Anyone who has designed a custom product knows how much time and effort goes into creating the right solution. A design will likely go through multiple iterations before becoming the perfect product. Once that happens, you don’t want to waste your hard work – which means you need to start letting people know about your design and why it matters to them. Read below to learn how Product Marketing will be a huge asset to your team.
Know Your Audience
You may have designed your solution for a specific client, or you may have been inspired one day and decided to create an answer for a problem you had noticed yourself. No matter the reason you have created your design, you will never convince anyone it is the right solution without knowing who your audience is.
If your design is for a client, you have a great opportunity to get to know that client better. Take the time to find out why they want this product, who they plan to market it to, and how they plan to generate interest. Their answers will be a great guide to show you who your ultimate audience will be, which, in turn, will help you decide the best way to show your product to the world.
If your design is not for a client, you need to have concrete ideas of who you think this design will benefit. Identify a demographic you want to reach, and then do some research to find out the best ways to show that group your design. This can be time consuming, but is well worth the effort if it means you have a higher chance of selling your design to the right people.
Know Your Options
In the current digital age, your options for marketing your product are seemingly endless. You can go a more traditional route, like collateral that can be organized into a company packet, or you may decide to focus your efforts on emails and social media. Having so many options is a great opportunity, but it can also be overwhelming if you are sure which route to take. Let’s break down your choices:
Marketing collateral, which generally refers to printed brochures or printed information about your product, is a great way to show off your product and your design ideas. You can print important information for your potential clients or investors to read through and keep at their offices for future consideration. Collateral gives you the advantage of walking through each piece with your client, allowing you to answer their questions immediately and to expand on your ideas face-to-face. You can also take extra time revising the wording and layout of your collateral until you are satisfied with its look and feel.
Digital marketing, which is mainly social media and email campaigns, is a more recent option that many companies are utilizing. Social media is free to join and use, and it allows you to reach a broader audience with the information you want to show them. There are millions of people on social media, and having accounts on the most popular platforms can put you in contact with potential clients, fellow designers, and helpful connections.
However, you should also consider a few caveats about social media: First of all, though it is free to use, there is an increasing movement on many platforms to only highlight the businesses who use paid ads and promotions. This means that if you do not invest some money into your social media, you may not reach as many people as you want. Additionally, you want to make sure all of your patents are in place before you begin e-blasting your ideas to the world. This ensures that you receive the credit for your design, even if someone sees your product and claims it as their own.
In both types of marketing, you should make sure you have finalized all the details of your product. For instance, your logo may be a brilliant shade of blue. But unless you find a specific shade and give the information to your print and copy company, your collateral may come to you in the wrong color. You should also take time to reserve your social media handles and website address before you start showing off your design. Putting all these small details into place before you get started will give you the best chance at successfully marketing your idea.
Know Your Resources
Product Marketing only works if you successfully market your product. Many businesses find that they are able to generate interest in their design, but struggle to find the means to mass produce their idea. This is why it is crucial to invite investors to look at your product and make connections with other people or companies who can help you spread the word.
Do some research or reach out to a trusted colleague to find ideas for potential investors. Once you have contacted the investors and set up a time to meet, you need to have everything in place. Be prepared to show them a working model of your design, give them details on how it will work and why you think it matters, and to answer the questions they will inevitably ask. This is your chance – maybe even your only chance – to share your product, so give it everything you have. Go the extra mile to make sure your investors will have confidence in your work.
After your investors are squared away, you still need to do some marketing legwork. Consider reaching out to a friend in your industry who can give you guidance on best practices for social media, or setting up a focus group comprised of a sample of your target audience to give you feedback on ways to improve your marketing strategy. Gather as much feedback as you can to refine your marketing tactics in order to reach the most people in the most effective manner.
When it comes to Product Marketing, it’s all about the details. At The Hendey Group, we not only develop products but we help collect and generate key collateral during the development process. Our clients find this additional detail to be a great value to their future communications efforts. Call us at 317-550-4006 to speak with our team about how we can market your design to success.