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India might be the second biggest market for Facebook, but it’s struggling to make money from its 132m users in the country. At Mobile Marketing we're proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions, whether it's on our website, in our magazine or at our Mobile Marketing Summits. At WordStream, we talk a great deal about how to market your business, but in today’s post, I’ll be talking about how to market your products. Product marketing is a complex and multifaceted discipline, but that doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t leverage the tried-and-true strategies used by larger companies to find new audiences for their products and launch successful promotional campaigns focused on specific goods. Essentially, product marketing encompasses everything that concerns how a product is positioned, promoted, and sold. You may have seen the term “product management” used in business books or on marketing blogs, and many people confuse product management with product marketing. Product marketing most commonly (and unsurprisingly) falls under the purview of the marketing department. Product management, on the other hand, is a wider, higher-level managerial process that encompasses all aspects of the product throughout the entire product lifecycle, from research and development to the point of sale. Let’s take a look at each of the seven “P's” of product marketing strategy individually, and how you can leverage these principles in your own business and product marketing initiatives. It stands to reason that if you’re interested in learning more about product marketing, you probably have a specific product in mind. For example, a hardware store would consider a new line of power tools to be a product, specifically the individual power tools in that particular line.
Whatever your business sells, you can still leverage some or all of the seven P's to promote your product.
Pricing is one of the most important of the seven P's, and a huge consideration for all businesses regardless of what they sell. Setting the price of a product is about more than just setting a figure at a level that a business owner believes their customers will pay for a product, and there are several important factors that need to be taken into consideration when setting the price of a product.
Obviously, that’s a lot to think about, but for product marketers, identifying and answering these questions is often among the first steps they’ll take to determining the perfect price point for their product. To the uninitiated, it may be easy to confuse place with physical environment when it comes to product marketing, but the two terms refer to two very different pieces of the puzzle. For example, a software startup may consider online distribution to be the ideal (or only) product distribution method that makes sense.
The first type, selective distribution, is precisely what it sounds like, in which a product is only sold to a very small number of retail outlets through an even smaller number of intermediary merchants. The second type, selective distribution, is also very common and is the preferred distribution method for certain types of products, such as power tools and household appliances. Although all of the seven P's of product marketing are important, as marketers, we’re most interested in the fourth “P” – promotion. For the majority of digital marketers, there are two primary means of promotion when it comes to product marketing – paid search and paid social. Just as no two product marketing initiatives will be exactly alike, the fifth “P” of product marketing – process – will differ greatly from one business to another. The product marketing process can be thought of as the entirety of the pipeline in a product marketing campaign, which itself can be subcategorized into two main stages: strategy and execution.
To complicate matters, “process” in product marketing can also refer to the process through which a customer must go in order to actually purchase a product. For small businesses, the “people” part of the product marketing pipeline is likely to be one of the most challenging bottlenecks. Regardless of what you’re selling or how many people you have at your disposal, it’s crucial to know how many people your product marketing pipeline will require, and who can perform the roles necessary to get your product to market.
Ever gone to the grocery store to pick up a few things, only to spend more than twice the amount you’d prepared to spend?
However, physical environment within the context of product marketing is about much more than the environment in which products are sold – it’s about the experience that the consumer has while shopping for your products, and the perceptions of your brand as they relate to the physical environment of the store or retail space. Obviously, physical environment isn’t a consideration for every type of business, nor is it especially important for every type of product. Now we’re going to examine each of these four questions within the context of digital marketing to help you make sense of how product marketing can work for your business.
If you’re interested in product marketing, the chances are good that you’re either trying to learn more about marketing your existing products more effectively or promoting a new product line. We’ve said it countless times before here at the WordStream blog, but I’ll say it again: people don’t want to buy things, they want to solve their problems. This principle applies to virtually everything you can buy, from a bottle of Coca-Cola to the latest iPhone. In terms of your marketing messaging, consumers’ desire to solve problems should be the foundation upon which all your messaging is based.
If you sell a physical product, your marketing should make it abundantly clear why customers’ lives will be better after buying it. You know what you want to sell, but you need to know to whom you want to sell it even more intimately.
