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How to create a brilliant product marketing strategy
Even the most life-changing product won’t sell if no one knows about it. To get the word out, you need a product marketing strategy—a research-backed plan that presents your product to current or potential customers.
Developing a strategy seems more complex than it really is. You just need to take it one step at a time, focusing on the value your product offers, its place in the vast market landscape, and how it meets your customers’ needs.
A product marketing plan helps you position, promote, and sell your product throughout its lifecycle. Create one in just five simple steps:
Research your customers to deeply understand them and shape your strategy around their needs
Conduct competitive intelligence research to understand the broader market and your product’s place in it
Develop product positioning and messaging that highlights your offer’s unique value so you can resonate with your target audience
Create a pricing strategy that makes sense for your customers, industry, and goals
Develop a promotional plan to build awareness and interest, and encourage buyers to take action
5 steps to create an effective product marketing strategy
A strong product marketing strategy ensures you have a structured, cross-functional roadmap to achieving product success. Here are five steps you need to follow to do just that.
1. Research your customers
Whether your goal is a new product launch or longevity in the marketplace, your first step is research. Pinpoint who your ideal customer is, including their demographics, wants, needs, and behaviors.
This research informs the rest of your product marketing strategy and ensures that you maintain an empathetic, customer-centric mindset.
Some tried-and-tested user research approaches for product marketers include
Launching surveys to gather your target audience’s demographic data and pain points quickly
Conducting user interviews and focus groups to understand user needs and opinions more deeply
Delving into website analytics to see who comes to your site and from where
Using heatmaps to see which parts of your website or web app people engage with or ignore
Watching recordings to observe how users interact with your product and learn what user experience (UX) issues they face
Gathering this information helps you create accurate buyer personas—profiles of your ideal customer personas (ICPs)—ensuring that your strategy is spot-on and user-centric.
💡 Pro tip: use Hotjar Engage to connect with your ICP and gather valuable insights for your product marketing strategy.
Watch users interact with your product in real time, and ask follow-up questions to learn what they like and dislike. Then, use these insights to develop targeted messaging—and share them with your product team, so they can make design improvements. It’s a win-win-win!
2. Conduct competitive intelligence
Once you have a thorough understanding of your customers, it’s time to analyze the competitive landscape and understand how your product fits in the marketplace.
Conducting competitive intelligence ensures you
Price your product correctly
Find market gaps and position your product accordingly
Anticipate market trends that might affect how you promote your product
Competitive intelligence sounds a bit like secret spy work, but it’s all above board. 🕵️ It simply involves widening your research lens to
Pull up your competitors’ profiles on industry databases
Study similar brands’ websites and product landing pages
Keep tabs on competitors’ press releases about new offerings
Monitor their social media accounts to understand customer sentiment
Run a SWOT analysis to unpack your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats from competitors
By keeping an eye on your competitors’ product marketing strategy, you learn how to position your own. For example, you might learn that customers love another scheduling software’s features and integrations, but don’t enjoy its UX. Your own product’s effortless UX could become a major selling point.
💡 Pro tip: gather quick info on how your users view your competitors with a market research survey. Hotjar’s free template lets you discover
The challenges your users face
Their existing tech tools
The features they value
Their pain points
This helps you see who your competitors are—and where they may fall short—so you can market your product accordingly.
Hotjar’s customizable market research survey template lets you gather user insights on your competitors in seconds
3. Develop product positioning and messaging
Product positioning is the process of defining where your product fits in the marketplace and how you want your audience to feel about it.
A key step in this process is determining your product’s unique selling proposition (USP), the characteristics that set it apart from competitors’ products to make it desirable.
For example, online graphic design tool Canva’s USP is empowering the world to design since it puts formerly intimidating professional design tools in the hands of anyone who wants to use them.
To position your product and develop your USP, ask yourself questions like
What makes our product different?
Why is it perfect for our target customer?
What unique value does it provide to them?
Your USP is the cornerstone of your messaging strategy—the way you communicate your product’s value with customers. It also gives all of your company’s teams, from public relations to sales, a cohesive way to talk about your product.
