We hate to burst Kevin Costner’s dream, but the reality is, just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. At least not in the product marketing world that is. Your target audience not only has to know your product exists but also what problem it helps them solve. Enter your product marketing strategy.
When it comes to your strategy, it’s important to understand how marketing for a brick and mortar and an ecommerce business differ. And the curve ball, how do you market for hybrid shops that have both components?
Let’s find out.
Marketing Strategy for Product-Based Business
As we mentioned in our last article, the first step in any product marketing strategy is to understand who your audience is, their needs, how they seek information and the language they use, as well as how, when and where they interact with your product or service. As if that’s not enough, also consider the lead path, decision timeline and whether the purchase is high- or low-involvement.
Then you’re ready to further refine your marketing strategy to fit your product-based business type.
If you don’t have people coming in, you’re out of luck when it comes to selling products so getting foot traffic to the store is crucial. You need a presence in your local community to make this happen. However, just because your physical store is offline, your product marketing strategy should include both off- and online elements.
Marketing tools to increase foot traffic and local presence include:
- Local business directory listings – Make sure your address, contact information and hours are current across the web including Google My Business, Bing Local and Yelp as well as on your social channels and website if you have one.
- Brochures, flyers and postcards – Distribute these in your neighborhood.
- Community events – Participate whenever and wherever you can.
- Cross-promote – Partner with brand influencers and other stores in the local area.
- Social media marketing – Get involved in micro communities and local groups with relevant interests online.
- Email marketing – Promote in-store sales, promos, events, news and even product tips.
- Local SEO – This typically costs less and is easier to achieve than national SEO rankings.
- Advertising – Print, digital or even radio ads can be effective locally.
- Public relations – Local journalists are always looking for newsworthy stories; get to know them and what they cover to see how your story, your product and/or your business could fit.
- Rewards programs – In-store rewards can keep your customers coming back.
If your product is sold exclusively online, your website is your best friend. Here, driving sales through that site is job one.
Marketing tools to drive product sales through your website:
- Merchant sites – Set up your products on various sites such as Google Shopping, Amazon or Etsy.
- Organic SEO plus PPC advertising – Don’t rely on pay per click (PPC) advertising alone. If you don’t also have organic SEO to fall back on, you lose all traffic if you stop paying for ads.
- Social media marketing – Consider Instagram and/or Pinterest advertising for more direct sales.
- Email marketing – Promote sales, promos, news and even product tips.
- Public relations – Find and utilize blog influencers in your industry.
Hybrid Shop (Brick and mortar plus ecommerce)
The ability to have a physical store with an ecommerce component is the best of both worlds right? YES! You can use all of the above tools to drive product sales through foot traffic and website traffic. But, just because you can do them all, doesn’t mean you should (or would ever have the budget to). The trick here is to understand which type of sale (in-store or online) is better for your business and divide your product marketing strategy appropriately.
Stay tuned for our next post on Marketing Strategy for Service-Based Business. Or, if you’re ready to take the next step on your marketing strategy, we’d love to get to know you.