21 Sep · 5 min read
Making a marketable product has become increasingly difficult due to the complexities presented by engineering and marketing challenges. The best way to keep the process simple and hassle-free is to adopt an efficient product lifecycle management strategy.
A product follows the typical lifecycle: development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. A healthy product requires efficient product lifecycle management throughout all stages. The startup must identify the product's stage to elongate the product life, market the product to the right audience, keep ahead of the competition, and stay relevant in the market.
Keeping up with the aggressively competitive product market requires following the stages of product lifecycle management to avoid engineering and marketing complexities. This requires following a set of steps to cater to consumer needs in addition to business needs. The whole process focuses on shipping products that are better suited to user needs, due to which each step is essentially a reverse engineering effort.
Product lifecycle management or PLM is the act of checking and managing a product’s performance during its lifecycle. This includes analyzing how the product is received by the users and how they respond to it. PLM requires stakeholders and managers to make swift decisions based on the stage of the product to increase the product's life.
The best product lifecycle management effort encompasses making the best market fit product, reducing costs, and getting the best business outcomes.
An efficient PLM can help:
A product follows the following stages in its lifecycle:
This is the stage where the company pours in a lot of money to build prototypes and MVPs to take investors onboard. The launch is strategized and marketing plans are developed. The main focus is to bring the product from ideation to a running MVP.
The strategy isn’t to perfect the product. This stage sets the stage for the stages to come and how the product will proceed. No revenue is generated and the company burns money.
At this stage, different platforms and influencers can be utilized to form a brand image in the minds of targeted customers. The goal is to create a buzz for the product early on.
Product Lifecycle Management: At this stage, patience is of utmost necessity. Perfection isn’t necessary. The product should depict the mission and should be marketable on the vision. All marketing efforts should be focused on building a name for the product in the market.
This is the stage where the product is introduced into the market and presented in front of all potential customers. The sales at this stage are low, and the product is constantly improved through customer behavior analytics. This is also when the market strategy begins to execute in an effort to increase the demand.
The introduction phase included content marketing to educate customers on the product. Business developers and marketing people take care of the inbound marketing strategies to give the product an initial push while adding to the brand value.
Product Lifecycle Management: The product picks up pace. Decisions are to be taken swiftly so that the churn rate is minimum. A/B testing should be attempted, and customer feedback should be taken to constantly improve the product.
This is the stage where the product starts to grow and the demand increases. The growth is characterized by expansion, growing demand, and increased production. Most products would see competition pour in at this stage. The best product lifecycle strategy requires heavy advertising and marketing decisions to create the “best-fit” brand image for consumers.
The marketing campaigns are targeted at how the product beats all the competition in the market. Meanwhile, the company refines the product and works on new features. Getting ahead of the competition requires the best user experience in addition to a great support service.
This is the stage where the sales are maxed out, and the product is in a profitable state. The cost of production decreases dramatically while the demand stabilizes. This is where new features are introduced, SEO strategies are implemented, and prices are decreased to stay ahead of the competition. The exponential growth takes stability, and the acceleration stops. This is also where innovation is required, or there is a chance of getting lost in market competition and saturation. Analytical tools are employed for efficient product lifecycle management to study consumer behaviors and improve the product accordingly.
The best PLM requires marketing the product in such a way that it is established as the market leader. Consumers are communicated that the product is now a better and improved version of itself, and there is a lot to look forward to.
The competition saturates the market, and the demand for the product starts to decrease. Sales are taking a hit, and the competition is hard to overcome. New trends may start to emerge in the market, leaving your product needing a revamp. This is where important decisions for product lifecycle management are needed to be taken. One of the following strategies can be adopted:
Some brands use the nostalgic value associated with the product to bring customers to their space. Others add features, adjust brand packaging, change the branding of the product, target new customers, and increase value propositions.
Product lifecycle management helps a product stay relevant and on top of the competition. Not adapting to the phases of a product's life cycle leads to the almost certain death of the product.
With the right product lifecycle management strategies in place, a company makes products more efficient, cheaper, effective, and in line with customer requirements.
PLM places the product in the right place at the right time so that resources can be utilized efficiently to reduce costs and increase profitability. The best practices also involve following agile methodologies to keep all stakeholders on the same page while monitoring the product’s life cycle.
The life cycle for each product may differ from one another as each stage has a variable timeline. Identifying your product's stage is of utmost necessity to properly market and place the product in the market. Not following the stages for lifecycle management also yields positive results for some, but PLM makes life significantly easier for all other cases.