Product marketing template, simplified
Steps to Consider in a Basic Product Marketing Plan
Marketing plans can be really simple if you start with a basic three-part template every time. For this article, I go through the steps to develop a plan for marketing a sports drink that will maintain its cool temperature for up to six hours. The marketing plan I would develop is laid out in these steps: 1) product research, 2) identifying the target consumers, and 3) developing a focused attack toward those target consumers.
In order to even begin to put together a plan on how to market a product, I think it is beneficial that I understand everything about our product. I could not highlight to the consumer the increased customer value (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 6) if I did not know what makes up that increased value. I would research the history of that type of beverage in the marketplace. I would learn about the differences and similarities with the major competitors. In this particular case, I would pay particular attention to any examples of marketing of sport drinks that emphasized anything related to the bottle or the longevity of taste, temperature, etc. From these examples I could hopefully pull out any useful ideas or ideas that really did not work when tried.
For the history of the product, I would learn how it has been marketed, to whom, and with what success. I would also be interested in any major, noticeable formulation changes in the actual drink.
For the relationship with the competitors, I would want to know if there is another sport drink out there that is touting the same or similar characteristics. Namely, the ability to stay cool. If not, that could mean a gold mine in sales if it works.
Finally, I would look at how all the major sports drinks are marketed to their intended consumers. I would want to know why they picked that target group, how they have tried to reach them, and the successes and failures of their efforts.
Identifying the Target
Once the background research was complete, I would have a good understanding of who the
target audience has been historically for this type of product. With the added benefit of the longer “cool” life, more segments of society could be attracted. I would focus on folks who might not normally purchase our sports drink product. This would be for the local market and the near abroad. These days we could target athletes and construction workers in Puerto Rico almost as easily as in Michigan. (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 13)
Developing a Focused Attack
To target the chosen segment, in this case the folks who would normally choose other beverage options, I would advertise where the competitors do. I would also advertise where they do not. Of course the main point of the ads would highlight the lengthy coolness. A possible T.V. commercial might be a setting of a baseball game double header on a hot day. One player is shown drinking a warm/hot competitor’s drink, which causes him to frown. The player next to him pulls out our drink, which is still cool, and refreshingly drinks it down. Another advertisement idea is a beach scene. After a long day of sunning, swimming, and volleyball, the competitor’s drink is very hot. Our drink, of course, is still quite cool and everyone on the beach fights for it. Additionally, taking out print ads in sports magazines would be a good idea.
I believe to market this sports drink I would want to know the product, know the target audience, and that would allow me to shape the marketing effort as in the examples given. I believe this would be successful. Of course, I would want to look to the future. Eventually, our competitors will come up with something similar, so we will have to keep improving to maintain long-term market
leadership. (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 41)
Kotler, P. & Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th ed.) New Dehli: Dorling Kindersley.