Innovation and marketing are symbiotic – one depends on and enables the other. To merely have access to a market is insufficient; to leverage that market is paramount. And so, a useful product must be marketed smartly, which is where feature marketing shines.
Product marketing isn’t easy. Even if the product is intrinsically a good one, to make a product appealing, it’s important to understand how e-commerce has changed consumer behavior.
Close to 30,000 new products enter the market each year; 95% of them fail. The challenge is to lift a product into that 5% statistic. Feature marketing may be the right path.
What is feature marketing?
Feature marketing is becoming a more frequently-seen business strategy: a company adds a new feature to a product, then markets the feature to gain new customers and up-sell current customers.
Feature marketing offers a host of benefits:
- Attracts new buyers
- Provides a reason for existing customers to buy more
- Harnesses consumer behavior to benefit the market performance of a product or service
- Gives current customers even more reasons to remain loyal
Feature marketing shouldn’t be confused with brand marketing. The latter relates to creating a brand name and design and differentiating the resulting product from others. Brand marketing is the theory and tactics to make a strong brand.
Feature marketing meets the moment
Feature marketing in an incredibly effective marketing strategy – particularly as the pandemic alters norms and habits that we thought to be sacrosanct. Anxiety from the pandemic led consumers to horde food and empty supermarket shelves, leaving a shortage of many branded products. As such, consumers looked to alternatives – often off-brand products that were more functional and affordable.
As some habits and preferences changed, marketers scurried to offer new features to satisfy post-pandemic wants and needs; new capabilities, updated to the times, grabs buyers’ eyes. The pandemic laid bare that brands must update and optimize their marketing content to meet the moment – and make sure to market products that are actually available, not in short supply.
The feature market has proven to be a means by which to personalize a product as related to its prospective consumer. The world is rapidly changing and companies must change with it; generic solutions are out, personalization is in.
Companies will succeed when they put customers first and reward them with personalized experiences that are relevant to them – and relevant to the cultural moment.
Could you NOT right now? Understanding how, when, and where to reach customers
The traditional methods of advertising and marketing are growing increasingly tired and ineffective. (Unsubscribe, anyone?)
Companies must stay relevant not only in updating product features, but also with regard to where, when, and how they market these features to prospective customers.
While in transit, shoppers will often research products and ideas. In these crucial moments, companies have a brief opportunity to grab their attention – while bearing in mind that many other companies are clamoring to do the same.
The ability to produce short, entertaining marketing videos that can reach consumers on their phones – where they’re also making purchases – is important with respect to promoting a new product or feature.
First rule of marketing: Know thy consumer
People are complicated. Consumers – and consumerism – are complicated. Fundamental to effective marketing is understanding consumer behavior.
What is consumer behavior? It’s the study of consumers and how they choose, use, and dispose of products and services. To understand consumer behavior is to understand the rationale behind decisions to buy or not to buy.
Relevant to consumer behavior is the study of psychology, biology, economics, and cross-cultural differences and similarities. Marketing to a consumer in Stockholm may very well require a different approach then marketing to prospective buyers in Shanghai. Consumers from the United States may have different values (hopes, dreams, aspirations) than their counterparts across an ocean.
Consumer behavior reflects social, personal, and psychological factors. Just as McDonald’s varies its menu in accordance with local predilections, feature marketing must hone in on consumer behavior in a particular locale of operation.
Studying consumer behavior can help identify the issues and problems customers have with a particular product, and in turn, will help companies improve a product and their customers’ experiences with it. Further, companies can utilize consumer behavior data to understand how to engage with consumers and convert them to customers.
The essence of marketing is understanding consumer psychology. And the most effective marketing strategy is feature marketing. The events of 2020 have changed the relationship between a corporation and its customers, while altering consumer psychology and behavior.
Feature marketing that’s mindful of current events seems to be the way to navigate these rocky waters.