Finding yourself looking for the elusive blanket approach, as far as product marketing strategies is concerned?
If you’ve fallen into this trap, backtrack, rethink, and evaluate your approach, because every PMM team has considered methods to suit their own style, in their search for success.
We’re going to use a soccer analogy to drive the point home. #sorrynotsorry ⚽️
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, two of the world’s leading soccer managers, epitomize how different approaches can be incorporated by different people, whilst eyeing the same goal. 🏆
For the non-footballing fans among us, their footballing principles differ dramatically, with Guardiola (R) encouraging an attacking style of play, while Mourinho (L) has been known to favor a more defensive approach - the pair and their philosophies each fall at extreme ends of the sporting spectrum.
However, while their respective strategies are like chalk and cheese, they’ve each succeeded in dominating European football, winning 50+ trophies between them in their careers thus far, 14 more than Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson won in his 26-year tenure.
So, what’s the point of this sports-themed preamble, you may ask?
These footballing masterminds are living proof that there’s no set formula for success. No blanket approach. No recipe for all.
And the same can be said for product life cycle marketing strategies, with segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) each playing a crucial role in the process. But how can this trio of product marketing principles be applied?
How to use STP
When planning product life cycle marketing strategies, facets of STP are essential, particularly when using digital communications as part of your marketing.
Segmentation, targeting, and positioning can be used to great effect by building materials such as buyer personas and user personas, as well as customer communications such as email correspondence that’ve been personalized to optimize user experience.
PMMs use multiple approaches when planning their product life cycle marketing strategies, including reaching out to old customers, as well as new prospects, in a bid to reduce churn. And with plenty of customer experience and engagement tools on the market, there’s plenty of assistance to guide you in your efforts.
How to do customer segmentation
Product marketers need to understand a) who their target market is, and b) which methods they can use to ensure they provide the best experience possible.
Enter customer segmentation.
Segmentation helps PMMs pinpoint requirements their customers may have, which markets to target when looking for new customers, and also helps enhance the quality of their messaging.
In short, it’s a pretty important process, to put it mildly.
Demographic segmentation can be split into areas such as age, marital status, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, education, household (or business), size, length of residence, type of residence, or profession/occupation.
For example, age segmentation will vary, with messaging varying depending on which generation is being targeted.: baby boomers, gen X, millennials, etc.
Your target market aren’t just customers, they’re people. *Shock! Horror!* and every person will have their own personality traits, hobbies, etc. that need to be taken into consideration. This is otherwise known as psychographic segmentation, and there are several different methods you can use to complete the process, including:
- Interviews: This will help you identify your customer’s requirements and provide them with the relevant solution.
- Surveys: Surveys are useful as they allow you to gather information from larger groups. However, surveys don’t allow you to be as selective with regards to who you speak with.
- Customer data: This method is often used by e-commerce companies, in a bid to grab the attention of their customers.
Behavioral segmentation is very much what it says on the tin: it focuses on customer loyalty, how customers use a product or service, and the benefits they’re looking for.
Each form of market segmentation plays an important role for product marketers, and the same can be said for market targeting, an equally important process when refining product life cycle marketing strategies.
How does market segmentation differ from market targeting?
Market targeting is a fundamental stage for any product marketer. It helps you prioritize what’s really important to help your team thrive.
As much as we want everything all of the time, this isn’t feasible. So, we need to make decisions as product marketers that'll align with our business interests. And 99.9% of the time, this means targeting segments who’ll help you and your business generate as much revenue as possible.
Remember, the largest segment isn’t necessarily the most profitable segment; you could have a pool of thousands with little disposable income. The financial resources of the prospects within the segment itself is decisive, as is their accessibility; after all, if they don’t receive your messaging, then what’s the point in targeting them?
They’re as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
Product positioning strategy
Last but not least, you need to switch your attention to perfecting your product positioning strategy, deciphering the most effective ways you can set up your products in the respective segment.
For example, what are your products USPs and why should potential customers consider your offering instead of those being offered by your competitors? It’s also important to introduce a pricing strategy that’ll appeal to your target market; the last thing you want to do is price too high. Similarly, if you price your product too low, this can deter customers from purchasing, as it could be construed that the product lacks quality.
Reliability is at the heart of any watertight product positioning strategy, as well as sturdiness when faced with competition.
So, having come full circle, we’re going to reiterate the golden takeaway from our foray into segmentation, targeting, and product positioning strategy: the execution of product life cycle marketing strategies and this trio of product marketing essentials should never be set in stone - what works for one product marketer, may not work for another.
Ask Pep and Jose: you need to use an approach to suit you. 👍