I know, the title sounds like some self-help paperback…but there is seriousness to the topic. One of the most common questions I get from clients who are Product Managers/Directors or Marketing VPs or Directors is, “Mike, I have been on this product FOREVER…nothing has changed about it…How do we keep it fresh?”
There is no silver bullet answer to this question but there is a cadre of tips that can be employed to at least get someone to look at their product DIFFERENTLY from a marketing perspective.
1. Check Your Passion Meter
If you are not excited about your product, no matter how unchanging it is or how mature it is in its product lifecycle, others will not be excited either. The Product Marketer is the Product Champion. Sales, Management…even administration are constantly looking for “news” about the products they all work for. People will look to you how to react.
2. How Social is Your Product?
Regardless of what your product or service is, you should have a social media presence! Consider a fan page, a Twitter account, etc. NEVER underestimate what fans there may be with your product or service. I have a client that produces a radioactive isotope…there are 113 diehard “fans” of said isotope and a community of nuclear Pharmacists has formed out of it. What an amazing resource for all marketers!
3. Do Some Window Shopping
Unless your product is the only one of its kind in the universe…you are going to have some competition. Make sure you are up to date on the competition’s marketing efforts. What are they doing ON and OFFLINE? Is there a promotion or a campaign that is eating away at your market share? This goes far beyond “Keeping up with the Joneses” – breathe some new life into your product by gaining and taking advantage of a competitive edge. In consumer media you can see that Trident is once again employing the “Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend” sugarless chewing gum campaign again…with a twist. It’s not my favorite campaign, but it proves that everything old can be new again.
4. Reach Out and Touch Someone
We all have “go-to” friends that work in some similar capacity as ourselves – other product marketers, consumers of your brands, friends and family. Get a barometer reading from people you trust and ASK them for input and opinions. Sometimes the greatest insights are obtained simply by asking someone you trust.
5. Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be
Have you established a portfolio of your product marketing work that you have been involved with? If so, take a look back and give yourself a high-five for the outstanding work you have done. Sometimes it’s just the B12 shot you need to look at your product with a fresh set of eyes. If you do not have a portfolio of your brand’s work – create one. The process will remind you just how intimate you are with this brand. It’s a great exercise that can have a nourishing effect.
6. Survey Says:
Online polling is quick and cost-effective. Many of our clients will do “down and dirty” online surveys with us to garner current, real-time, customer opinion on their brands. A survey can be deployed and data collected within 72 hours…sometimes faster. Find out what customers feel about your product TODAY! This is a great resource when you are with a brand that has no intention of innovating any time soon. Build a model of what your brand COULD look like in the future.