Whether you’re an established brand or a new startup, having a well-thought-out marketing strategy is essential to the success of your product. But what many companies don’t realize is that marketing doesn’t just happen after a product is built and launched.
In order to maximize the potential of your product and its success, you need to start planning your marketing strategy before you even begin development. This is known as “building marketing into your product” and is a powerful tool for ensuring success.
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What Does It Mean To Build Marketing Into Your Product?
Building marketing into your product means creating an inherently marketable product beyond a structured and planned promotional campaign. Meaning that you don’t have to rely on traditional marketing tactics like TV commercials, Digital or print campaigns; instead, you can let the product itself do all of the work. And your customers be your sales team.
When you build marketing into your product, you essentially create a product that sells itself.
But How Can This Be Done?
The first step in building marketing into your product is to define your target audience and find their pain points. Whom are you trying to reach with your product? What are their needs and wants? And what are the pain points that your product can solve for them? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a product that resonates with your audience.
Developing a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
A USP makes your product stand out from the competition and explains why it should be chosen over its competitors. As part of this process, take time to research what other companies in your industry are doing, and ask yourself: what makes my product different from all of the others on the market? What features set it apart from its competitors? Why should someone choose my product over another? Once you can answer these questions, you will have a better understanding of how to make your product more attractive and appealing.
Your USP should be used as a guidepost throughout the entire development process so that it can be incorporated into every aspect of your product, including your marketing and support material.
Build and Promote Your Product Attributes.
Once you have a good understanding of your target market and a compelling USP, the next step is understanding and figuring out how to build it into your product development and marketing strategy.
There are numerous ways that you can build marketing into your product to help differentiate your product or service from its competitors. But each solution will be unique to you, your product and your customer needs. Here are some quick topline examples.
Design Is a Competitive Advantage.
The design of your products can be an essential element that sets you apart from other businesses in the current market and gives you a competitive edge.
Dyson vacuums became successful through their innovative design and superior engineering. The company’s vacuums were designed to be more powerful, durable, and efficient than their competitors, allowing them to stand out in a crowded market. They also featured new technologies like cyclonic suction and HEPA filtration, which helped to make them more effective at cleaning. In addition, the company’s marketing strategy was also effective in highlighting the many benefits of their vacuums. This helped to create a loyal customer base and ensured the company’s success.
Usability Is You Brand.
Your products’ usability (UX) can be a major asset in today’s competitive market and can give you a decisive edge over your competitors.
The Apple iPhone has become a leader in the smartphone industry, offering a sleek design, intuitive user interface, and a variety of apps and services.
The Apple iPhone user experience is one of the best on the market and provides a competitive advantage to Apple. The user experience of the iPhone is intuitive, and user-friendly and offers a wide range of features and functionalities. Additionally, the iPhone’s hardware and software are designed to work seamlessly together, providing a smooth and seamless experience. The Apple iPhone user experience is one of the best on the market and is a major factor in the success of the iPhone.
Ownable Features Set.
A unique feature can be a major point of distinction and a great asset in today’s competitive market. These features can give you a competitive edge and help you stand out from the competition.
Amazon’s unique features, such as its almost unlimited product selection and Amazon Prime free two-day shipping, set it apart from any potential competitors and act as a barrier to entry. By offering a wide range of products and fast shipping, Amazon has created an unbeatable online shopping experience that is unmatched by any other retailer. Furthermore, Amazon’s Prime membership also gives customers access to exclusive discounts and other benefits, making it even more difficult for competitors to compete with Amazon.
Solve a Pain Point.
Solving a customer’s pain point can be a substantial competitive advantage for any business. By understanding the customer’s needs, problems, and frustrations, companies can develop products and services that directly address those issues and position them for long-term success. This could be anything from providing better customer service to developing innovative products that solve customer problems. By deeply understanding the customer’s pain points, businesses can create a competitive advantage that will differentiate them from their competitors.
Uber created a revolutionary solution to a major customer pain point: the need for reliable, convenient and safe transportation. Uber drastically improved customer convenience by allowing customers to order rides from anywhere using their mobile phones and allowing them to track their drivers in real-time.
Companies can achieve tremendous success by focusing on the customer’s pain points and providing solutions.
Customer Service Is Key.
