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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

Product marketing is essential, even if you only sell one or two products at your organization.

But what is product marketing? How do you market a product, and how does that differ from conventional marketing strategies? Let’s find out.

What makes product marketing unique? How is it different from conventional marketing? Let’s unpack the differences.

Product Marketing vs. Conventional Marketing

Product marketing is strategic whereas conventional marketing is all-encompassing.

Product marketing is considered a component of conventional marketing. In fact, if you look at the seven Ps of marketing, you’ll see product marketing is one of the most important aspects of a business’s marketing efforts.

Product marketing is about understanding a specific product’s audience deeply and developing that product’s positioning and messaging to appeal to that audience. It covers the launch and execution side of a product in addition to the marketing strategy for the product — which is why the work of a product marketer lies at the center of a business’s marketing, sales, and product teams.

product marketing venn diagram marketing sales product

Conventional marketing is focused on broader topics under the umbrella of marketing, such as lead generation, SEO, and anything related to acquiring and converting new leads and customers. It’s about promoting the company and brand as a whole, including the products sold. These marketers make sure there’s a consistent, on-brand message behind all of the company’s content.

To understand it better, let’s look at product marketing goals.

Product Marketing Goals

Product marketing is focused on driving demand for and adoption of a product among existing customers. It’s focused on the steps people take to purchase your product so product marketers can build campaigns to support this work.

Usually, product marketing is executed with several goals in mind:

1. Understand your customers better.

When you implement a product marketing strategy, your target audience can see the value of having that specific product in their lives. Understanding how many customers gravitate to your product lets you conduct customer research.

2. Target your buyer personas effectively.

Alongside understanding your customers, you can figure out the type of buyer persona to target in the future. Knowing the exact needs of your target can help you when innovating your product to better suit their needs.

3. Learn about your competitors (products and marketing tactics).

When you market your product, you can compare your strategy and results to your competitors. What features and benefits of their products make a statement within the market? What ideas haven’t they explored? What does their product offer that yours doesn’t? You can use this research to your advantage when crafting your product marketing strategy.

4. Ensure the marketing, product, and sales teams are all on the same page.

Making your product offering abundantly clear for buyers and employees is mutually beneficial. Every team working together in your business can better understand the product’s purpose and better communicate that in their operations.

5. Position the product appropriately in the market.

In product marketing, you want your product, brand image, and tone consistent and evoke the right feelings intended for your audience. When you brainstorm your brand positioning, some questions to consider are:

  • Is this product suitable for today’s market?

  • How is this product different from our competitors’?

  • Can we further differentiate this product from our competitors’ offerings?

  • Are there any products we’ve sold in the past that we wouldn’t market or sell again? If so, why not?

6. Boost revenue and improve sales.

There are also questions you, as a product marketer, will have to ask yourself and reflect on regregardyour product. Asking yourself these questions will help you ensure your product is successful among customers.

  • Is this product suitable for today’s market?

  • Is this product appropriate for our customers today?

  • How is this product unique from similar productstof our competitors?

  • Is there a way to further differentiate this product from our competitors? 

  • Are there any products we’ve sold in the past that we wouldn’t market or sell ever again now that we look back? If so, why not?

As you can see, product marketing requires you to look at your products strategically to ensure they’re successful among customers in your current market.

Why is product marketing essential?

Product marketing is a critical part of any business’s marketing strategy. Without it, your product won’t achieve its maximum potential among your target audience.

To illustrate its importance, let’s look at an example of successful product marketing. During the 1950s, Volkswagen sold a bus. Although now considered a classic vehicle, the bus remains an icon for the car company decades later.

The cool part? Volkswagen announced their new VW Bus — it’s electric and features sleek, modern styling. Volkswagen’s marketing for the vehicle is eye-catching, unique, and fun, and it complements the original “hippie” vibe the company was once known for.

volkswagen bus example of product marketing

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Volkswagen also released a TV commercial for the bus that’s clever, minimalist, and on-brand. It introduces the new vehicle with the song The Sound of Silence playing in the background (hint: electric cars are silent) and ends with a short message on the screen for viewers to read: “Introducing a new era of electric driving.”

This sentiment touches on the fact Volkswagen is contributing to society’s interest in electric, eco-friendly vehicles. It also relates to this being a new era for the bus.

This is why product marketing is important: Because it highlights not the company but the product itself, ensuring longevity in the market.

But who works on this type of marketing? Who helps create content that excites consumers about new and updated products, like the Volkswagen bus? Who encourages consumers to buy? Product marketers.

Now, let’s take a look at the specific responsibilities that product marketers (or product marketing managers) face in their typical day.

Your responsibilities as a product marketer may vary slightly based on industry, company, products, and company size and resources. If you’re working for a startup, you may be a product marketer who also helps create the content the broader marketing team produces due to limited resources and budget. As the business grows, you may move onto a team whose sole job is product marketing.

