Is anyone searching for your product online or are you going to have to educate them of it’s existence. These are two very different scenarios and you MUST figure out which one you fit in.
To begin, did you create something that is an improvement on something else? Like an improved email software or a new type of cooling material for men’s exercise shirts or the trailer hitch toilet seat (yes this exists and is patented). These are just slight improvements on existing products.
But what if you’re like my friend’s company Pirashield, that protects infopreneurs (people that produce online content and make money off of it) content from being pirated. Or my brothers first company TakeLessons which created a market place for guitar and piano instructors to find students in their area that want lessons. Or how about AirBNB or Uber or Slack.
No one was really looking for those things, which, of course makes marketing and sales very difficult because why would you buy something that no one knows they need or want?
How about your product? Do your future customers know they need it? If not, you need to build an educational sales process. You are going to need to teach your end user that they need what you have, and this is not easy.
I am not saying to give up, but I want you to be prepared. If you are ill prepared to launch a product that no one is looking for, well, you’re not going to sell anything. I am pretty sure you need revenue to stay alive.
Btw, don’t get cocky here. You’re product may be super innovative and cool but that in itself is not going to sell it if no one knows they need it.
On the flip side, if you figure out which side of the coin you are on, you can be prepared to educate your customers. So how do you prepare yourself?
The best way is to start doing research and there are a few places that you can go to begin to see if people are searching for what you have or something similar. Here is a great tool you can use to do the upfront research to determine if someone is looking for your type of product or not.
[+] Google Adwords Keyword Planner:
This is one of the most underutilized tools out there because you actually have to open and ad account with Google, but don’t fret, because they don’t charge you. Navigating the keyword tool is incredible. You and everyone else has the ability to see what keywords have what search volume in almost every country in the world.
If you invented a new logistics platform for ice cream trucks (who knows) you can search for that on the keyword tool and see how many searches per month their are. The best way to do this is to come up with 20+ keywords that people would be searching for if they were looking for what you were offering.
Second, if you do find search volume for terms you tested, type those terms on Google and see if any “ads” are coming up. Those would be the top listings and they would say “ad.” Of course, what this means is that someone is actually paying for those and that there is people searching those terms.
If you see ads, you don’t need to worry, you just now know there is potential demand. If the keyword search is very low or non existent there is a pretty good chance few are searching for what you are offering.
A great example is a client I worked with that sold “community solar” which are solar gardens build on big tracks of land that can service houses on the same grid. The thing is, almost no one knew it existed or how it worked so this because an educational sales strategy. We had to educate the consumer why community solar was a good option for them (no panel installation, no upfront cost, instant cost savings on energy)
So make sure you do your research and figure out if you are just making an improvement upon an existing need or if you are creating something that no one is looking for. If you are just making an improvement, marketing outreach will be more straight forward as you can put yourself in places where people are looking for what you have BUT competition will be more fierce and you will have to differentiate yourself.
If you are creating something no one is looking for, you must create an intriguing argument using both data and emotions to show your end consumer that their life will be better with your product that without it. I mean that is what it’s all about isn’t it.
Our lives have been improved with products like Uber, AirBnB, the iPhone. All were products no one was really looking for at the time and they presented compelling reasons why many of us should incorporate them into our lives. You MUST do the same if you are to be successful.