You probably already have a workflow in place for determining who your ideal customers are. By creating detailed outlines of your ideal customers, you can target individuals who meet these criteria much more effectively. Once you know more about the type of people you want to reach with your product, you need to figure out how you’ll actually reach them.
Paid search is an excellent way to expand your reach based on the commercial intent of searchers using Google and Bing. Paid social, on the other hand, is the best way to expand your reach to people who haven’t expressed an interest in what you’re selling – at least, not actively. You can think of PPC and paid social as two sides of the same coin; PPC helps prospective customers find you, whereas paid social helps you find prospective customers. Depending on what you’re selling, cost will either be a primary part of your marketing messaging, or something that is given very little attention.
If, however, you’re selling a product that’s either extremely common or easily obtained, price may be among your competitive advantages.
Product marketing can be complex, but by breaking the principles of product marketing strategy down into individual components, hopefully it’s easier to see how each stage can be applied to your business. Backing up a bit, the use of social media in your overall marketing strategy is highly encouraged and in fact, known to show results for brands who execute their social media strategies properly. Most of the brand owners translate this to mean that social media should ONLY be the channel where they invest in to promote their brands. Also, there is the point of knowing what your goal is on social media and if your buyers are actually there.


One principal reason why business houses prefer Facebook is because of its advertising features. Facebook ads are customizable in the sense you can redirect your users to a particular website, to your business’ Facebook page or group. Facebook Ads carry a Like button, which can enhance the effectiveness of your ad campaign when clicked by a user. You can develop customer loyalty through a Facebook fan page and also offer special promotional programs through your Facebook fan page. As compared to Google AdWords, Facebook allows additional character length for ad descriptions. Facebook allows advertisers to purchase ad space on a click-based or impression-based fee structure. Because of its multifarious advertising features, Facebook is considered by business houses as a powerful marketing tool. By comparison, for each of its 193m in the US – its single biggest market – Facebook earns between $7-8. Product marketing defines the messaging of the advertising campaigns, the channels through which the product in question is promoted, the scope of the campaigns and the product’s intended audience, and how the product itself should be sold.
These two terms are not interchangeable, and they refer to two very different business functions within an organization. Product marketing may be a dedicated team within a larger marketing department, or the core marketing team may engage in product marketing campaigns. However, the term “product” may mean several very different things, depending on the type of company you operate.
A software-as-a-service startup, on the other hand, would consider its software offering to be its product. Even if you run a service-based business like a landscaping company or catering firm, you can use product marketing to position your services as the product – many of the principles apply to goods other than actual physical products. There are additional considerations that might further complicate matters, such as third-party vendor pricing, external production overheads (such as engineers, in the case of a tech startup for example), and international currency complications.
Place can also be referred to as product distribution, or how you plan to get your product to your customers. For the hardware store selling a new range of power tools, the product marketer may rely on a small set of intermediaries (merchants that buy and resell products) to sell the power tools at select retailers, in a process known as selective distribution. This model is most common in the luxury goods market – you can’t buy a Rolex watch just anywhere. After all, you wouldn’t expect to see Black and Decker power tools or Whirlpool washing machines on sale at Barnes & Noble, would you? When I first moved to the United States, I was amazed by the fact that you could grab candy or soda while waiting in line at clothing stores (and bookstores, and hardware stores, and…). It can (and usually does) refer to almost every aspect of how the product is presented to its target market, including brand awareness, demand generation, lead acquisition, product differentiation, and even wider, overall product messaging. Paid search is an excellent way to raise brand awareness, generate leads, increase sales, and reach a wider audience.
For startups and businesses that do not sell physical products, the product marketing process may be split into three phases: pre-release, release, and post-release.
In the software world, startups often learn a great deal about their product marketing process following the launch of a new product or tool, which is an excellent way to identify new opportunities for future launches. Online retailers give this a great deal of thought and subsequent optimization, as online shopping carts (the process through which customers using an ecommerce site go to buy things) are often abandoned, despite being ridiculously easy to complete from the customer’s perspective.