Let’s take a look at six common product marketing responsibilities.

1. Identify the buyer personas and target audience for your product.

You must identify the buyer personas and audience for your product so you can target customers in a convincing way that makes them want to purchase. This will allow you to tailor your product and its features to solve your audience’s challenges.

Pro tip: Use templates to create buyer personas for your business. A tangible outline of whom you’re catering to can help align different teams in your business and better position your product in the marketplace.

buyer persona templates hubspot free resource

2. Successfully create, manage and carry out your product marketing strategy.

A product marketing strategy (which we’ll review shortly) allows you to create, build, and execute content and campaigns — this supports the steps that will lead your buyer personas and customers to make a purchase.

3. Work with and enable sales to attract customers for your new product.

As a product marketer, you have to mamusta direct relationship with sales. You’ll work with sales to identify and attract the right customers for the product at hand and provide sales enablement materials to reps to ensure they understand the product inside and out, along with its features.

This way, you and your teams are on the same page in termregarding being shared with customers, allowing you to provide a consistent, on-brand experience for anyone who comes in contact with the product.

4. Determine your product’s positioning in the market.

One of the most important parts of your job is determining the product’s positioning in the market. Think about this process in terms of storytelling — your positioning requires you to create and tell the story of your product.

As a product marketer, you’ll work with the broader marketing team and the product team to tell this story by answering critical questions like:

  • Why was this product made?

  • Whom is this product made for?

  • What challenges does this product resolve?

  • What makes this product unique?

5. Ensure your product meets the needs of your target audience.

You must also make sure your product meets the needs of your customers and target audience. Through the research to determine your buyer persona and target audience, you should have uncovered the pain points and challenges you’re working to solve with your product.

If your product doesn’t meet thyour customers’ needsthey’ll have no reason to make the purchase or choose your product over your competitor’s.

6. Keep your product relevant over time.

Your product needs to stay relevant over time. As needs, expectations, and challenges change and evolve, it’s your job to ensure your product marketing strategy and the products themselves remain relevant among customers.

This means you may have to manage slight changes in your product marketing strategy (which we’ll discuss next) or updates and modifications to the product itself (you’ll likely work with the product team, which creates the effect, to do this).

7. Guide marketing strategies for new products.

In product marketing, you’ll need to pay close attention to what worked in your strategy and what didn’t so you can better plan marketing strategies for new and future products. Pay attention to where your audience is and what they are looking for. What channels got the most traction and led to more converted leads?

All this information and more should be applied to marketing strategies for new products.

Now, let’s take a look at five steps that can help you optimize your product marketing strategy.

1. Define your product’s target audience and buyer personas.

As a product marketer, one of the main roles you have is to define a specific target audience and create buyer personas for the product being sold (different products will likely have different target audiences). This is the first step to marketing your product.

By understanding your customers and their needs, challenges, and pain points, you’ll be able to end that all aspects of your product marketing strategy (as in the rest of the steps we’ll define below) are tailored to that target customer and persona. This way, the product and the marketing content created for the product will resonate with your audience.

2. Determine the positioning and messaging to set your product apart.

After your customer research and learning about your audience, you’ll have identified their needs, challenges, and pain points. From here, you can think about how to highlight the ways your product resolves those challenges for your customers.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve differentiated yourself from your competitors. After all, they are your competitors because they solve your customers’ needs in a similar way to your company.

The key to setting your product apart is positioning (which we touched on earlier) and messaging. Posi—positioningessaging answers key questions your customers might have about your product and what makes it unique and th,en turns those answers into the main points behind your product’s marketing strategy.

It’s your job as the product marketer to ensure your customers and audience know the answers to these questions and don’t have to dig around for (or make assumptions about) them.

Examples of questions you’ll need to answer to develop your product’s positioning and messaging include the following:

  • What specifically makes our product unique?

  • Why is our product better than our competitors’?

  • Why are our product’s features ideal for our target audience?

  • What will our fromers get out of our product that they cannot get from our competitors’ products?

  • Why should our customers trust and invest in us and our product?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can compile these responses into one, impactful and shareable statement that captures your positioning and messaging To do this, follow these steps:

  • Turn the answers to the positioning and messaging questions into an elevator pitch.

  • Use action words to excite your customers.

  • Ensure the tone of your statement captures the style of your brand.

  • Focus on the benefit of your product as a whole (not just one specific feature).

Pro Tip: As product marketers, you should ensure the sales, product, and (the broader) marketing teams are also aware of your positioning and messaging around the product so they, too, can communicate the same information to prospects and current customers.

This allows you to ensure the entire company is consistent in the content and information they share about your product. Additionally, you can provide this information to your support team if you think it’s necessary, as they may be fielding support calls and working with your customers who’ve already invested in the product.