Excellent customer service can be a powerful competitive advantage for businesses. By providing excellent customer service, companies can ensure that customers have a positive customer experience, giving them the incentive to return and recommend the business to others. Businesses prioritizing customer service tend to have higher customer loyalty and satisfaction levels, leading to more positive customer reviews and increased business growth.
A great example of a company providing outstanding customer service is Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer. Zappos has become a leader in the e-commerce industry by offering exceptional customer service and support. They offer a 365-day return policy, free shipping and returns, and 24/7 customer support. They even allow customers to call in and speak to a representative if they need assistance with an order. Zappos has succeeded in differentiating itself by providing excellent customer service and creating a positive customer experience. This has resulted in a loyal customer base and high levels of customer satisfaction.
Marketing As a Competitive Advantage
Although not an actual product, great marketing can be a competitive advantage for a business. A well-executed marketing strategy can help a business stand out from the competition, attract more customers and increase sales. It can also help to build a strong brand identity and loyalty among customers.
One example of marketing as the driving force behind success is Nike. Nike has used its marketing campaigns to create a strong brand identity and to communicate their core values to customers. They have used their campaigns to create an emotional connection with their customers, which has helped them become the leader in the sportswear market.
Some techniques, you can use to help push and communicate those unique attributes to your audience.
Now that you have figured out your target market and USP, let’s look at some techniques, you can use to help push and communicate those unique attributes to your audience.
- Utilize Viral marketing
Viral marketing is a growth hacking technique that uses existing customers to promote a product or service. It works by creating content or offers that encourage customers to share the product with their friends or family, creating a “viral” effect that can rapidly increase the number of potential customers.
For example, Dropbox used a referral program to offer customers additional storage space if they referred their friends to the service. This approach was extremely successful and helped Dropbox grow from a small startup to a globally recognized brand.
Research has shown that techniques such as viral marketing can be highly effective for businesses. In one study, researchers found that viral marketing campaigns were able to drive up to 25% of customer acquisition for companies.
- Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
Similar to viral marketing, Word-of-mouth recommendations are another powerful growth hacking strategy that businesses can use to increase their reach and visibility. This approach works by leveraging existing customers to spread the word about how great your product’s features are. This is the “Wow, you have to try this” approach, where a product or service feature you have built-in is so powerful that customers can’t stop talking about it. This has the added value of making the customer feel like they are helping a friend out by making their life easier or more productive.
Word-of-mouth recommendations were found to be even more effective than viral marketing, with one study finding that up to 84% of customers were influenced by word-of-mouth referrals when making their purchase decisions.
Provide an Excellent Customer Experience
Providing an excellent customer experience is another great way to create word-of-mouth recommendations. Companies should strive to exceed customer expectations and create a positive experience that customers will want to share with their friends and family.
Some successful examples of “Build Marketing Into Your Product.”
A great example of the successful use of this strategy is that of Casper. This direct-to-consumer company achieved incredible growth in just ten months with a minimal advertising budget. Casper leveraged design and technology features to build marketing directly into their products and employed a unique social media strategy that included sleep-related content, quick response times, and gifting events, in addition to a high-quality product. All of these elements combined to encourage customers to share the brand organically.
“Getting customers to engage with Casper was a crucial part of the startup’s strategy from the beginning because we didn’t have the advertising budget to compete against the mattress giants.”
Philip Krim, co-founder of Casper
Slack is another great example of how a product can do all the work in terms of gaining traction and raising awareness. What sets Slack apart is its built-in virality, which encourages users to spread the word while they are using it. This creates a unique customer experience and helps drive word-of-mouth marketing, and you cannot use Slack without inviting others.
In 2001, Shake Shack began as a small hot dog stand in New York City. Since then, it has become a global sensation, with 180 locations worldwide and growing. In order to compete against giants such as McDonald’s, which has 34,000 restaurants. Shake Shack didn’t compete with them at all; they used their product mix combined with a low-cost pricing strategy to create a new market space that resonated with millennials. They focused on core products like Thick Shakes and an almost 100% social strategy that together helped to drive viral word of mouth.
Starting the marketing strategy process early and building marketing into your product is an important part of any successful business. By taking the time to understand what sets your company’s products apart from its competitors and then leveraging those differences through product integration, creative marketing and direct engagement with customers, businesses can ensure that their products stand out from the rest and get noticed by potential customers.