I’ll get right to it today.
Are you selling something no one wants?
Are you selling something you absolutely love and would rather die than to dare change a thing and thereby cheating on your dream product?
Well I have, and there is no shame in it.
But let me ask you then…
Have you scoured the earth and looked at alternatives the market place has to offer?
Do you believe whole heartedly that this single product will solve a burning desire that has never been satisfied before?
The reality is that if you founded a company and you’re trying to sell a product that just isn’t getting the traction you thought it would get, chances are.
You made the product for yourself.
So Step #1 is called: Product Market Fit, or PMF for short.
It’s very likely that you didn’t make the right leap of faith assumptions (LOFA’s)
And guess what, that’s okay.
That’s what silicon valley thrives on.
At this stage of the game all you would need to do is be open to feedback and then prepare for a pivot.
A pivot is when you change a critical part in your product/service offering based on feedback received from a test group of customers/clients so that when you re-launch you get more traction.
Stick with what works and strip down what doesn’t.
Now to be frank, I am over simplifying this.
So it would be wise to dig deeper for research on this subject but my best resource has been the book called “The Lean Startup” & “Growth Hacker Marketing”
Once we stop seeing our product as static and something that we will be working on instead of with – the whole game changes.
So how do we achieve PMF?
In my experience, the best method would be the Socratic way.
We must simply and repeatedly question every assumption.
Who is this product for? Why would they use it? Why do we use it? Why do I use it?
Once you’ve gone through a couple iterations of the above and can see a climbing customer base we can move on to Step #2.
Which is Finding your Growth Hack.
Brian Halligan, Founder of Hubspot once said, ” To be successful & grow your business and revenues, you must match the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.”
How profound, and yet how simple.
I think that pretty much sums it up.
So if all your customers are used to shopping trendy sunglasses on Facebook and you sell the Uber of blue light blocking eyewear you can guess where you should be.
We don’t need to hit the front page of the New York Times, we need to hit the New York Times of our scene.
A targeted offensive campaign in the right places aimed at the right people can create phenomenal impact.
Now that we have an idea of where we need to maintain a presence that will focus on customer acquisition instead of simple awareness we need to turn the dial again.
In Step #3 we find out how to Turn 1 into 2, 2 in to 4 and going viral.
Going viral isn’t pure luck reserved for a few YouTubers or an esoteric magic we can’t understand.
It doesn’t only happen by chance and it can be attained be someone who simply has their own recipe or formula.
First I have to confess, it can frustrate me when clients and potential brands like dropping the term as if it were as easy as just asking for it.
At the core of it all you’re actually asking people to post and share information about your product or service for free.
And the best way to get people to do this huge favour for you is to make it seem like it isn’t a favour.
That they get more from sharing it than then what they give.
By creating a powerful incentive for people to share your product.
Just make sure you have made it easy for people to spread it with as little firction or actions needed as possible.
Almost all of the largest tech companies have doen this.
Why do you think at the bottom of every email sent from an iPhone it says “Sent from my iPhone”
It is there for a reason. Dive deeply in to your own analytics and refine, refine, refine until you feel like you’ve attained your maximum results.
Thereafter it’s time to close the loop.
In Step #4 Retention & Optimisation.
As it turns out, dedicated & happy customers are marketing tools in and of themselves
If your business is a leaky bucket, you will continue to chase your own tail.
According to Bain & Company a 5% increase in customer retention could mean a 30% increase in profitability.
This is totally relative to your products and services but let’s allow that to sink in for a moment.
Some bad ideas executed fairly do better than fantastic ideas executed badly.
Sort of backwards how it works out, isn’t it?
During tough times you need to stay close to your high intent potential customers and even closer to your current base of customers to optimise their lifetime value (LTV) for your business.
Have a finger on the pulse and continue to innovate.