Looking for marketing for your business? Do you have a great idea for a business or product and simply don’t know where to start? Do you find your wish list for your business is longer than the hours you have in the day?
But are great ideas for your business not working out to their full potential or not being launched at all? Are you finding you are reacting to the question of marketing and rushing into things simply to get something out there?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, help is at hand. Using a simple model can really help you keep on track and move towards keeping things on an even keel easier. That model is product management.
Marketing for your business just got simpler with product management. Here’s how
Product management is divided up into four very clear categories- define, develop, deploy and maintain. You can use the product management model to help you create a way of looking at your business or product in terms of an ongoing life cycle.
Using product management can sound a little overwhelming or nerdy at first, but in reality, the principle is pretty simple and very, very helpful when filling in the gaps of your idea:
Define: Beyond dreaming of you idea, you need to sit down and define things that are key to your business or product. Ask yourself questions like “What does my product do?”, “Who is it for?” and then move beyond these questions into defining requirements based on your intended customers, your company and personal vision, marketing and any regulations or laws that may influence your business or product in a positive or negative way.
Develop: After defining your business or product, you need to develop your idea further. This can include research into your audience and how to reach them, looking at your competitors, creating your business plan or funding pitch and even prototyping your creation if it is for manufacturing.
This is a crucial stage which requires work, documentation and investment of time. Consideration of how to price your product, how to demonstrate it and making sure you can explain what it is and how it works to anyone who asks are all critical parts of the development stage. This is also the time to test your product or business to make sure it works to the best possible standard and is ready to be used by your customers.
Marketing for your business or product should also be included in this process.
Choosing how to market your business, looking at your budget, social media plan and how to make sure you get the best out of word of mouth once you are ready to deploy is an important part of development. Developing your idea further not only helps stabilise your business but also gives you a tangible body of work to gain funding and investment, or to use as a backbone to your budget, marketing and peace of mind when it comes to launch. Taking the time to develop your plans and formulate them will also help you have a reference point for your first 12 months of operation and cut down your workload considerably after launch so you can focus more on your customers.
Deploy: Now that you have defined your idea and developed it through careful research and planning, you are ready to deploy or launch your product. Launching something into a new market place is a very exciting thing to do, and will give your product or business the best opportunity to gain a positive buzz, so using this time wisely is critical. Make sure you write your press releases and marketing as per your marketing plan in the development stage so at deployment, you can simply follow your plan of ideas and roll out your marketing easier.
Make sure you deploy your product to market and follow it up with social media and marketing once you are happy your product is ready for promotion. Make an event of your launch and allow yourself time to check out who comes towards your product and how so you can start learning about how your customers interact with your product.
Deploying marketing for your business should be based on sound knowledge- and certainty that it’s ready to be marketed.
Maintain: Marketing for your business isn’t set and forget. Make sure you set time aside to maintain your product or business. This includes looking at what gets your customers interest on a regular basis, ensuring your product remains competitive and making sure you maintain marketing and PR beyond launch. Too many businesses allow their products to be launched without an understanding that sometimes it can take years before you have enough coverage to ensure people are drawn to your product.
This includes revising and adding to your research, analysing how effective your marketing and social media is, continuing an ongoing relationship with your customers past their purchases of your products and being aware of changing in technology, business or your customers that will affect your product over time.
Through product management, you can deliver more value than your competition. You can have a business that enjoys a long life as a competitive and sustainable product and generate benefits to your audience whilst providing you with profit. Whilst it may not sound as sexy as launching your business straight from the idea stage, product management ensures you can make your business sustainable in the long term.