You’ve invested heavily in developing your new product. From research and development to logistics and manufacturing, you’ve put countless dollars and man hours into making it a good or service you know consumers want.
But even the best-designed products will never live up to their full potential without the support of a customized marketing plan. One of the best ways to ensure your investments into your product pay off is to launch the product under the watchful and experienced eye of a proven product marketer.
Great Product Launches Rocket You Forward
A successful kickoff can be crucial to your long-term success. Lackluster launches are not necessarily a death sentence, but they’re obviously not ideal. A strong start helps quickly develop a powerful brand around the product and start building momentum as soon as possible.
At a time when product information and reviews are available on demand from most people’s mobile devices, it’s vital to have the right strategy in place from the beginning and avoid an expensive relaunch. You want promising results as soon as possible to avoid negative reviews, fight off competition and reassure wary investors.
The Product Marketer…Product
There’s a lot of confusion about what product marketers are and their role in an organization. Which is a little funny, since although they do a lot, it’s all toward achieving a pretty simple goal. Product marketers fill a gap between your new product and your new market, serving as a translator, ambassador, and bridge—for both sides.
The product marketer owns every aspect of promoting your good or service to end users; from generating interest before it hits the market to breathing new life into a stagnant product. They are responsible for the narrative that is built around your new product and determining the best ways to share that message. Two core understandings enable them to do this better than anyone else:
1. Deep knowledge of your product.
The only people who probably REALLY understand the nuts and bolts of your product are those who created it. But inventors, engineers, developers, managers and craftsmen are not marketers—they may know how to make a good product, but not how to sell it. For a successful product launch, you need someone with a firm marketing background who also understands every aspect of your product.
Whether it’s a retail consumer good, Saas, a B2B product or anything in between, the product marketer knows it in and out. All its applications, features, modifications, components, logistical and technical requirements—anything that could facilitate a more effective marketing process.
2. Deep knowledge of the market
Product marketers understand your audience better than anyone else. And not just the target market you think is best—great product marketers identify demand in audience segments and customer bases that would normally go overlooked and underserviced. They have the resources and talent to study and understand potential customers in a way no one else in your organization can. There’s no better way for you to find out who you should be talking to and what you should be telling them about your product.
They also have a finger on the pulse of the industry your product is launching in. Product marketers know where growing opportunity is and where potential hazards hide. They analyze existing and future competition and tailor your messages to set your product apart from and above them.
Enhancing the Rest of Your Organization
Because they are so dedicated to the product, product marketers have insights that the members of your marketing and sales teams (or agencies, if you go that route) will rarely possess. The rest of your staff is either too busy juggling multiple projects for other products or too focused on a single aspect of marketing to see the big picture around your new product.
You need the thorough expertise of a product marketer to guide the rest of your company and serve as a resource to the various departments and functions related to getting the product to your customers. Otherwise you risk suboptimal, inconsistent promotion strategy at the most crucial time.
Finding the Perfect Product Marketer
If you have a new launch on the horizon, you’ll need to quickly to put a product marketer in place in time to be effective. But great product marketers are hard to come by, especially on a tight time frame.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to assign one of your current marketing staff to the role. After all, they already know your organization and will be able to shift into the position quickly. But product marketing is very different from a traditional marketing role; unless they’ve had experience and training as a product marketer, there’s little guarantee they’ll excel at it.
In most cases you’re better off hiring an experienced and proven product marketer, preferably one who has worked in related fields before. If you trust your hiring team to find a quality product marketer fast, you’re in luck. Otherwise, consider coordinating with experienced product marketing recruitment agencies to find the talent you need quickly.