3. Set goals for your product.

Next, you’ll want to set goals for your product. These will vary based on your specific product, the type of company you work for, your overall marketing goals, and more — your goals will be specific to your business and situation. However, let’s review some common goals product marketers aim to achieve:

Pro Tip: Feel free to combine several goals or choose one to focus on — every company and product will have different plans. The key is ensuring you view and set these targets in the SMART goal format, meaning they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Use a free template to help you create and achieve your SMART goals.

4. Price your product.

As a product marketer, you’ll also have to contribute to the discussion of the price of your product. Depending on your company, you might work with other teams on this part of the strategy, or it might be a job just for you and your fellow product marketers. Either way, you can consider competitive vs. value-based pricing.

Competitive vs. Value-Based Product Pricing

Competitive pricing means you’re basing your product’s price off similar products your competitors sell. It’s ideal for companies that have an effect similar to one that several other companies sell.

Suppose you believe your unique features warrant a significantly higher price e of your competitors’. In that case, you might price your product above the other similar products on the market. An excellent way to evaluate the fairness of the pricing of all of your competitors is by studying financial reports and industry trends.

Value-based pricing allows you to maximize your profit, although it’s a bit more time-consuming to establish in comparison to competitive pricing. It’s ideal for companies selling a product with very few competitors on the market or one with exceptionally new and unique features.

Value-based pricing quantifies your item’s value in a way your customer can relate to their profitability. It allows you to base your product’s price on its value for your customer rather than whatever the market, industry trends, and your competitors say.

5. Launch your product.

Now it’s time for the most impoessentialt of your role as a product marketer — not to mention, the most exciting: the launch of the product you’ve been marketing.

There are two main parts to the launch to focus on as a product marketer: the internal launch (what goes on within your company upon product launch) and the external launch (what goes on outside of your company, with customers and audience members, upon product launch).

Internal Aspects of a Product Launch

As previously stated, your job as a product marketer entails ensuring the entire organization is on the same page about your product. This way, your customers only receive consistent and accurate details about the product.

The marketing, product, and sales teams at your company should be aware of the following information:

  • The product’s benefits

  • Any available product demo information

  • Sales training opportunities on your product and details about how it’s used

  • What the positioning and messaging looks like

  • Who your buyer personas, and ideal customers are

  • What the goals for your product include

  • What your product’s features are

  • The pricing of your product

  • How your product is being launched to customers

Now, you might be wondering how to provide this information to marketing, product, and sales. Which channels are ideal for sharing these details with your fellow employees?

Here are a few examples of ways to do this:

External Aspects of a Product Launch

Externally, there are many ways to market your product launch so your current base of customers, prospects, and target audience learn about whatever it is you’re selling.

First, determine where you’re going to focus your product marketing efforts. Here are some examples of channels and places to do this (you might choose several of these or just one to focus on depending on your needs, goals, and resources).

On whatever channel you choose to focus your product launch marketing efforts, you should include relevant product information (focused on your positioning and messaging) so prospects and customers can learn all about your product and why they need it. This includes your product’s features, what makes it unique, pricing, demos for customers, training for customers, and any other materials you’ve created and want to share.

Congrats! You’ve just worked through the steps to marketing a product. Remember, this process is one that should be thought about and updated as your products change and evolve so they remain relevant among your customers. (This shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have a member of your team focused on product marketing, considering it’s one of their main responsibilities.)

Now that you know how to create a product marketing strategy, how do you market a product across your channels? Let’s take a look.

1. Create a product marketing deck for other marketing teams.

Non-product marketers — i.e, social media marketers and content marketers — won’t have the full know-how on your product, impeding them from marketing it properly on customer-facing channels. As a product marketer, your job isn’t necessarily to execute marketing campaigns or write content. Instead, your job is to enable specialized teams — such as your social media and content team — to market your company’s products effectively.

The first step is to provide a deck, presentation, or document that outlines your product marketing strategy to other marketers. That way, when it’s time to execute on a strategy, they know the positioning they are aiming for, the wording they are to use, and the personas they are targeting.

2. Publish product-focused content on your blog.

A blog is primarily a place to attract inbound leads. Rather than trying to hammer them with information about your product, you might write content that helps them solve an issue instead, and then offer them a free guide or ebook to help them further.

But did you know that your team can publish content that attracts inbound leads and encourages purchases and sign-ups? At HubSpot, we call this product-focused content. It’s just as helpful as our other content, but with a critical difference: It has a call-to-action to try one of HubSpot’s products.

For instance, our blog post, What is a CMS and Why Should You Care?, aims to inform readers about content management systems, but then includes a call-to-action to try CMS Hub.

how to market a product: product-focused content

While the blog post is still informative and not overtly promotional, it still promotes one of our products. In the same way, you or your content team can write helpful content for your readers, help them the inbound way, and still encourage customers to try your offerings.

