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The Complete Guide to Product Marketing for Ecommerce

The Complete Guide to Product Marketing for Ecommerce
by straydigital
Jan 21st 2020
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When you own an e-commerce business, the thing you hear about most often is how important it is to market your business. While developing a brand and getting your business name out there is key to being successful, you should also be thinking of ways to market your product.

As a small business, it may seem that product marketing is a complex and multifaceted endeavor. While that is true, it doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t take advantage of the strategies used by larger companies to market their products and to help them launch a successful business themselves.

However, learning about product marketing for e-commerce isn’t something that can be picked up in an hours’ time. You need to do your homework to figure out the best strategies, and what will and won’t work for you. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know, from what product marketing is, to why it’s so important for the success of your small business, the differences between product and traditional marketing, and some strategies to get you going as well.

So, without further ado, read on below for your complete guide to product marketing for e-commerce, so that you can be a success with both your product and your business as well.

What is Product Marketing?

Before you venture any further into product marketing you should first understand what it is. In a nutshell, product marketing is the act of bringing your product to market, promoting it to the limit, and then selling it to your target audience, which is the customer. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

For this type of marketing to be effective, you must first understand the target audience for your product. You also have to take into account the advertising mediums you need to use for the product, as well as how the product itself needs to be sold. These are a few of the things you’ll be able to find in this guide. Now, that you know what product marketing is, you can get down to learning everything you need to know about it to make your product launch a huge success.

The Importance of Product Marketing.

Many small business owners wonder why product marketing is so important. You’re already marketing your brand and your business on a daily basis, why do you need more? The answer to that question is simple, without marketing your product it won’t be able to reach its maximum potential meaning you’re going to lose money. If you’re still not convinced, then take a look at a few of the ways product marketing can help you below.

  • This type of marketing helps you understand the wants and needs of your customers.
  • It also teaches you about competitors that are selling the same product you are.
  • Makes sure that you, your marketing team, your product, and sales team are all on the same page when it comes to marketing.
  • Helps you determine where best your product fits in the market.
  • Will greatly boost your revenue and increase sales as well.

Think about it for a second, even if your brand and your business are super-popular if your product is not out there then it can’t be bought. While people may browse through your website to see what you have, they aren’t going to go looking for something specific if they don’t even know it exists. Instead, your customers will go to the e-commerce business who has been marketing their product, because it’s out there loud and proud and ready to be bought.

What’s the Difference Between Product Marketing and Conventional Marketing? 

This is another question that is asked by small business owners daily. The easy answer is that product marketing is more strategic and targeted, whereas conventional marketing focuses on everything to do with your business, not just the product itself. In reality, product marketing is a big part of conventional marketing, because after all the goal is the same as either. You want to sell your product and for your business to be a success. It’s going to take both types of marketing to get the job done.

If you look at the 7 P’s of marketing, which you will do later in this guide, you’ll see just how important marketing the product itself is to the conventional part of the marketing concept. It could be said in fact, that product marketing is the most important part of your marketing strategy. The key to successful product marketing lies in the experience of the marketer, the sales, and product teams.

Conventional marketing is more focused on the overall aspect of the business. Under that umbrella, you will find SEO, lead generation, blogging, videos, social media posting, and anything else that can target and bring in new customers to buy the product you’re trying to sell. It’s all about marketing the company as a whole and marketing the product itself. Product marketing, on the other hand, is devoted specifically to getting the product out there and noticed by your target audience.

Product Specific Marketing Strategies 

marketing team in strategy session

Now that you know a little bit about product marketing, it’s time to move into some marketing strategies that you can benefit from. Those strategies begin with knowing the 7 Ps of marketing. In this section, you can find out what those 7 P’s are and a little about each of them.

The 7 P’s of marketing are product, price, place, promotion, positioning, packaging, and people. There were originally only four P’s of marketing, but in today’s modern world that has changed to keep up with the time. Ready to go into what the P’s are and what they mean to you?

Product

It goes without saying, or it should, that the product is the very first priority on your list of Ps. In short, the product you’re trying to market should do what it’s intended to do and what the customer wants it to do. Whether it’s a consumer goods product, a digital product, a sort of service or a luxury item, your product should always live up to the hype you put out about it and the expected level of quality as well.

It’s impossible to do this without thorough research into the requirements, taste, and even the buying habits of the target audience you are hoping to sell the product too.

Price

Another extremely important part of product marketing is setting the price of the product. No amount of marketing is going to do you any good if your product itself isn’t priced to sell. The product should be priced where the target audience feels that it’s a good value for the money they spend.

