As a marketer, your job is ultimately to sell a product.
Except, when you talk about your product and its features, guess what happens?
People get bored, and don’t care.
So how do you solve this conundrum?
Product marketing!* (done right)
Here is how:
*Product marketing is a complex discipline, and I have dumbed it down here to keep things simple. I am just defining it as: “whenever you talk about your product and its features as a brand”.
1/ Obsess over your ideal customer
Great product marketers are obsessed with their buyers.
They know WHY people buy their products.
Ikea knows people buy their furniture because it’s cheap and functional.
They just need a bland chair. Nothing else.
So why overpay for a bland chair with nothing else?
2/ Benefits > Features
This is a great example of selling the outcome, not features.
It says: “The Perfect Partner. Creating lasting memories since 1925”.
Ultimately, you buy a Le Creuset pot to bring family and friends together.
They don’t sell cookware but “lasting memories”.
Be more like Le Creuset. :)
3/ Illustrate it in action
Don’t just tell a feature.
Instead, illustrate it, show proof.
Show it in action. It will leave a better mark.
You can just say it’s sugar-free.
Or you can prove it’s sugar-free.
It’s just an image, of course. But images are memorable.
4/ Tell a story
The best way to illustrate your product in action is to tell a story.
A story in which your product is featured, without necessarily being the hero.
Great example from Fiat here helping you fight terrifying squirrels.
5/ Just say what you get
Your value proposition should be as transparent as possible.
It should reflect exactly what you offer, nothing else.
“A great shave, for a few bucks a month” is exactly what you get.
So why embellish it or pretend something you’re not?
6/ Get endorsements
An endorsement is just another way to show a product in action.
And it doesn’t have to be serious.
It can be fictitious and a bit quirky too, like in this example.
Hey, if the Hulk needs our band-aids, why the hell wouldn’t you?
7/ Social proofing
Prove that it works with a real story from a real person.
You can talk about your product as much as you want.
It will never have the same power as someone else talking about it.
Great example here from ConvertKit:
8/ Empty words = big no no
Saying it’s “high-quality” is not super helpful.
Stay descriptive. Here is an example of what NOT TO DO.
It’s the Dollar Shave Club again.
But this time it’s a beautiful collection of empty words.
After reading about their “top-shelf” product line, I am not sure that I’ve learned any facts about the product.
But it’s “premium ingredients” so it should be fine.
9/ Copy can be overrated
I have a theory.
Many marketers have secretly dreamt of being writers at some point in their lives.
We love to shove our prose everywhere we can.
Like I am doing here.
But sometimes, it’s really not necessary.
A clever image is all you need.
Love this example from McDonald's.
PS: It says "Love free wifi" under the bottom logo. But you don't need to read to understand what it's all about.
10/ Avoid superlative words and claims
It’s better to avoid them altogether.
You know when you use phrases like “#1”, “the best”, etc.
Most of the time it does not sound genuine.
There is only one exception to this rule: if you are actually recognized as such.
If you’re really #1, then it’s probably ok to say it.
In this case, Salesforce is a market leader (+ they kinda invented CRM), so why not.
11/ Use humor
You’re selling to humans. And no matter how serious you think your market is.
A good joke will show that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
It will make your product and your brand more approachable.
P.S: Here is an ad for Orion Telescopes - It says “made in China” on the US flag.
12/ Use sensory words
There are words that appeal to the senses.
And if you want people to visualize and feel your product, you probably should use them.
This is not only valid for food or physical products.
People need to feel your product and even more so if they are buying online.
Glossier does this really well in their product descriptions (sensory words are highlighted). They use words like "plush", "sheen", "buttery-soft", etc.
13/ Show every detail
To make people feel your product, showing it under every angle is important as well.
You cannot buy what you cannot visualize.
Apple does this well because every product landing page is an intense look at every detail of the product.
For their new AirPods Max, they even show in detail the mesh textile on the ear cushions.
(Plus, there’s a great use of sensory words here as well: “pillow-like softness”).
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