Well, basically, let’s start by explaining what this strand really means. We can summarize product marketing as an area of communication that aims to connect people with a good to be marketed.
Necessarily, despite having the word “product” in the name, we can say that it goes well beyond that. A service — even if it is something visual, like software, for example — can also be promoted using this strategy.
It is considered one of the most important areas of marketing for any company. That’s because from the development stages, the product marketing team will be present and accompanying.
In it we will understand, in general, how the market will relate to its launch. That is, here we will work on the target audience , the persona , the competition, positioning, tone of voice, channels, among others.
It’s a complete mapping of how we might be able to promote a new product that’s coming up. However, it is worth noting that the work does not stop after launch. Product marketing will follow up succinctly, validating your planning and finding the right action plan to return the situation if sales are below expectations.
In this way, we can say that it is a possibility to guarantee that your product is successful in the market. From public acceptance, overcoming the competition and generating value for the brand.
What are your goals?
But then, what can we consider as the main objectives of product marketing? In short, as we said, the main objective is to make the connection between consumers and products.
And it is precisely for this reason that the main work of this area is to understand your market. Professionals in this area are challenged to monitor habits, trends and behaviors in real time.
We can then summarize the objectives of product marketing as follows:
- positioning the product based on its differentials;
- represent the message that the launch wants to deliver;
- test the market reception of the new product;
- define the correct communication channels to reach the public;
- to generate integration between the areas of product management, commercial and marketing;
- develop the product according to public demand;
- plan the selling price of the product ;
- assist in distribution models;
- identify design that is compatible and attractive;
- plan the launch and sustain sales;
- survey and analyze the relationship between customers and the market with the product;
- monitor the development of sales.
Exemplifying the previous items, learn about one of the great milestones in the market that shows the importance of investing in product marketing and not launching any product just for the sake of launching it. And worse, still making the wrong decisions about what you currently offer.
Product marketing failure case: New Coke
Any kind of failure in the vision of the target audience can be a great cause for the failure of investment in a new product. And this is very common. One of the most famous cases within the area of communication studies, the “New Coke” by Coca-Cola in 1985.
With the aim of overcoming Pepsi and its reign in the US market, the giant launched a product with the expectation of being extremely similar to its competitor. However, even with a prior approval survey by its audience about the novelty, the product was quickly considered a failure.
That’s because during the market analysis in the planning stages, Coca-Cola ignored what its consumers thought was most important: its original product. This was the brand’s big mistake.
When launching New Coke, products with the traditional formula were removed from the market, which generated revolt among its consumers. Basically, we can learn from this case of failure that although it is important to launch a novelty that aims to go head-to-head with your competition, it is essential to understand the relationship of your current product with your customers, otherwise nothing will help.
So, returning to product marketing objectives, if Coca-Cola looked at what was important to its customers regarding its current product, it would quickly understand the root cause of its new launch’s failure.
In addition to the lack of understanding of the demands of its customers, we can add the lack of positioning in the launch of New Coke. A lot of investment was made with the arrival in the market, however, the idea of restructuring a consolidated brand — it is important to emphasize the weight that Coca-Cola already had in the market — in order to just steal the market from Pepsi was not well accepted. It wasn’t genuine, it was a counterattack, and the public understands that.
Therefore, we can conclude that the idea of launching the product is to address one of the customer’s pain points. In this case, the product offered by Coke was already well-liked in the market and launching something that was already successful would not meet any need in its market. It is the purest synthesis of the popular expression: “you don’t change what is right for what is doubtful”
How is product marketing different from traditional marketing?
When we talk about product marketing, the first question that comes to mind is the difference between what we consider traditional marketing. However, those who think they are the same thing are mistaken. On the contrary!
The focus of traditional marketing is to acquire new customers—and new leads—whether you have something new in your hands or not. A company can spend its whole life selling the same thing, but with different strategies at each moment. In addition to making the brand gain value in the market in which it operates.
On the other hand, we can analyze our theme in question. Product marketing is basically counteracting. This area aims to serve a specific niche, even participating in the creation of new products to meet this demand.
It is important to point out that at times we may cross the relationship between the two aspects of marketing, especially when we are in the support phase of a product that has already been launched. Here, the product strategy will use some main concepts of traditional marketing to promote the product, that is, both in a digital and physical environment.