For many, marketing still feels like magic. Well, it isn’t. While creativity is key in building and delivering marketing solutions that really prove any return on investment, the most important component is the data and expertise. A/B testing is the real and only ‘magic’ tool in marketing because it provides real feedback from the customers directly. And it doesn’t even rely on their statements but on their behavior. It is the same with purchasing.
Moreover, the best marketing strategy combined with the best marketing execution and marketing budget will never perform on the back of a product that doesn’t solve a real problem, isn’t needed or its value isn’t understood by the customers. And it leads straight into wasted time and wasted investment.
Or, it might succeed within the early stage of the product release, but for sure it will fail to gain market stability and will finally lead to a market freeze.
Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice
The great prestige of your product or service is a constant work in progress and involves more than just UX/UI design and marketing joint ventures. The most important voice is that of your customers and the way they feel about your product. Indeed, marketing and design can help in crafting and sending out the right messages, creating the right path and the right experience for the end-users so they buy your product.
But what happens next is out of marketing and design control. If the product does not represent something that the customers need or expect, even if they buy it once, for sure they will not buy it twice.
However, the market fit is more than just the first few customers that show interest in your product. The market fit refers to a real need that leads to the wish for constant purchase or, what the experts call, brand fidelity and customer retention. Understanding if your product idea or product is fit for the market is more than a sum of assumptions, it requires validation with real customers or end-users.
If you want to succeed, meet your marketing halfway and let them help you
Enabling your different team members or partners to walk the path of success comes with involvement, listening, and debate. Product marketing is the bridge between your product and your customers.
Having a senior expert with you from the very beginning, will not just help you set your vision right, but will enhance your capabilities to improve your product from a customer and market perspective, better understand the steps in preparing the go-to-market phase and calculate the costs associated with product release and gaining market share. Also, a senior marketing expert is the best to help you prioritize the different phases of communications, campaigns, and the tools you need, which, again, can have a huge impact on the way you are spending your money within the first five years.
Imagine that you build your product marketing strategy based on examples from other successful stories, then you try to get yourself up to speed with available literature in the field in, let’s say, six months. The information you read makes perfect sense and feels easy to grasp. Full of enthusiasm, you purchase all the tools that you need in matters of digitization and automation and you are ready to crack on. Shortly only to realize that you made an initial investment between $5k and $10k in tools that you do not know exactly how to use and/or your business isn’t ready to use.
‘Imitation games’ without contextualization are a waste of time and money
No matter how well you understand marketing from an external perspective, you cannot compensate for the lack of hands-on experience. All senior experts know that using tactics others implemented, will not generate the same results. The reason behind this is represented by the complexity of different factors and phases of a company that runs a certain tactic or campaign. The contexts might differ at many levels, therefore you will need someone with the right experience in the field to know how to read between the lines of others’ success stories.
The main takeaway is that, with the right expertise by your side, you can definitely find the best way of creating a marketing strategy that fits your market context, your brand, and your budget. For example, instead of investing up to 10% of your turnover yearly, you might find out that it would make better sense to spend that amount for one or two years. Or allocate your budget in building your brand, creating content, and proving you are a thought leader in the market. Following a lean mindset. The same scenario applies to any other marketing spend you can think of.
Demystify the power of marketing alone in product success rate
As mentioned already, marketing expertise alone is not sufficient to make a product successful. The product failure or success can be determined within the first stages of your idea. And no matter how great your idea is, for sure it needs tailoring. And how else can you faster validate it if not with your end users’ feedback?
Many entrepreneurs we meet are reluctant to let themselves be challenged, which can be linked to the fear of failure and fear of cutting out potential opportunities. Others are afraid of spending too much time and too much money ahead of going live. Which is normal. Thus, validation of a product idea doesn’t need to feel complicated. Its purpose is to transform assumptions into certainties by following a few steps:
- Gather the experts you need at one table
- Focus on one goal
- Uncover main challenges
- Debate on assumptions
- Create a prototype
- User test the prototype
As unlikely as it might sound, all these steps can be covered within a maximum of five days. The last step is the most relevant as it can provide you with real feedback from real users. From this point, you can easily adapt your product to what would make your customers tick. Moreover, it can help marketing unleash their potential of maximizing your product market success.
Otherwise, if you go to market without validation, there are more than 90% chances for your product to fail.
The users’ validation sets marketing strategy on the path of success
Getting user feedback is one of the biggest values for product owners, designers, and marketers. In building a marketing product strategy, it is essential to tackle down what customers actually want, what they need, and what they still have to learn about the benefits of the offered product.
The real benefits of user validation for your marketing strategy are:
- Getting the right brand positioning
- Gaining clarity within the messages, topics, and educational content
- Understanding how and when the users are more likely to interact with the brand
- Defining the real triggers and user scenarios regarding the product
- Better capacity to estimate the budget required for investment
When relying on direct input from customers, crafting a marketing strategy becomes easier than ever. Setting things right from the beginning can help them set your business towards success.
Validating your product idea is smart and necessary. Choose to secure your investments for the long term. This is your best ‘shortcut’.
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