Your product, or prototype, is finally finished, so it’s time to put it in the market. This is often easier said than done. You know that your product, for example an innovative app to manage expenses, is exactly the product your target customers need. But do your customers know that as well? The chance is that they are not even aware of the existence of your amazing product, let alone do they know they need it.
Here’s a look at five tips to help market your product successfully.
Prove it works.
It will be a lot harder for you to market your product than an established brand. Yet, there is one simple way to prove to customers that your product actually works, and that is to let them try it. Offer a free sample, free trial or establish a freemium revenue model. Or you can ask experts and influencers to try your product and request a testimonial. If you can convince industry leaders, your target customers will quickly follow.
Do a lot of market research.
Every entrepreneur should be able to answer the following question: “What makes my product different from competitors?” In order to find out, you’ll have to conduct a lot of market research. Identify which products are already on the market along with their disadvantages. Use this knowledge to improve your own product and you’ll get insight in what your customers find important when looking for a product like yours.
Make it easy for customers to switch.
For many things, people have default choices—products they always buy, without taking similar products into account. Changing their default choice can be difficult. Since people don’t like to take chances there must be a great incentive for them to alter their choice. If you want customers to switch, make the process as easy as possible. There shouldn’t be any doubt about what your product does and what goal it serves. Moreover, make it inevitable in what ways your product outperforms their current choice.
Sell a product, not an invention.
There are only a few people who are really interested in your invention: early adopters. The majority, however, are interested in your product and its advantages over the current products in market. They just want to know how they can use it. Customers want to know “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM), so emphasize what your product does for them, instead of bragging about the new features and latest technology.
Create a sales plan.
What sales activities are you going to undertake to make customers aware of your product? What are your goals, how many products do you want to sell, and what timeline are you looking at? “A good sales plan should include both the overarching strategy — such as building a strong business network; and the tactics you’ll use to get there — such as attending trade shows, signing up for a LinkedIn account, joining the Chamber of Commerce, etc. Your plan should include at least two strategies and several tactics within each strategy.” (Source: NASP) One critical point here: be realistic. Find a balance: set ambitious, but reachable goals.
Of course, there are plenty more things to consider when marketing and selling your product. In order to make optimal decisions for your company, it is essential to know and communicate the value of your business.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Daisy de Vries is the Marketing Manager at Equidam, a cloud technology and financial services company providing tools for SME evaluations; helping both entrepreneurs and professionals gain access to better data analysis tools. Connect with @Equidamtweets on Twitter. Equidam offers entrepreneurs an easy-to-use, objective valuation tool to get insight in their business’ financials to make better informed decisions. Try it out now!