The digital marketplace has transformed the way we work, learn, communicate and conduct business. It is logical that public relations also has evolved. Consumers look for different things than they did a decade or even a few years ago. The internet has provided a broad selection of brands to choose from, and they are focused specifically on products and features that meet their needs.
Brand awareness is important in both traditional and digital PR, but the focus on features has eclipsed brand loyalty in recent years. Customers still are dedicated to top brands such as Nike, Apple, and Starbucks, but they are more likely than in the past to keep an open mind, explore options, and find the best value given the ease of searching online for new products.
COVID-19 accelerated some consumer trends that were already taking hold before the crisis. Supply problems caused by factory closures in China led to shortages among major brands. This made items scarce, drove up prices, and caused customers who had been loyal to specific companies to search for desired items and reasonable prices.
Shoppers who were dedicated to specific brands changed their habits, found available items, saved money. They may not necessarily return to their old favorites as the pandemic eases. The rise of eCommerce and the pandemic created a perfect storm that changed buying habits and marketing and PR.
Product Marketing vs. Brand Marketing
For years, marketing was focused on creating a lifestyle, setting a tone, and telling a story. The appeal of a brand was meant to transcend the product that was being sold. An example of brand marketing is advertisements during which it isn’t clear what is being sold.
If you turn the sound down and look at the images of a video ad, you may be able to determine whether the company was marketing a perfume, a credit card, or a vacation.
The ethos behind brand marketing is that once consumers find a brand they love, they will develop loyalty and will always prefer their favorite brand’s products. In brand marketing, a brand is compared to a culture, and its customers are like a tribe. Brand marketing depends on customer retention and repeat purchases and focuses on creating an ecosystem for customers, much like Apple.
Product Marketing works on the principle that brands prevail because they have superior products, but the brand will falter once quality or service fails. It works with the assumption that customers will always be on the lookout for better and more affordable products and have a wealth of options available. Companies should always be innovating and creating value.
Product marketing PR will introduce prospective customers to the description of features and benefits rather than on storytelling or creating a lifestyle or attitude. The expression “new and improved” in advertisements is the guiding principle for product marketing.
Why Tech Marketing Is Product Marketing
Apple seems like a prime example of brand marketing because of its ecosystem and emphasis on repeat purchases. However, Apple is as much about product marketing as a brand. Those who remember the late Steve Jobs’s press conferences can recall the excitement over the revelation on new products and what amazing features would be revealed.
Because of its focus on innovation and constantly upgrading services, tech marketing is product marketing. Technology is directed to the goal of filling the gap or solving a problem faster and better. Therefore, the best tech marketing approach is dedicated to solving problems, answering questions, and improving customers’ capability to find solutions.
Tech marketing deals with determining the product’s messaging and positioning, launching it in a way that emphasizes its value and driving demand for the product.
Understanding the Product
Successful tech PR marketing requires communicating to the public the value the company provides with its products. This requires having a full understanding of the products, features, why upgrades are important, and what benefits they will provide.
Although those who work in marketing departments don’t have to have a tech background, they should understand the product thoroughly and the problem it is designed to solve. They should convey what pain points the new products will solve and what will be improved when new technological solutions are implemented.
Map the Competitive Landscape
Product or tech marketing includes as one of the first steps of awareness of the competition. Since tech relies on the notion of improvement, the goal of surpassing rival products and brands is always present. Therefore, a significant component of marketing should be dedicated to keeping track of the competition.
When rival companies release new products, please pay careful attention to how they are presented, what needs they are designed to fill, and how customers react. Reviews and social media conversations demonstrate how customers receive these products and what they feel is lacking. Tracking these comments and reviews provides information that points to the next direction and shows where to fill the gap.
Pricing is also a common pain point or benefit for customers and is often motivated to switch brands and buy new products. Keeping track of pricing on rival products can prevent the loss of market share. In addition, emphasizing value or optimum pricing in PR is a significant selling point.
Identify and Relate to Buyer Personas
There is no doubt that customers, even if they tend to make purchases with the same company, want different things. Creating buying personas is essential for any marketing strategy. Determine who the typical buyers are for specific products, including their demographics, age, occupation, and purchasing history.
PR campaigns should also be focused on specific personas who are likely to be attracted to the newest iteration of a product with innovative features. Personalizing marketing allows companies to match the right products with customers who are the most likely to buy them and recommending them to friends.
Communicating Value with PR Tech Marketing
Tech has become a form of entertainment in its own right. Consumers can’t wait to see the next version or iteration and imagine what exciting features will be available—This is what makes tech PR so successful.