Product Marketing for E-Commerce

Product marketing is the process of bringing a product to market.

To ensure the overall success, this includes, customer research, assortment planning, product positioning, copywriting and messaging, channel sales enablement and customer education.

Atoms & Bits

Most of the thought leaders in the product marketing space comes from companies like Drift, Hubspot and Intercom, that give an amazing examples of how Product Marketers should get started.

All great companies, BUT their content skews very much towards Software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses.

Why is Product Marketing for E-commerce so different?

As a brand or retailer, two major differences

  1. Customer research
  2. Product development

customer research product development

Customer Research
1-to-1 Customer research methods that take 1 hour each just doesn’t scale for you.

Product Development
Retailers have the advantage when it comes to “product development”.

You don’t have to manufacture most of your products in-house.

After customer research, you can build a really successful business by piecing together the best products from everywhere (Think Sephora) .

Roles & Responsibilities

Product Marketers are focused on bridging the gap between products and customers.
This means driving demand and usage of products.

Steps

1. Customer Research

Take your time to learn from your customers.

  • Form a Hypothesis
  • Speak to about 20 customers

    • 10 who have already bought from you, 10 who have not
  • Look for further evidence

Once you are at the "Looking for evidence" phase, you can try Facebook Audience Insights (under Business Manager). Look for groups, interest, behaviour that support/ disprove your original hypothesis.

screenshot 2019 12 05 at 1 42 44 pm

2. Assortment Planning

This can take the form of either product design or sourcing (or both).

Based on customer research, look for or design products that fulfil those checkbox.

assortment planning

3. Product Positioning

Back to the notes that you took during the customer research phase, you must have noticed certain words used to describe different issues they faced.

Position your product in such a way that they can understand the value proposition.

Example of an Alarm clock

positioning copy

4. Copywriting & Messaging

Leveraging what you’ve already prepared in the positioning phase, match the copywriting and messaging to the channels.

  • Hashtags on Twitter
  • Keywords for Search

copywriting messaging

5. Channel Sales Enablement

This step involves doing what is necessary to enable the success of a particular sales channel.

Based on the initial promise in the positioning, deliver relevant content

  • For the offline world, this tends to be training & onboarding of sales reps.
  • For Instagram, this could mean relevant Hashtags + multiple photos.
  • For your online store, this means showing customers relevant content.

sales channel enablement

6. Customer Education

Your customers (or potential customers) aren't always in the same phase.

customer phases

Only a small minority know both the problem and the solution. Most, either haven't thought of the solution or they don't even realise the problem.

phase message

You have to tweak your messages accordingly

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Why I write

Product marketing has become an increasingly important role in many businesses.

But what does that mean for you?

I write about marketing strategy and tactics from the lens of product marketing so that you can keep tabs on the product marketing landscape.

Whenever I learn something new, I share it here on this blog

As an added bonus, we use it to reflect on our own product development and marketing efforts.

Subscribe to learn along with me!

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References

Learn more about strategies & tactics from the
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