Product Marketing Planning Process – II

Please click  for Part I  for first part of this series

After doing a competitive analysis of your product v/s the products that you have in market as your competitor, comes next is to study the performance of your product over the span of three years period.

Performance History:

  1. Existing Customers

In order for you to do the performance analysis of your product, this is what you should keep in your mind:

  • Is the primary target market growing, stable, or declining?
  • Under which circumstances do customer purchase the product?
  • Are most customer new or repeat buyers?
  • Are the customer end users? If not, then what info is available about end users?
  • How sensitive customer been to past price changes?
  • Does the customer base consist the few large customers or many small buyers?
         2. The Product
The analysis about the product should not only have Quantitative variables but also should include qualitative variables too.
  • What does the name of product implies?
  • For each feature you should ask “So What”?
  • Mark your product on a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being the highest)
  • What is the unit-break-even sales for the product?
       3. The Sales ForceAs a product manager, you do not have much control over sales force, but still you should be aware of the problems and the issues which would help you in making your Marketing Plan better.
  • Are the target customers reached in most effective manner?
  • How effective has the product/Sales training has been?
  • How the sales team is being trained to make sure they communicate the benefit of the product to concerned customers?
   4. PricingThe ‘Right’ price covers the all cost, and is positioned correctly to give product a competitive value. It also takes in to account the customer perceptions. As a product manager you should look for answers to:
  • Have significant amount of business being lost due to pricing?
  • Are errors too frequent in making a price guess?
  • Is your company a price leader or a price follower?
 4. The Promotional CampaignsThe Promotional campaign should be the part of an integrated marketing plan, and communication efforts.
  • What current image of the product is being perceived by your customer?
  • Did the Advertisement strategy decided by you, was a success? If yes, they why, if no, then why not?
  • Is your company a price leader or a price follower?
Trend Dynamics:
An examination of trend and their dynamics relative to a product’s success is the final part of the background analysis. You should try and attempt to have answers to all these:
  • What technological trends you foresee?
  • What have been the Industry trends in:
    Product changes
    Distribution changes
    Merger etc.
  • What are the basic trends in the economy?

Whenever possible, prepare for the changes, rather than being forced to do so…



Product Marketing Planning Process – I

This is a compilation of my learning from various books, articles, and posts. In this effort this will be a 2 part series to understand how the Product Marketing Planning process starts, and what are the essentials you should have to go for a solid Marketing approach. Happy Reading…
The product Marketing planning process should include the answer to the following three fundamental questions:
  • Where are you now?  (This is called BackgrProductound Analysis, we will discuss about this in this post.)
  • Where do you want to go?  (This we call as Synthesis.)
  • How you can get there? (This is your Action Program or Plan.)
In order to answer Where are you now?, you should do a Background Analysis:
Background analysis is a multi-step process, which accounts for
  1. Current Trend: Start the annual planing process by carefully assessing the Current status of your product and your company. You should look out for the problems that you may encounter during the fiscal the same time you should look out for the opportunities to exploit.
  2. Segments:Segments are the groups of customers with common demographics, common needs and / or common uses for the products. You should divide your customer in the segments or groups so that you can allocate resources optimally and effectively. You should think about different ways, your customer can be reached out.The various factors that you should take in to account are Demographics, Application / use of the product, and the benefits.Your goal should be to find out the ‘Size Opportunities in new markets, and then invest resources accordingly”. For this you should estimate the size and your share of market under the competitive scenarios.You should profile, identify characteristics that distinguishes “likely” purchasers. In other words you should associate product’s performance in each segment.
  3. Competitive Analysis: You should start by asking yourself, whom yo have lost the most and who has bought you the most business or form where you have gained the most. Competitive Intelligence is an essential part of a Product Manager’s life…the essence is to understand the competition to avoid the threats and looses. There will be lot of information which will be available for you from your competitor…you just need to look around…you will find various publishing documents, Financial reports, competitive advertisements, promotional materials etc., and all this info is of great use. From the advertisement you can easily understand the positioning of the brand…and the specification can set the benchmark for your products.You should design a model that ‘win’ against competing products. This would involve you determining offers (features, price, and promotions) that optimize demands.Contd…

How to Plan for being in Market

Smart marketers know that to succeed, they need a plan. A good one lets you adapt to changing conditions, pursue new markets, launch new products, and present your solution to management.While going through one of the products on MarketingProfs, this is what their product called SmartTools does:

  • Assess the market and evaluate your environment, including your competition.
  • Target your customers by focusing on those most likely to benefit from and purchase your offering.
  • Set clear goals tied directly to your company’s objectives and bottom line.
  • Determine a budget that meets your plan’s needs and fits your company’s goals and resources.
  • Clarify your position and what sets your product apart, then align it with the needs of your target audience.
  • Create key messages that speak to your customers and move them to action.
  • Select your media and decide what platforms will best engage your audience, within your budget.
  • Build a marketing dashboard to measure impact, track progress, and identify areas of concern.
And does it in quite a brilliant manner.
SmartTools product line is an interactive, online service. Rather than offering you an old-school Adobe PDF report, we created a Web platform where you can enter information, save it, and return later to keep working in another session. In fact, you can even create multiple versions of each project. This could be handy, for example, if you’d like to produce unique marketing plans for a few different products.Read more: