Steps in a Product Marketing Strategy

A product's marketing strategy begins during conceptualization, when the core product becomes infused with features designed to satisfy the needs of potential customers. Marketing influences development and how and when customers receive the product. Products move through a life cycle that sees sales highs and lows, but successful marketing strategy keeps product profitable throughout every stage. Marketing strategy students should remember that, products are not just goods, they can be services, entertainment, places, ideas and people.

  1. Create Core Benefit, Basic and Expected Product

    • The product's value level sets the price and partly determines the target market because different market segments seek value, features or low price. All products will have at the least a core benefit, the basic product and the expected value. A product's core benefit is what the product gives the customer, for example food's core benefit is relief from hunger, a movie's core benefit is entertainment. The basic product is the actual, physical product: the plate of food or the movie on a DVD. Expected value is the attributes that the consumer expects, delivering the advertised promises. In some cases, failing to deliver expected value leads to disappointed customers. In other instances failing to deliver promised value is illegal, such as in many cases of promised health benefits.

    Augment and Predict Potential Product

    • The augmented product offers features that appeal to customers and make the product different from competing products. Called differentiation, this augmentation forms the backbone of almost all marketing campaigns. Advertisements discuss features and inform or imply how the product features make it superior to competitors. The final value level, the potential product, includes the product's concept, future features and the strategic direction of the product.

    Product Packaging

    • Once the benefits, features and value level are set, product markets determine how to package the product. The packaging identifies the product, the brand and product augmentations further attracting customers to the product. For tangibles, packaging includes designing containers, primary packages and shipping packages. Premium looking packages tend to attract affluent customers while bargain boxes attract the frugal. Generally, product packaging should match the feel of the product. Some products are legally required to use package labels to list ingredients or offer warnings. Such products include foods, vitamins, alcohol, cigarettes and medicines.

    Determine New Product Market Category

    • Six types of new product categories describe the strategic climate that a new product enters. New to the world products are never seen before inventions that create a new market when offered to customers. New product lines enter established markets, while additions to product lines are newly augmented products in existing markets. Improved products are further differentiated or problem products that were recently fixed and replaced in existing markets. Repositioned products are not new, but they target a new consumer market, so the product is new to the customer set. Cost reduced products offer a new line in an existing market, but at lower price with similar capabilities.

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