Product marketing is a term that is applied to any of the tasks that are associated with the process of marketing a product to prospective and existing customers. This is in contrast to product management, which is concerned with the steps used in the development of goods and services for sale, and the arrangement of the production process that culminates in the finished product. Product marketing is often the first step in targeting a specific consumer market, and assessing that market’s level of interest in the product.
Within the overall process of marketing, product marketing is seen as the first of what is known as the Four Ps of the marketing process. Along with product, the concepts of pricing, place, and promotion all are involved in the creation of an effective and focused advertising campaign. Much of the work involved with product marketing actually lays the groundwork for the remainder of the marketing process. This is because most of the data needed to determine a marketable price, identify viable locations to sell the product, and how to reach the right consumers is collected during the product marketing stage.
When developing a strategy for product marketing, the manufacturer will ponder very specific issues in order to launch the process successfully. One consideration is the nature of the products that will be offered as part of the campaign. Once the nature of the products is established, the next step is to determine which groups of consumers are most likely to purchase the products. In situations where there is more than one viable group of consumers targeted, it is not unusual to develop a hierarchy, based on the anticipated scope of interest or the size of the target group.
Product marketing will also address the means whereby the products will be made available to the consumers. This means evaluating different options for distributing the product, including the use of online resources. As the data is assembled into a coherent and logical format, it is then possible to address those issues of how much to charge for the product. The collected data will also yield important clues as to where to sell the product and ultimately how to educate consumers about the existence of the product, and ultimately entice the desired consumer groups to commit to a purchase.
Depending on the culture of the manufacturer, the process may be seen as a follow-up to the product management cycle, or as the first phase of the overall marketing process. Various ideas about just how product marketing fits into the greater scheme of the operation are espoused in different industries, although the general tasks and concepts associated with the process of product marketing may be identified using other terms. In any incarnation, this phase of the marketing strategy is only successful when each necessary element is considered in a logical manner, and provides the information that will help make the marketing campaign comprehensive, focused, and logical.