Ensure consistency by creating an internal product messaging hub that contains
A product vision that captures what your product is, who uses it, and why it matters
A positioning statement that shows what differentiates it from the competition
A value proposition that sums up its benefits to customers
A one-liner or elevator pitch, a short description of your product that captures why it’s great
Key phrases to use with different audience segments
Notes on tone and voice, which align with your brand’s overall messaging strategy
💡 Pro tip: use Hotjar’s product suite to understand how your users feel about your messaging. Ask them directly with interviews or surveys, or gather data indirectly with heatmaps and session recordings.
Session recordings show you how individual users interact with key elements on marketing assets like your landing page. Pay close attention to where they linger on the page and what they skip.
Engagement Zones, a type of heatmap based on users’ click, scroll, and move patterns, highlights copy and content that catches users’ attention.
Engagement Zones’ grid overlay shows you the most engaging areas on your page
4. Create a pricing strategy
Even with perfect positioning and messaging, you need a smart pricing strategy to keep your product afloat in the marketplace. Pricing your offer too high halts sales, but underpricing could create an impression that your product is low quality.
It’s not just a numbers game, either. You also need to understand buyer psychology and motivations—whether people value scoring a deal or feeling like they’re investing in a top-of-the-line item.
Luckily, you don’t need to create a pricing strategy from scratch. Start with a model that makes sense for your industry and product.
Competitor-based pricing focuses solely on the price of competing products instead of production costs, and is particularly useful in a saturated industry
Value-based pricing is common among one-of-a-kind or highly sought-after products, and is based on a customer’s perception of a product’s value
Cost-plus pricing, also called markup pricing, calculates the item’s production cost and then adds extra on the top for profit. While less common in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry, it’s popular among grocers and other retailers.
Dynamic pricing works well for industries that experience frequent shifts in demand, such as hotels or airlines
Price skimming prices a product high to begin with and gradually lowers the price to maximize profit short-term
Penetration pricing starts a product at a low price and gradually increases it once they have a solid customer base, with the intent of maximizing profits long-term
💡 Pro tip: stay flexible with your pricing strategy throughout your product’s lifecycle, remaining ready to pivot or adapt as the market changes.
Put an exit-intent survey on your pricing page to gather feedback about unclear wording or ways to improve your packages.
Use Hotjar’s exit-intent survey template as a pop-up on your pricing page to learn what visitors think of your pricing
5. Develop a promotional plan
You’re in the home stretch. To ensure your product gets in front of the right people—whether that’s brand-new leads or established customers who might be interested in a newly released feature—you need a promotional strategy.
Start by setting measurable goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) to track, so you can gauge whether your promotional strategy is successful down the road.
Consider which channels your target audience frequents and the types of content they prefer, such as video, blogs, or graphics. Then, choose tactics to promote your product, such as
Creating landing pages to highlight product features and benefits
Planning targeted social media campaigns on 1–3 channels
Investing in email marketing
Creating an ad campaign for television, radio, or social media
Drawing on influencer marketing
Seeking brand partnerships to promote each other’s products—Hotjar’s Partner Program lets you earn a revenue share of up to 25% for referrals
Developing content marketing plans for blogs or case studies
Tapping into search engine optimization (SEO) to attract more web traffic to your site
💡 Pro tip: gather product experience insights to see how real users use your marketing assets, and then optimize your promotion plan.
Run A/B testing on two different landing pages to compare how they perform
Use Hotjar Heatmaps to better understand how users experience each variant. See how far the typical visitor scrolls, what catches their attention, and what they miss entirely.
Once you know what floats users’ boats—say, how-to videos for easy onboarding—tweak your promotional strategy to tout that benefit.
Hotjar’s five types of heatmaps help you visualize how users interact with your page
Find lasting product success with user insights
For long-term success, continue to analyze your data to find new ways to improve your product marketing strategy. By optimizing and iterating your plan—and assets like landing pages, blog content, and ads—you continue to attract new customers and keep your existing customers happy and coming back for more.