Marketing processes are vital to successfully selling any product – new or old. However, many companies spend most of their time creating the product rather than developing a marketing process for the new product.
Adi Klevit of Business Success Consulting Group recently spoke with Natalie Nathanson, the CEO of Magnetude Consulting, about how she and her team build enterprise-class marketing processes. Below is a summary of the many words of wisdom she shared in the discussion. Listen to the full interview to learn more.
Involving Marketing In Early Product Development Stages
Marketing can and should be involved in the early stages of product development so that the marketing team considers market trends, positioning, and market leveragability. This allows them to work with the product development team and build market opportunities into the product roadmap.
Once a product roadmap is created, and the product development is underway, the marketing team can:
- Determine messaging frameworks.
- Build brand positioning.
- Develop a clear cadence between marketing and sales.
From there, the marketing team can build a marketing plan which includes the usual marketing tactics like email campaigns, social media, trade shows, and other elements. Because of all the groundwork that’s already been completed, this plan would be designed around the new product – from launch and beyond.
All of the above groundwork makes it possible to launch a successful product without playing catchup.
How to Build a Marketing Process for Your Newest Product
Follow these seven steps to build your marketing process for your newest product:
1. Clarify the product purpose.
When building your newest product, sit down with your marketing team and product development team to hash out:
- The desired outcomes.
- Scope of change and guardrails.
The point of this step is to set a tone and ensure there is buy-in from leadership.
2. Perform an assessment.
At this stage, you want to look at the internal environment for areas of impact and opportunity. You need to build a high-level understanding of both requirements and the impacts this product, its development, and its sale will have on different functions and roles in the organization.
From there, your team needs to perform an external assessment and look at the market. This assessment would determine the competitive advantages offered by the new product or service and dive into how to enhance these advantages. Additionally, the team would identify how the product would go to market, be sold, and be delivered.
In this stage, you are identifying anyone else who needs to be involved in product development and launch. You are also finding the best ways to sell your new product or service, so you can proactively pivot away from past sales and marketing practices as needed.
3. Build a strategic plan
Now that everyone who needs to be involved has a seat at the table and you all understand the current market, it’s time to strategize. Here are a few things to consider as you begin your strategic planning:
a. What are the cost implications of this project, and how do we finance it?
b. How does this new product/service impact what we already deliver?
c. How does this new product/service support our current offerings?
d. What niche does this product serve – and how do we reach those prospective clients?
e. Does this product benefit our current clients – and how do we bring it to their attention?
f. Will we need to pivot our sales strategy away from what we are doing now to sell this product?
g. Will we need to pivot our marketing strategy away from what we are doing now to sell this product?
h. Do we need to rework our messaging or branding to support this product launch?
4. Develop a marketing plan
Answering the questions above and building a strategy will allow you to plan the steps necessary to market your product.
It is often easiest to develop a plan by working out each step from the launch backward. Your team should go step-by-step and hash out any and all branding, marketing, and sales issues. This is where you create tasks, build in deliverables, create timelines, and include a budget.
This plan needs to focus on interal and external communications.
External communications include communication relevant to clients, prospective clients, partners, and investors.
Internal communications focus on the various roles involved. This includes who plays what role, and how they might need to pivot in the future.
Now that you have a marketing plan, it’s time to implement it.
6. Set the new normal
Finally, it’s time to measure metrics and continue to move forward. Here are some ways you can improve your plan during implementation:
- Assess what was learned from the launch.
- Measure metrics and note improvements as well as unsatisfactory results. Look at what was done during those times.
- Hire specialists or train the team in specialty areas with which they need to become more familiar.
- Consider what surprised the team during implementation, and note what changes need to happen during future deployments.
- Determine how you will modify your going-forward plan based on what your team has learned.
Putting a process in place is vital for marketing and launching any new product. If you are considering documenting existing processes and building new systems, get in touch with the Business Success Consulting Group! We are your process experts.