Creating a Product Marketing Campaign that Actually Works
Whether it is a known brand rolling out a new product, or a new brand and its equally unknown goods/services, Product Marketing is essential. That is because you can't buy what you do not know about—right? This process is vital enough that big brands dedicate bottomless budgets to ensuring sales.
There is the creation of fancy-looking logos; ads are taken out in full-colour glossy magazines; discounts are offered, and you can BOGOF. Still, most products launched each year fail.
Discussions on the problems happen over and over, but the real question is, "how can you create a product marketing campaign that works?" To illustrate this issue and its solution, meet Jane.
Jane Doe is a sex worker who is new to the industry and needs to sell her wares. She is a leggy, busty beauty, who is mentally prepared. Her body/skills are The Product.
John Doe is new to the business of patronizing sex workers. He has cravings that need satisfying, and he likes them leggy and full-bosomed, but he does not know who the perfect candidate is, or where to find her. He is the Prospective Client (PC).
Jane Doe and John Doe need each other, but how do they meet and conduct some profitable business?
Even though she is unaware of it, the average Jane creates—and uses—a strategy to market her product. From her motives; to her preferred clientele; the makeup and slinky dresses; sexual repertoire; schedule; and even her favorite pickup bar.
This article will follow the principles behind Jane's Strategy, showing you how to convert your PCs to Clients, in this age of Digital Marketing. Also, to further simplify the concept of Product Marketing Campaigns, we will ask and answer four questions: Why? Who? What? And How?
Every Product Marketing Campaign should have objectives that will drive your entire campaign and help you effectively map out your strategy. "At the core of any great marketing plan is a list of strategic and clear marketing objectives. Marketing objectives are a brand’s defined goals. They outline the intentions of the marketing team, provide clear direction for team members to follow, and offer information for executives to review and support." That is a statement from Alexa.com that clarifies it even further. So, why are you carrying out this campaign? Do you need to increase traffic to your website, sell your products, create awareness about your services? What is your aim??
When you have answered those, and you have an idea of what you hope to gain, the next step is to evaluate your objectives. At the risk of sounding like my dreaded iMBA tutor, the objectives of your Product Marketing Campaign have to be SMART. Don't gnash your teeth just yet. It's simple really; your objectives have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let's see some examples
More profits, mullah, benjamins, ka-ching!
Grow my customer base by 200%
Increase the click-through-rate (CTR) on my website by 150% by the end of 6 months
We think it's obvious which one the answer is; option C shows an objective that has all the right attributes. Also, having these well-defined objectives help you track your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). So, whether it is growing brand awareness, increased sales, search for donors, etc. your Product Marketing Campaign objectives should be correctly crafted.
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder…"
That well-worn phrase underlines the fact that you are not for everyone and neither is your product—unless you're selling free oxygen. So you can not create a Product Marketing Campaign that gets you results without properly defining who your target market is. Take Jane Doe as an instance; her target audience is not just someone who says, "Oh... I feel like getting my freak on tonight", her target market is someone who wants a busty, leggy girl, has up to $50 for an hour, and feels like getting his freak on tonight.
For you to target the right market or demographics, there are three kinds of information you need
Current Customer Information
You can collect this by having clients/visitors to your site(s) fill out forms or take polls. Typical questions these forms should ask are age range, location, gender, profession, marital status, and education. That helps you target a demographic you attract even better, and according to Customerthermometer.com, 91% of people feel a positive connection with a company they identify with.
Thanks to advancements in technology, data collection, and analysis for visitors interacting with your website/social media is now possible. So, you get to know who is already searching for your product; this makes selling to them easier. Also, aside from targeting ads at specific demographics, you can measure the conversion rate of your efforts by seeing who finally clicks "Buy Now" or "Subscribe Today."
Whatever you are selling, someone has sold before—maybe not that Time-travel-machine-slash-coffeemaker—and that means you have a pool of ready data available on your PCs. Stalk the social media of your competitors, who is asking for help with the hot-hair-brush they just got? Are their followers mostly soccer moms? Or are their posts liked by a lot of high school boys? This post on Hootsuite.com throws even more light on researching the competition.
After deciding on your ideal market, you need to carve your Product Marketing Campaign to reflect that group. If that requires changing your current approach, you could carry out A/B testing to better decide on which works best for you. Having a target audience does not mean you will not sell to people outside your ideal demographics, but those are the outliers, not your perfect customer.
