So you’ve identified a gap in the market. You’ve researched, planned and invested in developing the best product possible, and now you’re excited to bring it to market.But all of that hard work could be wasted if you haven't researched the market properly and created a thorough marketing plan. Arguably, as much investment and planning is required for your marketing as your product development.
But with so many marketing channels and so much noise already in your industry, how do you ensure you're heard by the right people?
We asked our members to state their top reasons for choosing to join the Chamber of Commerce. Three recurring themes were:
- Business planning, growth and advice
- Developing new products/marketing advice
- Sales and marketing advice
So, we thought we'd put our heads together and outline some of the most important considerations for businesses when introducing or promoting their new product.
Know your marketing mix
Let's begin with the bread and butter of marketing - the Marketing Mix. Previously known as the '4 Ps', the marketing mix has now evolved into the '7 Ps'. These include people, place, price, physical evidence, promotions, process and product.
Are you targeting the right people? Who is your ideal customer and are all staff aware of this and who they are speaking to?
Is the price aligned with the perceived value and market's expectations?
Do you have a great website that showcases your product and your business to prospective customers?
Is there room for development, i.e, iterations and modifications over time to improve your product in the future?
Do you have distribution centres? A shop? An e-commerce website? Where are you selling from?
How will you promote the product or service? Paid, sponsored, owned or earned media channels?
It's important to establish firm answers to these questions before you begin any marketing activity. They will help inform everything you do and ensure the most efficient use of your marketing resource.
Know your unique selling point
Your product's unique selling point (USP) is what will help make you stand out above the competition. What is it that you do differently? What can you offer the market that no one else can? What is it about your product that makes it so much better value than others of a similar model?
Your USP will inform everything you do from your marketing to your customer service.
Increase organic visibility
Increase your organic visibility by focusing on great SEO. To achieve and maintain great SEO, you must consider what potential customers are searching for; their language, terminology and questions. This will help you establish meaningful keywords that you can weave into your content, meta descriptions and alt text while trying to answer those questions.
But SEO isn't just about keywords. Ensure your website speed is optimised and you invest in a great user experience too. Google ranks higher quality websites that demonstrate their value through revisits, longer stays, and more shares. If this is something you aren't entirely comfortable with, it's worth hiring in or outsourcing to an expert.
Generate recommendations and referrals
Reviews are one of the most effective ways of generating new business. Customers are likely to turn to their peers for recommendations and to trust their opinions. Whether people find reviews through your e-commerce platform, your social media channels, or good old fashioned word of mouth, customers will become advocates for your brand and send more customers you way.
Recommendations and referrals are often generated by offering discount codes or 'refer a friend schemes' too. The end goal is to have customers and prospects speaking positively about your business and your product, so concentrate on good offers that exceed the customers' expectations, impress, and leave them wanting to tell all of their friends about you.
Rapid change, heightened competition and increased channels for promoting those new products leave many of us overwhelmed at the thought of marketing. But these tips should give you a good foundation on which to build your marketing activities moving forward.
For further advice or assistance, we'd be happy to put you in touch with local businesses who can help put your product in front of the right people.