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…