In a dynamic marketplace, businesses and products are born. While some grow, others die. About 52 percent of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in the past 15 years no longer exist.
Businesses and products have lifecycles. Though ancient, understanding this concept has brought stability and surging revenues to many businesses globally.
The product lifecycle describes the stages of businesses or products from the point of introduction into the market to product decline.
Understanding this concept will help your business develop a well-rounded marketing strategy to achieve success. As the product moves through these stages, you may need to refine your marketing strategies to get significant results.
In the first part of this blog series, we explored the fundamental concept of product lifecycle marketing and laid the groundwork for understanding its pivotal role in shaping a product’s trajectory. As we delve deeper into this topic, we aim to equip marketers and entrepreneurs with actionable insights and best practices to navigate every phase of the product’s journey effectively.
In this extended blog post, we shine a light on five key stages that define a product’s lifecycle, from its inception and introduction to its growth, maturity, and eventual renewal or retirement. By dissecting each phase, we uncover the unique challenges and opportunities that arise, along with the most effective marketing strategies to capitalise on them.
We will also explore the significance of customer feedback and market research throughout the lifecycle, enabling businesses to stay agile and responsive to ever-changing consumer needs. Armed with data-driven decision-making, marketers can make informed choices, fine-tune their offerings, and keep their products relevant and appealing in the face of evolving market trends.
Join us on this illuminating journey as we navigate the intricacies of product lifecycle marketing. Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional seeking to revitalise a mature product or an ambitious entrepreneur ready to make a splash with a new launch, our aim is to provide you with the knowledge and strategies needed to optimise your product’s lifecycle for sustained success.
In this article, we will review the product lifecycle and examine marketing strategies for each stage. Lets embark on this transformative exploration of product lifecycle marketing together and unlock the full potential of your products in the dynamic marketplace.
Stages of the Product Lifecycle
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The product Lifecycle begins with the introduction stage where your product hits the market. At this stage, the market may be small because very few customers (early adopters) know your product.
As a result, sales are low, but you may have to increase your marketing investments. You may decide to set high prices to recoup some earlier investments in research or production. But if you want to build market share, you need to lower your prices.
Marketing at the Introduction stage
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During this stage, your efforts should gear towards establishing your product. Therefore, creating brand awareness and build consumer demand for your product should a top priority.
Also, you need a create a unified and easy way for customers to interact with your company. Advertising, direct marketing, PR, social media, sales promotions are great strategies to communicate with your potential customers.
But before that, you need to build a strong brand image. Your product quality and branding should be top-notch. If your product requires technical knowledge, provide guides and instructional resources to educate customers.
You must also employ efficient distribution channels to ensure your products reach customers who have seen your message. Offering incentives like money-back guarantees, discounts can drive product adoption.
Lastly, your customer support team must in place to address customer issues and concerns. You don’t want to face negative backlashes at this stage.
During the growth stage, the market is aware of your product. Thus, you will experience rapid growth in sales and production levels due to economies of scale. Increased sales will also attract competitors and therefore price becomes a key factor.
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Marketing at the growth stage
During the growth stage, the goal is to increase your market share. First, you should differentiate your product from your competition and achieve price stability.
You may choose to maintain product quality or add extra products or services. With this strategy, you can help customers build a brand reference. Marketing communications is essential.
Research your customers, know the channels they use and interact with them. Your promotional activities should increase and outline product benefits over your competitor products. Your marketing campaigns should be tailored to reach wider audiences. And Increasing your distribution channels will further enable your customers to access your products.
During the maturity stage, the market becomes saturated. Because many competitors have entered the market, therefore, your profit may decline.
Your goal will be to maximize profit and maintain market share. To achieve profitability, you can introduce new product features or increase marketing efforts. Also, you must benchmark your prices with your competitors.
Marketing at Maturity Stage
During this stage, competition becomes fierce. You may need to research new markets and trends to create new product features or variations. Think of innovative features that will match their lifestyle and make you stand out among competitors.
Use effective marketing and communication channels to reach and stay in touch with your customers. As you find new audiences to use your product, also engage existing customers. Nurture and maintain strong customer relationships. Likewise, creating personalized and customized products and services will help retain clients and build loyalty.
Loyalty programs including rewards, incentives, sales discounts will help you build customer loyalty. Advertising, direct marketing, PR, social media and sales promotions are critical tactics for this phase.
Lastly, you need to strengthen partnerships with your distributors to achieve results. Your distributors are your clients and offering incentives and product supports can convert them to ambassadors.
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At the decline stage, the market is heavily saturated. Sales may drop because customers have switched to other products or they have all purchased your products. Typewriter, telegrams are typical examples of a product that have declined.
Your product may either continue to decline and eventually cease to exist. Or begin a new product lifecycle by making innovative product changes and updates.
Marketing at Decline stage
During this stage, marketing should focus on advertising and promotional efforts to maintain existing customers. You may either reduce production costs by introducing economy packs or producing for smaller market segments.
Adopting selective product distribution will help you further reduce costs.
Product decline doesn’t always signify the end. Market research and development can help you transition your business into new products and new markets.
Final Thoughts: Product Lifecycle Marketing
Marketplaces are constantly evolving. Understanding your product lifecycle will help you tailor your marketing strategy to achieve business success. Whether you are offering products or services or both, you need to evaluate your product lifecycle.
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