It’s important to note that effective pricing is not about pricing the product as cheaply as possible. Take, for example, the wine market. When you go into a liquor store to buy wine, in most cases you’re going to head for wine that is priced within a certain range, this is a habit for most people and applies to most any product on the market today. In other words, you need to price your product in the range that your target audience is used to spending for that product for the best results. This is product marketing at its finest and though it takes research it will be well worth it in the end.

Place

The product you are hoping to sell needs to be strategically placed in the place your target audience would expect to find it, whether it’s a supermarket, boutique, or in a store online. For example, you wouldn’t expect to find your skincare products in the shoe section, would you? Of course, not. Deciding where to put your product is just as important as price is, sometimes even more. You want your product to be easily found, and that would be where the customer expects it to be found, wouldn’t you think?

Promotion 

Promotion is key when it comes to product marketing. Of all the P’s, this is the one that should be concentrated on the most. Any product should be promoted to the right people and through the right channels. You also need to use advertising that resonates with your target audience. Below you can find a few channels that work well with product promotion.

  • Social media
  • PR
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Sales management
  • Exhibitions
  • Promotions

These are only a few of the channels you should use to promote your product. There are many more out there. Your job is to do the research to determine which works best for your product and reach your target audience the easiest and fastest.

People 

The people who are involved in promoting your product and in charge of your product marketing need to not only be knowledgeable about the product but about how to market it as well. Barring unforeseen problems, the team that is presenting your product should have the skills and qualities needed to ensure the product is successful. It helps to have a product marketing team that is as passionate about the product as you are and dedicated to seeing that the product succeeds.

Choose your marketing team carefully when it comes to promoting your product because they could make or break the product’s success for you.

Processes

The process part of the 7 P’s will differ according to the type of business you’re running. Broken down into two main categories, strategy, and execution, this phase of marketing can always be changed and improved on. As an online realtor, you need to give this part of the marketing process a lot of thought to ensure you’re getting it right.

How you carry out this stage can greatly affect the customer’s satisfaction and experience. This process can include delivery time, website user experience, the methods and service of delivery, aftercare, and communicating with customer support to name a few.

Physical Environment

The final P in the blog is the physical environment. Obviously, this P isn’t going to apply to every business, especially if you don’t have your products in brick and mortar stores, but it still bears talking about. If you’ve gone to the grocery store to get milk and came out with $200 worth of things that you hadn’t intended to by, then you already know a little about the physical environment of product marketing.

For product marketing, however, the environment is more about the experiences the consumer has when they are shopping for your products. It is also about how the customer sees your brand in relation to the store as they shop.

These are the 7 P’s every e-commerce business owner should know when it comes to product marketing. You now know that not every P will apply to every business. Now, it’s time to break your strategy down into how to market it to the fullest effect.

How to Market Your Product

Five steps can be used to market a product. These are listed below and talked about in the next section of the blog. 

  • Define the products target market
  • Determine the product’s positioning and the messaging that will set the product apart from others
  • Set goals for the product
  • Price the product
  • Finally, launch the product

All these steps are well and good, but you also need to know how to carry them out. That’s what the next section is all about. 

Defining the Products Target Market and the Buyer’s Persona 

One of the main roles you have as a product marketer is identifying the target audience and the buyer persona that you want your product to appeal too. Remember, different products are usually going to have different target audiences. For example, you wouldn’t target women if you were selling men’s cologne, and you wouldn’t target 13-year-olds if you’re selling women’s lingerie. You want to understand your target audience’s needs, wants, and even the things they tend to dislike for the best results. The best way to find y our target audience and buyer persona are by careful research. 

Determine the positioning of the Product and What Type of Message will Set it Apart 

Once you’ve taken care of the customer research and identified their needs and wants, it’s time to figure out how your product relates to those things in your target audience. That still doesn’t mean that you have a leg up on the competitors, however. 

Your next step is to set your product apart from all the other products like it circulating on the market today. That’s where the positioning and messaging of your product comes into play. To determine your positioning and messaging, as well as how it relates to your target audience, ask yourself the questions below. 

  • What makes your product unique from the others on the market?
  • Why is your product better than your competitors? 
  • What will customers get from your product that they can’t get from another product by a competitor? 
  • What about your product is ideal for your target audience? 
  • Why should customers invest in your product and your brand? 

Answer these questions and you and your product marketing team will soon be on the way to the next step in your marketing campaign. Don’t forget how important it is for your marketing team to be on the same page as you are when it comes to positioning your product and the message you want to send. You can do this by scheduling meetings weekly that reaffirm the direction you’re taking the product in. Don’t forget to listen to the ideas of your marketing team as well, as teamwork is key to the success of your product and your brand.

Set Firm Goals for Your Product

set goals for your marketing

Once your team has completed the steps above, it’s time to move into setting goals for your product. These goals, of course, are going to vary based on the type of product you’re launching, your overall marketing goals, and even the type of company you run. The goals you come up with your product will be specific to your situation and business. There are some goals that all product marketers have in common, no matter the product and business. There are a few of those goals listed below. 

