continuously improve and improvise. Collect the customer feedback and keep incorporating it in your startup product marketing plan to have a more effective messaging.
Tanya Kumari leads the Digital Marketing & Content for Classic Informatics, a global web and custom software development company. She is an avid reader, music lover and a technology enthusiast who likes to be up to date with all the latest advancements happening in the techno world. When she is not working on her latest article on tech dynamics, you can find her by the coffee machine, briefing co-workers on the perks of living a healthy lifestyle and how to achieve it.