What makes a successful product

Regardless of whether it is a new product, the marketing of a product in new markets or the new release of a product: Successful product marketing plays an essential role in the market success of products and services of all kinds. Not only in B2C, but also in In the B2B sector, it is therefore important to understand the mechanisms of product marketing.

What to look for when Product marketing should pay attention to you can find out here.

What is "Product Marketing"?

The Product marketing includes all activities that are specifically aimed at developing and marketing products in a customer-oriented manner. It thus decisively determines market success. As a rule, the responsibility for product marketing lies with a product manager who looks after a product for its entire lifespan.

The central tasks in product marketing

The central tasks of a product manager include information, planning, control and coordination. In product marketing, you are required to cooperate with all departments in your company that are relevant to the market success of a product - for example research and development or purchasing. In your role as product manager, you cut across many different areas of the company and work both strategically and operationally, which is why a job in product marketing is very varied.

Product Marketing: A plan for all phases a product goes through

As an indication of which marketing initiatives you should deal with in product marketing at which point in time, the model from Product life cycle serve: It describes all development phases of a product - from market launch to market exit.

In practice, this theoretical model makes clear demands on the respective product manager: Its task is to look after the product on the market for its entire service life. The model divides this time into five phases: “introduction”, “growth”, “maturity”, “saturation” and “degeneration” (or “decline”).

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Each of these individual phases brings different ones Product marketing tasks with himself:

introduction

Your product is developed - now you need to bring it to market! The publication of the product is an extremely exciting task in product marketing. This is because the attempt is made to make the product known and to sell it to potential customers. Marketing activities should concentrate on generating the necessary reach in the relevant target group with intensive communication measures. You can do this best with a suitable mix of outbound marketing, i.e. classic, direct advertising, and inbound marketing: content marketing, social media marketing and SEO.

growth

Once you have successfully launched the product on the market, it should also position itself increasingly broadly in order to displace competitors in the long term. It is therefore one of the tasks of the product manager to identify new market developments and opportunities early on. In this way, further sales partners and worthwhile marketing activities can be identified and addressed in a timely manner. The aim is to maximize the use of the product and expand one's own market penetration.

Maturity

If the market matures, the number of competitors and thus the competitive pressure increase accordingly. Then your marketing activities must also change accordingly. As a product manager, you now have classic business development tasks ahead of you: You should concentrate on building product and brand loyalty. A clear positioning of what your product or brand stands for and what not is important in order to assert yourself against other competitors in the oversupply of your target group and to bind your customers emotionally to your product in the long term. As the interface between the relevant departments in your company, you oversee the optimization of the customer journey for your customers so that they have a great product experience from the first contact and purchase through to service.

saturation

If sales and profits continue to decline due to market saturation, you have to break new ground. For example, by releasing a product: If you offer certain software, for example, it can be overhauled and, given a new image, arouse fresh interest in the market.

Degeneration / decline

If sales of your product continue to decline despite your best efforts, you may ultimately no longer make a profit and losses may arise. If you are at this point, your commitment is also required in the last phase, the exit from the market: Now the task is to "manage" the product, i.e. to sell it and, at the same time, to stop investments in product marketing. Instead, it pays to concentrate on the development and marketing of a successor product, for which in turn there is market potential.

Product launch: Preparation is critical to market success

With new products in particular, it is important to start product marketing at an early stage. The product launch phase is particularly crucial for start-ups, because it can determine the market success of a new product - and thus the success of the young company. This fails if start-ups focus too much on the development of a new product and lose sight of market preparation in the process. A clear go-to-market strategy in product marketing is therefore at least as important as a good product.

Successful product marketing therefore includes comprehensive analyzes long before the product is launched: This includes, for example, identifying and clearly highlighting the unique selling point of your product, i.e. the USP (Unique Selling Point), finding out the product benefits for your potential target group and determining suitable pricing.

A comprehensive market analysis, which collects information on competitors and the respective target group, is also important in order to be ideally prepared for a product launch. It is worthwhile to use methods such as the SWOT analysis, with which internal strengths and weaknesses can be analyzed and external opportunities and risks can be identified. The more precisely and carefully you analyze your product and the market, the easier it will be for you to develop suitable marketing strategies.

Prerequisite for successful product marketing: Keeping track of things

You can only keep your finger on the pulse by continuously observing new developments and trends. In times of globalization and digitization, this is of increasing importance, as markets and target groups can be opened up more and more quickly. As a result, both marketing and sales are confronted with major challenges and have to react quickly.

Because product marketing involves so many different tasks, it is also extremely important to always keep track of the different requirements. Fortunately, there are tools that help you organize the individual areas in product management. Trello, for example, makes it easier to work with the relevant departments in your company and simplifies the coordination of tasks, while the free HubSpot CRM helps you to manage the various tasks and priorities in the individual phases of the Product life cycle to manage, automate sales tasks and transparently track potential business deals.

You can also find specific help in this list from Product Hunt with over 300 free templates for popular product management software tools such as G-Suite, Trello or Airtable, which are conveniently divided into categories such as "Strategy", "Planning" or "Research".

The success of a product is closely linked to successful product marketing. Therefore, the extensive work of product marketing should begin before the product is launched in order to be able to position the product optimally on the market later. With the developments shown, which you should observe in product marketing during the individual phases of the product life cycle (and of course react accordingly), as well as the various tools that make these tasks easier for you, you are equipped with a set of tools with which you can use your Being able to control product marketing in the best possible way.

Originally published October 1, 2019, updated 23 March 2020

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