3. Insert product mentions naturally in your existing marketing collateral.

If you’ve had a longstanding marketing strategy prior to beginning product marketing, we have good news: You can retroactively market your product in existing collateral. For instance, if you already have an expansive library of blog posts, you can update them with information about your products (so long as the mention is natural).

Recent social media posts can also be candidates for an update, and your website content should also change to show your brand new product. Internal links from related pages can help drive traffic to your new product pages.

In addition, if your marketing team has created marketing offers in the past, you can have them update the offer and add a call-to-action to try your newest product — like in this example from HubSpot’s Case Study Templates offer, where we prompt users to try CMS Hub.

how to market a product: mention product in older collateral

4. Try comarketing with a similar brand.

Comarketing is an excellent way to market your product to a related audience. You can do something as simple as filming a video together, writing a collaborative blog post, posting on each other’s social channels, or running a webinar.

Your product should be an excellent match for the other company’s customers. Ideally, both of your products can be used in conjunction and not compete directly. For instance, Ankor Software and HubSpot partnered for a webinar, but Ankor Software doesn’t compete with HubSpot CRM — it complements it.

5. Launch PPC ads and bid on your and competitors’ keywords.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an essential product marketing tactic. While content and social media marketing can help you attract inbound leads, you can get the attention of even more potential customers by posting PPC ads on search engines.

When setting up your PPC campaign, bid not only on general product keywords (such as “crm software” or “[insert category]”), but on your own branded terms and your competition’s as well. That way, customers who are considering purchasing the same product from a competitor will consider you as an alternative.

6. Focus on the benefits, not the features.

Regardless of the channel or platform you’re promoting your product on, highlight the benefits customers will experience, not the features of your product. Not only can features feel jargony (like “Customizable attribution models” or “Automated contact workflows”), but they shroud the benefits and alienate non-technical customers.

Try, instead, leading with the benefits, such as “Know where exactly your leads come from” or “Save time by automating tasks using contact workflows.” For instance, on the Marketing Hub page, the features snapshot reads:

Attract visitors through blogging, social media, ads, and more. Convert visitors into customers with landing pages, email, marketing automation, ABM, and more. Track ROI with revenue attribution reporting. All powered by the customer data in your CRM to enable personalization at scale.”

how to market a product: benefits over features

Using benefit-first language will engage customers and prompt them to try your products. The “how” of the benefit — such as features or functionalities — come after.

Let’s review four real-life examples of stellar product marketing.

1. Apple

Apple is a household name for leading technology products and software. Not only are its products gorgeously well-designed; it’s also super useful. But Apple’s product marketing doesn’t focus on the many product features — it markets the user benefits.

product marketing examples: apple

Image Source

Apple doesn’t simply list the impressive features of their products; the brand uses those features to tell consumers who they could be and how they could work if they have those products. Apple tells a narrative using its products and encourages people to buy in the process.

2. Billie

Billie is a women’s razor brand. In a highly competitive market, Billie has helped its products stand out. How? It established a sharp competitive edge (no pun intended) by doing what no razor brand had done before — show body hair in its advertising.

1675056062 632 The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

Not only did this advertising approach get Billie’s audience talking about the brand, but they also appreciated the brand’s accurate portrayal of women’s bodies and body hair. These differentiators were more than enough to set Billie apart from other razor brands and products.

3. Pepsi Cola

As a brand, Pepsi has positioned itself as one with youthful energy and excitement, and this can be seen consistently through its product marketing campaigns.

Pepsi’s customers are mainly aged between 13 and 35 years old with modern and active lifestyles, so it only makes sense to hire popular celebrities like Doja Cat for a commercial in a homecoming tailgate.

product marketing examples: pepsi cola

Through highly targeted positioning, repetitive advertising, and consistent branding, Pepsi has become a truly global household name and product.

4. MailChimp

There are dozens of email marketing tools on the market, but MailChimp hasn’t been fazed by competition. In fact, the company has risen above its competition by positioning itself as more than an email marketing tool: it’s an all-in-one marketing platform that helps businesses grow.

prodcut marketing examples: mailchimp

Like Apple, MailChimp primarily highlights its benefits for the end-user, not just its product features. A recent rebranding and site redesign further drives this narrative home.

Start Marketing Your Products

Product marketing is the process through which a company brings a product to market. Being a product marketer (or product marketing manager) means you’re at the center of your company’s marketing, sales, and product teams.

You’re an integral part to the success of your product, as you create and manage your product’s specific marketing strategy, but you also serve as a liaison between all three of these departments, ensuring everyone is on the same page with your product, it’s features, capabilities, and more. So, start developing your latest product’s marketing strategy to ensure it’s a success among your target audience and customers.

This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Product Marketing Kit

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

1716522964 432 Top 3 Strategies for Success

In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

1716522964 713 Top 3 Strategies for Success

If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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