How To Bring A Product To Market
Fancy bringing a product to market in 2018? As much as it may look like a straight forward process, if bringing a product to market is done wrong, it could wipe out your life savings, Start Up operating capital etc.
On the other hand, if you get it right, your business could experience an exponential growth and profitability. A plethora of products and services launch every day, it’s a shame that you have been sitting on your product invention for years.
As a matter of fact, a growing number of small business owners fail to bring products to the market for decades. The main contributing factor for their failure is lack of knowledge and definitive guides on How To Bring A Product To Market.
Luckily for you,we have this guide to help you through the most essential steps you will ever need to bring a new product to market over and over.
1 Study Your Competition
Though it sounds really simple, the best ways to the market with your product is taking a good look at your nearest product you are most likely to be competing with.
If you have been to a business school, chances are that you learned about SWOT analysis. This term breaks down the process of looking at your competitor’s product strengths, weaknesses,threats and possible opportunities that exist in the market.
By looking at your competitors business model, distribution networks they use and what you could do to stack up a better value proposition will come in handy when scoping your market audience.
All you have to do to get started is pull up a spreadsheet where you will list down all businesses active in your target area. This biggest mistake many small business owners make is assume that their product is uniquely positioned that there is no competitors.
It’s crucial that your focus should be your customers, put yourself in their position and imagine what would be the motivating factor that would make them buy your product over your competition.
Once you are done with this step, take a step back and look at what you can do to exploit existing weaknesses and opportunities. This can easily be achieved by looking at marketing materials used by your company, their ads and how they position their offers on the website if it is available.
I remember more than once when I have had to purchase a product from my competition just to see how their sales funnel is setup and what OTO or upsells do they bundle up to an offer.
At the very least you must subscribe to your competitors email list so you can see how they are using email marketing campaigns to get more customers into their business.
Now that you know what your competitors are up to, it’s time to map out your plan of attack. This evaluation will expose who are your direct threats, where they are weak and which value proposition best fits the current buying metrics.
2 Target Your Ideal Customer
The success of every new product launch demands that you have a sound budget, that being said, smart business owner aim at achieving that with minimum capital outlay.
Now if you want to score big,while making massive savings, there are essential factors that play a huge role. Doubling down on your niche market research will show you which customer avator is most likely to buy from you than the other.
The best entry point could be regular buyers, currently buying from your competition, however these customers would most likely jump ships if new features were introduced at either same price or slight upgrade.
This is your best case scenario when you have prospects who have demonstrated a sure need for your offering, you know they can afford the price on the market as they are active buyers from your competttion.
Make no mistake, most successful businesses on the market feel the needs of their clients than trying to create one. Even if you know for sure that your clients may have a need but would not be in a position to know they have that need, be cautious not to get caught up in an expensive cycle of civic education.
Frankly speaking if you are just starting, it is advised that your focus shouldn’t be trying to re-invent the wheel.
3 Create A Compelling & Unique Value Proposition.
This stage should be very easy to navigate as you now have a clear understanding of both your customer and competition.
A unique value proposition is about you standing out among your competition, please understand that the moment you are in the market with your product, they will also be sizing you up to see if they can take advantage of what you are offering.
This is where now you really have to know exactly why every customer who chooses to buy from you are really doing it. Ask yourself which of the features within your offer speak directly to your customer’s impulsive nature to switch to you than others.
The bottom line here is understanding your customer’s decision drivers will make you the market leader so take it seriously that you understand you prospects.
4 Define Your Marketing Strategies And Tactics.
You will really need to understand you entry point into the market, what game plan do you have up your sleeves and how you are going to bring the game to your competition.
This will require you to make a decision on which marketing channels will you play an active role. Many small business owners have this all wrong, they try to market via Facebook, They go to Instagram before bouncing to Youtube and Pinterest.
By doing this you are diluting your efforts , soon you will realize that a hunter who chases two rabbits at the same time end up catching none. Make your choice early in the game where you will put your focus then play a long game in it until you see some wins then scale up by exploiting the other options if possible.
A good strategy if you are aiming for organic traffic is to focus on each channel for a minimum of six months in between each channel In my article about inbound marketing i explain this clearly, what you will possibly realise is that embrassing multi-channel distribution is probably inevitable how ever you need to plan this out well so it does not drain on your limited resources.
A good example of a marketing strategy for a low cost yoga mat to folks who can’t afford yogi clubs or highly priced products. In this case your choice of attack is direct marketing plus online lead generation as your primary focus, then you decide to make direct response, tv and email marketing all linking your buyers to your website.
5 Testing Your Concept And Marketing Approach Is Everything.
Having spent all the money to bring a product to the market, only a fool would skip the testing part of the whole system to see what is working and what needs fixing in your product or service.
What Should You Be Testing? At this stage, test everything from your ads, product brochures to your marketing messages that are tied to your service bundles.
Focus groups is the old school way of testing that still works like magic today,depending on your budget the other option will be to commission an online research or give a few beta testers to solicit feedback.
At all costs, no marketing materials should be created unless testing of your products or services is completed.
6 Roll Out Your Campaign.
Product launch or services is all about public relations, If there is anything you need to get right at this stage, it must be the role PR plays in your product launch.
Marketers who know how to work the media use PR tactics to get their stories into the news mainstream, they will never launch a product or service without winning a few interviews along.
There is no cheaper way of promoting your products and elevating you brand reach than earning press reviews which is deep-rooted into the community your customers live in.
What ever you do, make sure that by the time your product catches the whirl wind of mainstream media, you better be ready to make sales on your website as well as over the phone if it is an option.
From this stage, no stone should be left unturned, from social media to email marketing, all that should follow along with your press roll out.
The following weeks and months will be crucial for the life circle of your product you bring to the market place, tweak and flip things around where necessary never leave a campaign to chance, always be prepared to adjust your strategy until you strike a balance.
7 Know Your Product’s Lifecycle
Most products or services that peak and take a nose dive always have one thing in common,they both lack updated marketing efforts to keep up with customer perception over competition.
A quick glance at your marketing strategy, you will start noticing patterns that lead to factors influencing the slump or diminishing sales over time, this is the perfect time to revise the value proposition to see if you can align it with the altered message otherwise if this is not a viable option then consideration to have it phased out are always the best option.