  • Gaining customers by taking them from competitors
  • Increasing the businesses revenue
  • Engaging and getting to know your customers
  • Improving market shares
  • Boosting brand recognition 

As previously stated, every company will have different goals. It’s a good idea to combine a few of these goals or you can focus on one. The trick is to do what’s right for your business and the product you are launching to your target audience. 

Price Your Product

Once your goals are set, it’s time to think about what you’re going to charge for your product. It’s best to work with your product marketing team to determine the best price point. There are two types of pricing you can consider, competitive and value-based. You and your marketing team need to determine which is best for your product. An explanation of both is listed below. 

Competitive pricing is what it sounds like. You’re basing the price of your product off the prices of the competitors who are selling the same product. This is great for businesses that have created a product that is similar to other products on the market.

You should study trends and financial reports to determine if the features of your product are unique enough to warrant a slightly higher price point than the competitor as well.

Value-based pricing is a little bit more time-consuming, but it allows you to maximize your profit. This way of pricing your product is perfect for those who have invented a product that no one else has out on the market at that time. The same goes if the product has unique features or features that are exceptional and new. In this way of pricing, you price by the value the product will bring to your target audience.

Value-based pricing is a little bit more time-consuming, but it allows you to maximize your profit. This way of pricing your product is perfect for those who have invented a product that no one else has out on the market at that time. The same goes if the product has unique features or features that are exceptional and new. In this way of pricing, you price by the value the product will bring to your target audience.

The determination on price and which method you choose should be done after careful research into trends and other products on the market that might be the same or similar to yours. You also need to make sure to find out about pricing and the economy in the area you’re launching your product in to know what will be too expensive for their tastes and what isn’t. Doing so makes good common and good financial sense.

Finally, Launch Your Product 

hand launching a rocket

Now, it’s finally time for the most important and most exciting part of your product marketing process, the product launch. There are two main parts of a product launch that you should know about as a product marketer. These are the internal launch and the external launch. The internal launch is what goes on behind the scenes to do with the product, inside of your business. The external launch is what happens outside of your business with the customers and your audience members as the product is launched. There will be a little more about both of these steps below. 

What You Need to Know About the Internal Aspects of Your Product Launch

As has been stressed throughout this entire guide, your job as a business owner and product marketer is to make sure your company and your entire marketing team are on the same page. This is never more important than when it comes time to launch your product. This is important because you want your customers to only be given accurate, consistent details about your product before it launches, and after. Some information that your team and business should be aware of during the internal launch are listed below. 

  • The benefits of your product 
  • Any product demo information you want to be released
  • Sales training on your product and how it is used
  • The look of your positioning and messaging
  • The goals of your product
  • Who the ideal customers and target market are
  • The features of the product
  • The price of the product
  • When and how the product is going to be launched

In order to present this information to your sales, marketing, and product team, you can present them with a sales enablement kit, schedule a presentation that gives them all the details or even set up a knowledge base where all the information is readily available. The choice is yours on how you do this, just so you’re on the same page with everything above. 

What You Need to Know About the External Aspects of Your Product Launch

For the external product launch, there are many ways you can go to ensure you’re reaching your target market. If you do this part of the process right, then your customers will know way ahead of time that your product is coming. Some of the best ways to advertise your product launch are listed below. 

  • In-store (if this applies to you)
  • On social media
  • Blog
  • Product launch event
  • On a website landing page
  • An exclusive preview before the actual launch happens
  • A promotional event that is done either online or in-person
  • Word of mouth (Still effective after all these years)

No matter which of these channels you choose to promote your product launch on, and you can use all of them if you choose, make sure that you include product information that is relevant and in sync with your messaging and positioning of the product. This includes your product’s features, what makes it unique, demos and training for the customers, the price of the product, and any other type of blogs or materials you’ve created about it and want to share with customers.

How to Get Started

Now that you know a little about product marketing and how it’s done, it’s time for you to get started on marketing the product you’re hoping to reveal to the world sometime soon. Start with step one and work your way towards your product launch. Don’t forget to do your research in the beginning, so you know who your target audience is and their likes and dislikes. If you know what your target audience is looking for, the rest will be much easier to accomplish. Remember, being on the same page as the rest of your company is key to success as well. You’ve got this, so go out there and launch that product the right way. 

Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to market a product from start to finish. As previously stated, product marketing can be complicated, but with just a little help, and quite a bit of research it can be done. By breaking the components of product marketing down into easily obtainable categories, it makes it easier to not only see how important product marketing is to the success of your product but how effective it is as well. By following the details in this guide, hopefully, you will see how easy it can be and have great results during your product launch as well.

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