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 techniques 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” 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 down into individual components, hopefully it’s easier to see how each stage can be applied to your business.

Just like advertisements are important for promoting your product to the consumer (and potential retailers), and press releases are important in pitching your product or service to the media, sell sheets are a key ingredient in pitching your product to retailers, distributors and wholesalers.
A product sell sheet is a one (or front and back) page sheet used to attract attention of a new product to your audience, in this case retailers, distributors and wholesalers. Just like all 'sales,' it's the 'getting them excited' that is the key ingredient in a sell sheet.
A small paragraph description of the product and what differentiates it from other products on the market.
A grid that includes: SKU, item #, brief description, package and case size and dimensions, case quantity, pallet info (how many will fit on a pallet and the configuration), and UPC codes. In addition, you may want to utilize the back side (or page 2) of the sell sheet as an order form in PDF that retailers, distributors and wholesalers may input their order (have it calculated for them utilizing a form) and email back to you. Your company contact info and directions for returning the order form, along with confirmation information. Email us for more information about how we can help your business stand out from the competition. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. McDonald's announced Monday that it raked in $1.5 billion in profits in the third quarter, up 5 percent from last year.
The number is strikingly close to the $1.2 billion taxpayers are shelling out each year to help pay public assistance to the McDonald's workforce, according to a report released last week by the National Employment Law Project. The echoing numbers are simply a coincidence, but underscore the immense profits that the chain continues to pull in while its workers simply struggle to afford food, medical help and housing.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, McDonald's emphasized that workers get training and the opportunity for career advancement. There's ample evidence that an increasing number of workers primarily rely on fast-food wages. While there's been a dearth of so-called middle-class jobs since the recession ended, the fast food industry's been hiring. Defenders of the fast food industry point out that many chains heavily rely on franchisees working on small margins to turn a profit, which makes any potential wage increase difficult. 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 sheet is distributed through mail, presented at meetings or sent via email to interested parties with the goal of getting them excited about buying your product for resale. When you prepare your sell sheet utilizing a graphic designer or do it yourself with a graphics program like MS Publisher or Photoshop, make it simple, make it powerful, make it very attractive and make them say, 'Wow! The public assistance McDonald's workers receive comes via food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and other federal programs, according to the NELP report.
Frontline fast-food workers make a median wage of $8.94 an hour, according to a recent Reuters report. Roughly one-quarter of fast-food workers are raising a child, and approximately 70 percent are adults between the ages of 20 and 64, according to the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research. Since the recession ended, almost 70 percent of all jobs created have been in historically low-wage sectors like fast food.
Please download the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Windows Internet Explorer browser. 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.
Or you may just want to utilize an excel spreadsheet that retailers can input information, then email or print out and return. Read ourTop Pet Industry Trends for 2015.Learn how social networking can be a very powerful & inexpensive marketing tool during a down economy!
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.
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.

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