Your Company has a limited budget to market your product. You are weighing what should be your priorities and how you can establish your first sale. First, you must identify your target market. Who is really your true target? Second, what is your product? Once you have answered those two questions, one begins to narrow selection from the marketing matrix that reaches some sales traction as soon as possible.
For example, recently I noted an online product that is incorporated in a point of sale for a chain of supermarkets. The product is a mobile app. But who are the potential consumers for this the product? Is it the grocery shopper or the supermarket chain? Most likely is the supermarket chain since it must incorporate the technology within its network.
Now supermarkets might be leery about incorporating a new technology. How does one create the “need” for that chain to adopt the product? First, the product must be validated. Generally, one creates a “white paper” which will prove the usefulness of the product. Second, since the product is new and must be adopted across the board, one has to create a “brand” that underscores that it IS the right product to incorporate. Branding is about product awareness, product identification (trademark), and segregation. PR is an inexpensive means to start that branding process – product awareness. By laying out this groundwork, the next step is reaching out to the target market.
Now, in the earlier conversation, we have two limiting factors: capital and time. Since the product must be demonstrated to certain supermarket chains, it will require person to person presentation to management teams in order to pitch the product. Since money is time, time is money, we want to market efficiently. The best way is to determine geographically various chains that are close to the management team, set a numerical target of how many pitches a day can be done logistically, and establish a statistical scoring card of successes.
My preference here is to look at the demographics for supermarket chains that fit the Company’s profile. The closer they are geographically, the more targets I can reach out to on a daily basis. For example, would I reach to supermarket chains in West Texas where the density is sparse? No. Too much time would be wasted travelling to the potential targets and the returns would be meager. I would look at Austin first, which is much more urban, and then Dallas. The marketing team would not have to travel far and one gets a higher return for marketing. The objective here is to reduce my marketing costs and still achieve my most important objective: sales.
Note that each product is different. And the target consumer might have a different profile. For example, in the Federal contracting space, the target consumer is the U.S. government. Virtually every federal government contractor is located near or around the 495 that surrounds Washington, D.C. So the business development costs are reduced. Sometimes I am perplexed when one endeavors to enter into that space and its government support is located in Texas.
Again, the objective of this exercise is to get the maximum from the marketing budget by establishing the exact steps to gain the first sale and seeing which steps are necessary to reach that objective quickly and efficiently. Some products can be marketed through social networks, very much like Zynga with its games used Facebook. But I have remarked that social networks might not be the right marketing solution for some products. In that case, you dust off the classical marketing tools and apply them, as I had noted in an earlier blog.