Our focus so far has been on defining your target audience and analyzing what your competitors are doing to reach customers. Next, we start by asking an important question that’s top of mind for investors and should be for you as well, namely:
How are you going to reach your target market customers, scale your business, and obtain great returns from your available total cash flow?
Being creative is crucial. Sure you can invest $5 million+ to run a 30-second product spot during the next Super Bowl, but:
In order to scale your business, you need to grow revenues without equivalent increases in operating costs and capital expenditures. To do this you need to make customers aware of your product, its benefits, and your Compelling Case for Customers™ while keeping marketing costs under control. You don’t have the cash to run that Super Bowl advertisement every week!
With this in mind, how can you get key industry influencers and target market customers to try your product while keeping cash spend and calendar time to a minimum? How can you get “paid marketing”, where your marketing costs are partially or fully paid for—or reimbursed—by another company? Even if this is just a one-time occurence?
Spend time brainstorming with your team: Evaluate what your competitors are doing and do something differently—being a “copycat” rarely works. You need to stand out from the crowd. Here are some things to consider.
Look to small and medium-sized companies in unrelated product industries: What are they doing that’s successful and different from what you or your competitors have been doing?
Review where your target market customers congregate and the events they typically attend. For each one, determine if it’s a good venue to demonstrate or test market your product. For example, if your product is a new lip balm, you could give it away to the first 1,000 people attending outdoor football games on the East coast of the U.S., then ask them to post something on social media to introduce it to friends and receive a future discount or giveaway.
Always be mindful of your total cost of marketing and its return on investment (ROI). You need to know and demonstrate to investors that your marketing plan can scale to grow your business, otherwise, you’re much less likely to get funded.
Key point. Standing out from the crowd means doing things differently, sometimes radically so.
Many companies are working on something new and different, so standing out is not a problem after they get the product in front of the customer. It’s how to get it there and be recognized that’s hard.
Since you’ve already defined your features, benefits, and 3Cs, you already know what’s compelling about your product and can articulate it well. Using what’s above, figure out where to “show” your product that will give it maximum exposure to your target market without spending lots of cash.
Until next week!
All the best,
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