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How Do I Develop a Product Marketing Plan?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
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The first step in developing a product marketing plan is getting organized: have a clear understanding of what your product is and who will want to buy it. Learn about the potential target audiences as well as the competition that will offer similar products at a similar price. Decide what makes your product better, and then write all this information down clearly so you can refer to it later. Your overall product marketing plan will include these elements as well as a budget and potential outlets for distributing the message about your new product.

Once you have determined the strengths and weaknesses of your product in relation to other similar products, you should develop a product marketing plan that outlines how you will bring your strengths forward and diminish your weaknesses. This will take careful consideration and planning, and you will need to do a fair amount of research into existing markets to find out what your target audience is spending money on and how often they spend. You will tailor your product marketing plan to these trends to ensure your product matches the needs of potential customers.

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Be sure to write a detailed budget for your product marketing plan, and take note of where money will be spent and how. Some of the common costs associated with product marketing include packaging; advertising in radio, television, and magazines; giveaways and promotional items; and employee salaries associated with marketing and advertising. The budget should include incidental costs as well that may come up during the process of developing the product marketing plan. Such costs may include making copies, postage and other delivery charges, web hosting and design, and more.

One of the most important considerations you will need to include in the plan is the cost of your product. This decision will be made based on manufacturing costs, the price of similar products offered by your competition, and your sales projections and long-term goals. You will need to figure out how much a customer is willing to pay for your product as well as how many products you will need to sell at that price point to break even or make a profit. Pricing your product too high may put off potential customers, while pricing it too low may undervalue your product and make it difficult to build a profit. Remember that raising your prices after the initial purchase price has been set will be more difficult than dropping the price if it is too high.

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cafe41
Post 4

@Oasis11 - Promotions are critical when you are launching a new product or business for that matter. Some companies capture customer information at the register in order to track the customer’s purchases and send them appropriate coupons that the customer might use on repeat purchases.

You can also start a reward program in which the customer gets a free product after so many purchases. This is really effective because everyone likes getting something free.

I think that a marketing plan should also include getting the name out about the company and this could be done with a press release in the community paper or you can even pay someone to drive around with a car that has ads covering your business.

The marketing plan really depends on the type of business that it is but giving coupons away or creating a reward system does give the customer a reason to return which is really what you want.

Targeting a specific demographic is essential in your sales and marketing plan because not all customers are the same and you really want to focus on the ones that are more likely to purchase your product or service. You don't want to focus on everyone because then the advertising would not be as effective.

oasis11
Post 3

I used to work in the cosmetics industry and we always had a new product launch marketing plan every few months or so.

Whenever we had a new product that was about to be launched we developed education seminars to train our sales staff and actually gave all of our consultants a product for them to take home so that they would learn more about the product.

Then we would run a series of print and radio ads as well as television commercials and created marketing events in all of our doors across the country.

We would have the consultants at the counter schedule appointments for this promotional event and we would also assign additional makeup artists to assist the customers and demonstrate the products on the customers.

You would be surprised how much business could be derived from a small sample. I think that the key to a successful new product launch marketing plan includes marketing planning and educating the staff on the products.

SZapper
Post 2

@Monika - I agree that marketing is important. However, I think it's best to have a sensible marketing budget. Don't spend every cent you have on marketing, but don't be cheap either!

I think market research is really key here. If you know who your target audience is, you'll know how to spend you marketing dollars to bring you the maximum return.

Monika
Post 1

Marketing is so important to the success of any business. I would really recommend spending a decent amount of money. I think the old adage "you have to spend money to make money" is completely true.

Marketing may seem expensive when you start out, but imagine how much money you'll lose when your business fails because you refused to market.

The insurance agency I used to work for is a perfect example of this. My agent was a new agent, and he was against buying leads. He thought he knew of better (cheaper) ways to market the agency. Well, that agency is pretty much failing right now because he refused to shell out some money for marketing.

He's going to be losing a lot more money than he would have spent so we could get some sales.

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