Now you know why you are trying to sell, and who you want to sell to, next stop is withwhat are you selling? With Jane Doe, the "What?" stage involves clothing, hair, and makeup. How best to package herself and highlight her most attractive features. In her case, a mini dress with lots of sequins, and 5-inch heels should do the trick.
To effectively market your product—just like Jane—you need to know the best features of your product. Then, you take into account the stage your product is in its life cycle. Every product has a life cycle, and this dictates what content/strategy you use. There are five stages, and they require you to provide different kinds of information to your PCs
Product Development Stage
At this stage, the product has not launched, and sales are zero. So, the type of content your audience needs are information about the problem you're trying to solve. An instance is, publishing articles on the dangers of mold around the home, its effect on health, state of furniture, and aesthetics.
This is the stage most people dread and are quite familiar with; at this point, you are launching a new product to solve a problem peculiar to your market. So you aggressively target that audience. Using videos endorsed by the appropriate authorities, you can show video ads of harried-looking mums in muggy homes before they use your dehumidifier. And show their contrasting Stepford-like transformation after they have installed your magic dehumidifier.
This stage marks the acceptance and sometimes viral stage of your product. At this stage, as quantity is sought, you want your content to increase emphasis on the quality of the product. Also, make refinements to your product and target market, and monitor the feedback from all the changes using A/B tests. That helps you reach the last stage of the life cycle without skipping the next.
The maturity stage sees sales drop because most PCs have patronized you, but a perk of this stage is an established brand. So, your content strategy builds on people's knowledge of the quality and reliability of your brand. You could create a short documentary about a young man who grew up in a home where your humidifier was used. Then reveal how he is currently using a more advanced version in his first apartment. That helps you show your continued relevance while targeting a different demographic: young and new homeowners.
At this point, sales are falling, and profits are crashing. Shinier, sleeker, more advanced competitors have saturated the market; they might even offer their products at cheaper rates. What now?? Don't pull all your hair out just yet. There is one thing left to do, you "Re-brand." It's like starting the life cycle again, except this time you have the trust of your market.
How are you going to place your great looking, well dressed, nice smelling product before your audience—and the rest of us? Through content creation and marketing, of course. We have come a long way from asking what the purpose of it all is, and now—just because I like you—I'm going to share some content marketing tips below.
Now, you know what your audience likes, and where you'll find a lot of them. Are they on Reddit arguing about Star Wars easter eggs, on Twitter waxing political, or on YouTube watching and sharing cute cat videos? That sort of information helps you decide if your content is best served as a 30-second video, yummy pictures, a how-to thread, or an informative easy-to-read long copy.
In creating your content strategy, you need to decide if you would rather have an Inbound or Outbound marketing plan. Carrying out a pay-per-click (PPC) as a campaign will attract customers—who might not have been looking for you specifically—to your site. That is an example of Outbound marketing. Making your content search engine optimized (SEO) attracts traffic from people who have searched for what you are offering specifically—an example of Inbound marketing. So, proper research of the previously mentioned steps will show you if your strategy needs a PPC or SEO.
After creating a content strategy, this is the stage most people struggle with; creating content. The good news is that you no longer have to struggle. You can now delegate that to an in-house copywriter, videographer, graphics artist, or social media manager. Another option is to contact an agency with a reassuring track record and great reviews from previous clients.
Another factor to be considered in this section is where to place your content. Like we stated earlier, your audience can be found together on different platforms, usually on social media. Say you have an informative long copy with tips on how best to use your new top range VR eyewear, do you post a teaser on Pinterest?... I didn't think so.
When do you post this content? Any cook worth their salt—ha!—will tell you that the food is just as good as your timing and precision. Posting about freebies for frequent flyers is just insensitive, and will probably hurt your brand badly. If not brilliantly pulled off, doing a Christmas-themed ad in July will make you look clueless. But if you put out a jackpot-themed ad around St. Patrick's day, people identify better with the luck of your brand.
Creating and carrying out a Product Marketing Campaign is neither simple nor easy. Stats from Publicity.com show that 80% of new products fail annually. That is a lot of new products, and the prospects are quite scary. But, with this helpful article, you can rest assured that you stand a chance of not falling into that side of the pie chart. If you do have any questions or comments, drop them below. Let's get that Time-travel-machine-slash-coffeemaker sold.
Nhaoma Amadi is a Content Writer who spends her not-so-free time shuttling around Lagos with her nose stuck in a book. When she's not reading she is writing book reviews, or giving hot takes on the Nigerian Tech scene as she sees it.