Whether we’re talking about a new line of cardboard boxes or the latest iPhone, product releases are the result of countless hours of work conducted by a wide range of people, from product managers and engineers to manufacturing personnel and sales professionals. For one, many smaller companies lack the resources to hire dedicated, experienced professionals to handle the various tasks associated with a product launch.
Do you need to hire additional staff to handle increased demand, or can you get by with asking existing employees to handle additional responsibilities? Even if you’re not selling a physical product (say, if you’re running a SaaS startup or a service-based business), you can identify whatever it is you’re selling and go from there. If someone buys a bottle of Coke, they did so because they were thirsty (why they chose Coca-Cola over another branded drink is another matter entirely, of course).
This is precisely what makes Apple’s iPhone marketing so powerfully effective – Apple isn’t just selling a phone, it’s selling a lifestyle.
This is especially true when it comes to advertising on Facebook and Twitter, both of which offer amazingly powerful and highly granular targeting options. Although there are dozens of marketing channels you might focus on, we’re primarily concerned with three: paid search, paid social, and email marketing. The searcher enters a keyword that’s relevant to your business, your ad is displayed to the user, they click on the ad, and sign up for whatever you’re selling. Going back to our iPhone example, Apple almost never makes pricing information a part of its marketing messaging – Apple instead heavily favors the desirability of its lifestyle branding over pushing a bargain. In a wider context, this is what makes discount retailers like Walmart so popular – people know that they can get pretty much anything at the lowest possible price by shopping at Walmart, and the brand’s messaging reflects this. It might play a crucial role in differentiating your product from those of other businesses, or it might not matter at all. This has shown very good case studies and thus, encouraged most brand owners to believe that it is a solution to their sales problem. Their social media backlash is uncontrollable given that they don’t have a presence here.
Facebook Ads enables businesses to create customizable marketing campaigns that are targeted to a specific demographic group. That apart, Facebook shows which relevant open bids letting you set daily limits for your campaign making the whole exercise budget-friendly. You can post advertisements for a particular location, age group, gender, personal preferences etc. Thus advertisers can reach not only computer and laptop users, but smartphone users as well. This gives you the opportunity to create brand awareness to millions of its users across the globe. The first summit for its Internet.org initiative was held in New Delhi, and in February the organisation teamed with Reliance Communications to bring free online services, including Facebook, to users in six Indian states.
Do you have plentiful customers or clients, or are you struggling to find enough potential leads? Regardless of what you sell, this market research and competitive intelligence gathering is vital for your product marketing initiatives.
Again, this stage of the product marketing process varies widely from one business to another.


This exclusivity is reflected in everything from the product’s marketing messaging right down to its distribution channels. Essentially, promotion can be thought of as everything that concerns how a product and brand are perceived by the public and its target audience.
One of the strengths of paid social advertising is the ability for marketers to target incredibly granular audiences, a key strategy for product marketers. Does the customer have to carry a large box from shelf to register, or will a sales agent handle it?
Will your product marketing pipeline be handled entirely in-house, or will you need to outsource work to contractors? Most stores (particularly supermarkets and large department stores) leverage psychology to manipulate shoppers into buying more than they want or need.
Sure, sometimes stores go all-out for their soda displays (such as the novelty arrangements of 12-can multipacks you see in supermarkets), but oftentimes, bottles of Coke are merely sold in refrigerators next to the cash register. For consumer electronics products like iPhones, the reasoning behind the purchase may be more complicated, but it’s still rooted in the desire to solve a problem. If you’re selling a service, your messaging should reflect how much easier customers’ lives will be by taking advantage of your service. If not, it’s time to start, and one of the best places to do so is creating buyer personas. The more you know about your ideal customers, the more effectively you can advertise to these people and, ultimately, increase sales.
Of course, the customer journey is often significantly more convoluted than this, but this is the general principle behind PPC. Using the data you gleaned during your target audience and buyer demographic research, you can target lookalike audiences based on a dizzying array of criteria, from income level and educational attainment to homeowner status and recreational pastimes. Apple knows that it can charge pretty much whatever it wants for an iPhone, because invariably, people will pay it.
