So you have a product that’s completely different from everything else out on the marketplace. You’ve tested it with a focus group and it’s getting four-star reviews. The pre-launch went even better than expected. But it’s six months post-launch and your sales figures are starting to take a dive. You’re beginning to scramble to figure out what to do next because you expected that since your product is so great it would practically sell itself. So what went wrong? The problem isn’t your product—it’s the gaps in your product marketing plan.
A solid marketing plan is built off of a foundation of research, is connected by thoughtful strategic thinking, and maps out a long-term vision of tactics that continue to build reach, influence and engagement over the long-term. A good product marketing plan doesn’t just help you reach your target audience and it doesn’t just increase our bottom line, it’s what will set you apart from the competition.
Product marketing is more than creative ideas—it’s a strategic way of doing business
The biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to developing a product marketing plan is to jump straight to “creative” marketing tactics. The true value of a marketing plan won’t come from what your team might think will be the next viral social post, it will come from the strategic thought behind how you plan to focus your resources on growing your business.
Developing a product solid marketing plan will enable you to:
- Identify your target audience and understand how they will connect with your product
- Determine how to position your brand, products and services in a way that differentiates you from the competition
- Create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals
- Map a strategy that will identify the best channels and tools to use to reach your target audiences and drive engagement
Questions that the best marketing strategists will ask
Taking the time to ask the big questions is what will lead to the answers that bring big successes.
Here’s a list of questions that top marketing strategists ask every time they develop a marketing plan:
- What are your overall business goals?
- What marketing objectives will achieve your business goals?
- What is the long-term mission/vision statement that will keep your stakeholders engaged?
- What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- What does the current market research say about your industry?
- How will you position your business against others?
- What is your target market looking for in a product?
In today’s digital age, where brand reputation, social savviness and customer engagement are everything, it’s more important now than ever before to have a solid product marketing plan in place. Rock star marketing teams create the best marketing plans. We recently talked with a top marketing leader in the technology sector who shared his advice on how to build an elite team of technology marketers.