You have successfully built a new product and can’t wait to get it into the market. You’re darn sure of how successful this product will be and how millions of people would be excited to know you’ve built something that solves a problem they already experience. The next things you think about are how to launch and make the product a success.
Before you dive into launching and marketing your product, the first and most important factor you should explore is to know your target market. Without targeting the real individuals that already need what you’re offering, your product could be a failure. You need to know how it would appeal to your target audience and how it would differ from the existing products in the market. Your marketing campaign must be in development while you’re still building your products.
With an identified target market, a well executed launch would be a great opportunity to grab your customers attention and make a first impression. Impressions are difficult to manage if they’ve gone wrong from the onset. So it’s important that the product launch and continuity marketing strategies are strong and firmly rooted for success.
Here are three (3) steps you must take to market a new product:
Step 1: Create A Marketing Strategy:
When creating your marketing strategy, the first thing to do is identify your target market. This segment, are the individuals that genuinely need the product you’re offering. Your marketing plan should initially be focused only on these individuals. This acute focus would greatly improve your chances of experiencing a positive cash flow after your product is launched.
For example, if you’re starting up a fashion e-commerce business in Nigeria, the best market to target would be people majorly on Facebook and Instagram. The age bracket for the ad target would have to be between 24 and 45 for optimal results. This narrowed down value ensures that it’s only the working class that are between the age bracket that would see it. This way, you maximize and utilize your capital effectively.
Your marketing strategy must contain sales goals, sales activities, target customers, and deliverables (timelines). Goal setting will ensure your eyes is always kept on the price. You’d know where your business is headed. The sales activities must cover how you intend to run your day to day operations. They cover the exact plans you’d need to close sales and generate revenues. Your target customers must be clearly identified. And lastly, you must have defined timelines and deliverables in order to successfully attain your sales goals on time. With these in place, coupled with sheer self-discipline, you’re on your way to growing a successful product.
Step 2: Build Your Market:
While you’re building or if you’ve already built the product, try to sell to small scale end users first. Make sure your product’s advantage is noticeable immediately. If people cannot easily spot the benefits of your product, they’d leave negative feedbacks and move on as quickly as possible. The way they respond will help you know if they really need a product to solve that problem for them. The best way to know what your market wants is to try to sell to them. Next, you get feedbacks and apply corrections as soon as possible. Starting with a small number of people is highly important because their feedbacks would help you better build the product, by correcting dangerous flaws and more. It’s easier and better to piss off 100 potential customers than to piss off 1000 or even worse. This small target customer base will ensure that you eventually have a solid product that would fly easily with the big leagues.
The web is a powerful place to try out your products with a few initial customers. Some channels you could use to acquire an initial customer base are online marketplaces like Jumia, Konga, Opiid, Ebay, and quite a few others. You can put up your product on these marketplaces for sale, and see if people respond, and how they respond. If your product is an internet startup, you can go on twitter or facebook to get a wide feedback from people’s usage. People particularly like to be very blunt on twitter, and this would give you better clarity on what works and what doesn’t. These channels are very important & helpful platforms to grow your products and start acquiring customers.
After you’ve validated your product and your customer base truly needs and appreciates the product, you’d need to approach local stores and suppliers to stock your products for sale. Small stores are easier to convince to stock a new product than the big stores. You’d need to show records that people truly want to buy the product. No store wants to take on an item that has no real market demand. Prove the market demand to them and a few small stores would eventually take you on.
Step 3: Expand Your Market Reach:
With a validated product, growing market demand, and multiple local stores stocking and selling your products, the next step is to expand your market reach. At this point, you should approach the larger stores for talks on how you can get your merchandise on their platforms. These large stores are usually very stubborn and crude about just getting any product on their shelves. You’d need to show them solid financial statements that show how well your product already sells. You’d have to educate them on why their already existing customers are the perfect fit for your product and why the product would prove both valuable and profitable for their business. After a perfect pitch, you need to be patient because it would take a while before they eventually get back to you. While you wait, you need to focus on other marketing channels ranging from online advertisement, to blogs, magazines, online stores, and a lot more. The more your product appears on different channels, the more customers experience it, and the higher your chances of signing on large retailers to stock your items.
At this stage of your product’s strategic marketing, your product should have as little flaws as possible and would have started gaining good traction. Make sure the experience your product delivers, or the problems it solves is done painstakingly. This would mean it’s really easy for the customer to use and would greatly benefit them. Happy customers always talk about their experiences. Offer a great experience and the buyers would become your product’s key evangelists.
Good luck with your product launch and sales!