However, it’s worth considering this from the perspective of your ideal customer and their desire to solve problems. Is there high demand for what you’re offering, or are you operating in a crowded market with ample competition? Perhaps the distribution method can be expanded or narrowed to increase visibility or adoption. It’s quite dastardly when you think about it, which makes me personally feel a lot better about dropping $200 every time I go to Target. Of course, Coca-Cola is perhaps in a unique position when it comes to product marketing, but you get the idea. For example, one customer might buy a new iPhone because they’re sick of their old Android mobile device and like the iPhone their friend has. In this case, increased ease, more time, and less effort are all outcomes that should be emphasized in your marketing.
Another benefit of pay-per-click is that it’s extraordinarily cost-effective, if handled correctly – you don’t need an enormous advertising budget to succeed with PPC.
But if your goal is awareness, customer loyalty, and customer service, there is no excuse not to include social media in your strategy.
Are they undercutting you by reducing production costs, or are they leveraging a USP to increase their pricing? Maybe the target audience for a planned product release can be refined to deliver more targeted messaging, which in turn can inform future paid search and paid social promotional campaigns.
Another customer may want to solve a more nuanced, abstract problem with their purchase of a new iPhone, such as making themselves feel better about their perceived social identity by owning the latest Apple device.
Generally speaking, PPC helps you find people who have expressed an interest in what you’ve got to offer. Regardless, the motivation behind these two examples is the same – the customer wants to solve a problem by buying something, not to purchase a product for its own sake. Education is open to all regardless of their ability to pay.In a recent Facebook post discussion, a Scottish friend of mine shared about the stark difference between how Scottish folks and Singaporeans view education. They are encouraged to do a degree in subjects that interests them and that will stimulate their personal growth as an individual.To them, whether that skill is learned at university or somewhere else is another matter. Gone are the days where our education system churn out batch after batch of model Singaporean worker prototypes and direct our youths to courses to fill specific labour gaps in the market.Our education system now question the skills and competences that our youths require to adapt and succeed in this fast shifting global arena. Multiple educational pathways are now created to cater to the different strengths and interests of our students.
We recognise the fact our children do not progress at the same pace when it comes to education.
While we celebrate and push those who are academically inclined to go further, we must offer opportunities for late bloomers and less privileged to have a chance to catch up and compete on equal grounds at a later stage.It is also high time for us to acknowledge and accept that there are other non-degree routes to success. Just as we accord a high level of respect for MBA-armed CEOS, we should also realize that skilled technicians, highly trained mechanics, talented craftsmen, accomplished artists, or anyone who has honed his craft to an exemplary level, deserve our respect too. For example, in the People’s Association, there is a single scheme of service, whether you are a graduate whether you are a diploma holder, you join the same scheme of service, you join at different points, but after that, your advance is based on merit and there have been many non-graduates who have progressed to senior manager positions based on their ability to do the job well.”Over at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), it has been pushing for performance-based equal employment opportunities for over a decade. These initiatives may not be called ASPIRE, but they are definitely effort to help workers climb up the career ladder, regardless of the academic qualifications they hold.Through the years, NTUC has implemented a variety of different programs and initiatives to charge changes at the organizational level, as well as to train and better equip workers with skills so that they can have an equal share of the progression pie.
For instance, through the implementation of Skills Redevelopment Programme and Job Redesign Programme, the labour movement has reviewed and redesigned jobs and also re-skill workers so that there is improved employment opportunities for all.The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System (WSQ) is also worth a mention. Almost a decade old, the WSQ unlocks avenues for workers to obtain nationally recognized and industry-relevant qualifications. This results in leveling the playing field relatively, so that even those who are not highly educated or degree holders have a chance to advance professionally.
The WSQ develops skills and education framework that are industry-specific, and focuses on the development of job-based skills and competencies. Industries that the WSQ has covered include Aerospace, Community and Social Services, Floristry, Healthcare Support, InfoCommunications Technology, Security, Marine Workplace Safety and Health, Tourism Management, etc. Employers may be pleasantly surprised by the fresh perspectives brought in by graduates who are not trained specifically in the particular field.
Listen to your child and find out where his or her interest lies, they are more likely to do well in a subject they love than one which they loath.
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