Why Your Product or Service Is Destined To Be A Flop!

Starting a business, creating a product or launching a service and only then beginning to consider your marketing or trying to figure out who will buy it is a sure way to make it a flop.

Unfortunately it is still being done by aspiring ‘entrepreneurs’ everyday. People are writing books, registering companies and starting on building websites and spending years programming only to run into a roadblock when it comes to making sales.

The mentality of ‘build it and they will come’ no longer works to a large extent. Nor does just throwing up a website and expecting to make money because 1,000 other people are doing it. If you haven’t taken the time to research and plan a smart brand image, taken into consideration who your target market will be and plan your marketing and positioning and to really calculate if your business model can be profitable and attract the volume of customers you need to make the money you want ahead of time you are setting yourself up for failure.

Wouldn’t it be much easier and smarter to have a large pool of fans and customers already begging for a product or service and simply filling that need instead? This means immediate, almost effortless sales and instant profitability!

This doesn’t mean that your ideas should be shelved or are without value. Perhaps they are exactly what is desired or with a little tweaking can be positioned that way.

How can you achieve this? It is a lot easier than you think. Find a niche, position yourself as an expert in it and build a large network of contacts. This can be done through online social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as with blogs and even through print and personal networking.

Imagine the difference in having 100,000 prospects lined up and with many even pre-ordering or buying in bulk on your launch date! Compare that to having invested all of your capital in a product or website, having no sales yet, no prospects in the pipeline at without the cash to go back and re-work your offering to actually make it appeal to those it was meant for.

On top of this of course having a pre-established network already sets you up to unleash a series of increasingly more profitable products with higher price tags and that will sell themselves.

This is really the ideal strategy today for those who are getting into business for themselves purely to make money. However, this should not dissuade those of you who are really driven and inspired to create a specific product or service or to start an enterprise of your own that you are really in love with. Do it and find a way to capitalize on it or make money with it. Just recognize what you are up against and understand that while it may be more fulfilling you may be sacrificing some sales.

How to Craft an Effective Product Marketing Strategy

Product marketing strategy refers to a marketing developing plan which introduces a new technical product. It can be a very exciting and challenging aspect of product launching and marketing for a product. However, it can also be painless, but at the same time very confusing only when we lose sight of our objectives. If you are interested in understanding how to create a product marketing strategy, well this article will help you with this endeavour.

Here are the essentials you must include within your product marketing strategy:

Mission statement: this includes the manufacturing objectives, Corporate Mission Statement, marketing objectives and product development objectives.
Customers: you must consider how many customers you have? What they are buying? What practical and emotional problems and issues are they trying to solve? What size of your market? What is the customer’s price point? What it takes to be successful in an order? How long would it take to be successful with a product? How does a customer use competitive products? What is the present happiness with competitors?
Market Segmentation: you must include set customers (needs distribution, industry, and geography). In addition you must narrow and select the targets, label the segments, and consider the differences and similarities.
Competitors: seek to understand what your competitors are doing at the present time? Where and how often do they advertise? What would be the nature of the sale presentation? What are their pricing? Distribution methods? The position they take? The reaction of the competitors towards threats? How do lesser competitors differ from the successful? Marketing share quota? Comparison to your company with threats, strengths, and weaknesses.
Product position: it is necessary for you to differentiate your service and product. Remember the opportunity is out there, it is up to you to find it though. You must also describe your products and seek your customer’s interests.
Understand your customer’s psychological needs.
Market testing: that is you should display your promotional concepts and product to customers.
Making strategic decisions: wherein you decide on new and improved revenue, profits and growth, new product development, pricing, distribution, service and sales force, customer’s psychological factors (not benefits and features), and on product promotion for all new products.
Write an action plan: which must include a pert chart on product development, a calendar of planned media, and a budget.
Implement your plan: you can hold daily meetings to review sales progress and leads. It is imperative that you provide a lead tracking system and revisit your plan and update when necessary.

An Example of Remora Marketing That Launched the National Chain Drug Store Boom

Before the middle of the 20th century there were no national chain drug stores. The neighborhood pharmacy was typically owned by a local druggist. There were multi-door local groups of stores in some big cities. For the most part these pharmacies filled physician’s scripts; operated a soda fountain and carried only a minimum inventory of basic over-the-counter Health Aid products. The multi-aisled, heavily stocked, promotional stores we know today were still in the future.Milton Eckerd opened his first pharmacy on Erie, PA in 1898. The original Eckerd Drug Store was operated as a stand-alone store for years. It wasn’t until 1952, when Milton Eckerd’s son Jack bought three stores in Florida that Eckerd evolved into something that could be called a “chain”. This was only the first step for the ambitious Jack Eckerd. He was about to start an expansion that would forever change the face of American drug store retailing.Jack Eckerd quickly realized that with a large and growing number of stores, he could Buy, Market, Merchandise and promote a much greater range and inventory of goods in front of his pharmacy dispensing windows. The “front” of a drug store was about to become a traffic and profit generator for the first time. In order for this Business Model to take off Mr. Eckerd needed to drive a much larger head count into his stores.This need for foot traffic lead Eckerd Drug Stores to create a classic example of a remora Marketing Strategy. The remora is the little fish that rides along the oceans currents snuggly on the back of ferocious sharks. As the great predatory shark makes its kills and feeds, the remora enjoys cleaning up the bits and pieces that are too small for the host to bother eating. Eckerd Drug Stores became the remora to supermarket sharks.Whenever a chain supermarket announced a new location Eckerd Drug Stores would rush in and lease space adjacent to the food retailer. Supermarkets work on very thin margins, are heavily promotional and require huge flows of foot traffic to stay profitable. Jack Eckerd recognized that by employing a type of retail remora strategy his stores would profit greatly from the convenience of being situated so close to such heavy consumer traffic.By 1961 there were over 1500 Eckerd Drug Stores and the chain was taken public. Eventually Mr. Eckerd sold his chain to JC Penney and retired to a life of public works and philanthropy. The stores were later sold off in geographic divisions to Jean Coutu of Canada, CVS and Rite-Aid. Mr. Eckerd endowed Florida Presbyterian College in St. Petersburg, FL, today renamed Eckerd College in his honor.The simple, but pioneering remora Marketing Strategy that Jack Eckerd perfected helped the advance of mass merchandise consumer product marketing. Before the growth of Eckerd Drug Stores, merchandising in pharmacies was primitive. The advent of the national chain model enabled manufacturers from diverse industries such as Cosmetics, Oral Care, Wellness, Health Aids, Gift Cards, and convenience Foods and small Household Goods to greatly expand distribution and drive down costs and retail prices. Consumers no longer simply went to the pharmacy for a prescription refill, they shopped while they waited for service to be completed.While the Eckerd name no longer adorns the stores he created, Jack Eckerd will always be a legend in the retail world. His skills as a businessman, visionary and marketer are legendary. He changed the way products are sold in ways that affect each of us to this day. He also used the vast wealth he accumulated in so many positive ways. A life well lived!by: Geoff Ficke