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DEVELOP A PRODUCT MARKETING STRATEGY

Developing a marketing plan or strategy to introduce a new technical product can be painless, and seems confusing only when we lose site of objectives.

Start by writing an outline of your marketing strategy. Then begin by gathering required information for each section in your outline. As you gather your market information, you may see critical gaps. Find a way to fill the gaps (e.g. telemarketing). Then polish the information with helpful tables, charts and graphs. You can even use the outline to organize your marketing presentation!

Marketing Strategy


Developing a Product Marketing Strategy is one of the most challenging and exciting aspects of product marketing and launching a new product. The marketing professional should begin by writing a working outline of his market plan to help organize the study, gather information, and organize the presentation.




I created this outline to develop marketing strategies:

Mission Statement

Corporate Mission Statement.
Manufacturing objectives.
Product Development objectives.
Marketing objectives.


Customers

How many of them are there?
What are they buying?
What practical problems do they try to solve?
What emotional problems do they try to solve?
What is the size of your market?
What is your customer's price point and other economics?
Exactly what does it take to win an order?
How long does it take to win an order?
Exactly how do customers use competitive products?
What's the current satisfaction with competitors?


Market Segmentation

Group customers (needs, industry, distribution, geography).
Narrow the targets.
Select targets.
Label the segments.
Consider the similarities and differences. Anything missing?

Competitors

What are they doing now?
Where do competitors advertise, and how often?
What is their sales pitch?
How do competitors price?
How do they distribute?
How do competitors position themselves?
How do competitors react to threats?
How do successful competitors differ from the lesser?
What are their market shares?
Compare competitors to your organization in terms of your:

Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats


Product Position

Differentiate your product and your service.
Find the opportunity. Its out there.


Remember that famous glass of water? The one that optimists see as half full and pessimists see as half empty? A scientist, however, sees a question -- Was the glass designed with too much capacity?

What we see is, actually, a matter of perception. What your customer sees is, also, a matter of perception -- his perception. Understand your customer's needs.

Describe your products.
Describe your customer's pain ...


Some sales systems will script sales closing techniques based on customer needs or wants. My opinion is to agree with other sales systems which insist that customers only buy on an emotional level.

Have you bought everything you wanted? Have you bought everything you needed? Of course not. But, how did you feel when your car stranded you on the highway? Were you a bit more receptive to the idea of buying a new car?

Read this carefully because this is the key to all market strategies. When your sales force closes sales, they will do so only by understanding your customer's emotions.

Your customers will buy from China, India, South America, anybody. Very few industrial customers have loyalty to any country or brand name today. If you don't agree, just look at number of people drinking bottled water that is imported from other countries. The last time I looked, the United States did produce good clean water. Go Figure.

You must understand your customer's psychological needs. Take a piece of paper out and write this down, "You must understand your customer's psychological needs to best succeed in product marketing and sales."



If Possible, Do Market Testing

Show product and promotional concepts to customers.
Double check.


Make Strategy Decisions

Decide on new revenue growth and profits.
Decide on new product development.
Decide on price.
Decide on sales force, distribution, service.
Decide on customer psychological factors, not features and benefits.
Decide on product promotion.


A popular way to remember the function of marketing is the "four p's of marketing", which are product (you must have a "new product development process"), place (distribution or where you will sell your product), promotion and price. A good definition of marketing will provide a more detailed definition of the standard marketing function, and the four p's of marketing.

I added psychological sales factors as a fifth p of marketing; because, your marketing strategy must list the relevant sales psychology factors, and state how these factors will be addressed. Sales psychology is arguably the most important part of a marketing strategy. Yet, customer psychology is seldom mentioned in marketing strategies.

Write an Action Plan

Pert chart on product development.
Calendar of planned media.
Budget

Implement Your Plan

Hold routine meetings to review progress on sales leads. Provide a lead tracking system. Nothing is status-quo. Revisit your plan and update.





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