There are many ways to marketing a product and promoting your brand. Choosing the right strategy and appropriate channels will help gain much-needed traction. In this blog, we are going to look at the different channel types. Additionally, examples in each channel will be discussed.
Product marketing does not have a single right channel. Moreover, any good marketing strategy requires a combination of multiple channels to succeed. The choice should be based on the target group, the product offered, and the market competition. Strategically promote the product by targeting the right customers to saves a lot of time and money.
Channels can be broadly classified into direct and indirect channels. Direct channels are those where the product is sold directly by the company. Indirect channels are channels where the product is sold on behalf of the company. Let us look at some examples to better understand the types of channels.
Direct Product marketing channels:
It is the most common form of marketing. Direct Advertising is when a company reaches out to its potential customers. While doing so they raise awareness about their products. The briliance of direct advertising is that, it convinces the customer that the product is an essential. Here are a few examples.
- Physical mail and e-mail
- Newspaper ads
- Sponsored events
- Commercials and infomercials
- Flyers, pamphlets, and leaflets
A company website is essential. This is most likely the first point of contact for a potential customer that wants to learn more about the product. Therefore, keep the website clean and simple. As the interface of a website facilitates building credibility as a reputed brand. It can also serve as a platform to provide services to visitors. Having a website boosts product advertising by providing accurate and detailed information. Moreover, the advantages of a website are plenty,
- Easy access to new customers
- Customer education and refining their needs
- Creates a brand and identity
- Builds credibility
- Provides a platform for two-way communication
- Improves customer services.
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The whole world has turned digital. Digital marketing is a good place to target a large percentage of customers, marketing your product here in particular has a far reach. If you want to create brand awareness quick and easy this is the place to be.
- Social media marketing (SMM), take advantage of both formal and informal platforms.
- Create relevant videos, infotainment is a good ice breaker.
- Write product relevant articles and blogs coupled with subtle marketing.
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to generate organic traffic.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) is equally important to generate ads-based traffic.
- Pay per click (PPC) advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Instant message (IM) marketing where messaging platforms are targeted
Special offers and services
Offer an incentive to try the product, it is a great way to gain customers. Having the feel of the product helps customer decisions based on the experience. Make your product unique, this will bring back the customer for more. Make sure the customer opts the product, for the ease and feel it provides and not just as a solution to a problem.
- Offer bundles and packages that provide long-term incentive
- Provide a free trial
- Offer an incentive such as new customer discounts or bonus product
- Provide a freemium service
- Implement reward points
- Cashback on the future transaction
- Free limited upgrade
- Promotional items
Sales personnel for product marketing
Having a sales team that directly markets the product and creates brand awareness is equally important. The products information gap is bridged while encouraging the customer to try the product. Although it is expensive to have marketing personnel, it will be advantageous for products that are hard to understand.
- Telemarketing for easy to understand products.
- Emails, meetings, and document sharing for products that require education.
- Client services to cater to the client’s needs.
- Network marketing if applicable.
- Sales support working behind the scenes to support sales representatives.
- Merchandisers that provide support while retailing and wholesale selling.
Indirect Product Marketing channels:
In contrast to direct marketing, these channels are not common in a startup environment. However, if the potential of these channels could be tapped, it will prove beneficial for the growth of a company.
Partnering is with another product is a simple strategy. Look for companies that have a similar customer base, make sure your product adds value to the potential partner company.
- Make sure goals align
- Pitch the concept
- Set clear expectations
- Define what results of the partnership
- Enlighten the partner about the benefits reaped
Retailers and Distributors
These channels apply to physical products. This is a lucrative approach but a tough nut to crack.
- Present the product at trade shows
- Exclusive retail stores
- Offer instant sales bonus (sales spiff) to retailers
- Target local stores initially
- Give importance to packaging, aesthetics matter.
- Pitch your market margin.
- Offer lucrative incentives to distributors.
- Get the pricing right; include production cost, packaging cost, distribution costs and other business-related expenses to the final product cost.
Value added reseller (VAR)
VAR is when your company adds value to an existing company, it could be either a feature or a service. The final product is resold as an integrated product, a brand-new product or as a white-label product. Product marketing is not done through this channel, but if you manage to bag and maintain a reseller making profits will be second nature.