As an inventor, the epitome of success is being able to market your product and sell it to consumers. Although it sounds simple, marketing your product is much more difficult than you can imagine. How can you market your product successfully? There are many methods to marketing your product but the options can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing.
Here’s a brief overview of three effective strategies with some basic guidelines to make more sense of the marketing process.
• Keep It Current: When you see an outdated sign with a color scheme from the 70’s, what is your immediate reaction? While the sign may offer a nostalgic blast from the past, more often than not, people feel that the company needs to update to current styles and trends. This is the same principle for your brand. To avoid having your brand considered “outdated,” ensure that your designs are current on all of your marketing collateral from websites and brick-and-mortar storefronts to everything in between.
• Hire an Expert: Unless you are a graphic designer, refrain from designing your own logo or product packaging as it will often look sub-par or less professional. Consider hiring a specialist in the field (or, for a more budget-friendly alternative, commission a local student specializing in art or design) to effectively design your logo to better establish your professional brand.
• The Importance of Your Logo: Knowing the importance of having a logo to brand your product and company is almost as important as understanding the basic factors in designing the logo itself. When you think of logos, which ones immediately come to mind? Memorable logos are often easy to read, versatile and have simple bold lines paired with dynamic shapes.
• Memorable Product Packaging: Labels and visuals are the core requirements of packaging and should reflect the basic design of your logo. For packaging to be successful, it should be unforgettable and appropriate for the product as well as reflective of your company image. Because people are visual, if a consumer fails to remember your product name, the packaging should be memorable enough that it can be described and easily recognized.
• Web Presence: One of the most important tools for success is having a website to create a strong web presence. Websites open the market to a broader audience more so than all other marketing venues. While widening the audience, websites legitimize your business while establishing a strong foundation to build and implement more effective marketing strategies. To further engage visitors to your site, consider selling your product online utilizing e-commerce stores such as Amazon or Square.
• Share the News: Press releases are often beneficial in consideration of your target market. In other words, use a press release to promote your product to target audiences through relevant media. This is especially beneficial for innovative products that are revolutionary within the market.
• Social Media: Outside of having a website, social media is the next marketing powerhouse. With a variety of advertising options, you can create ads or self-promote through your group of friends. Regardless of your method, products and businesses widely benefit from having Facebook and Twitter pages to engage your consumers with product updates, promotions and business-related news. While not all products are appropriate for Pinterest, use your best judgment in terms of how you will promote the product through this venue.
• Advertising on the Internet: Internet banner ads are promoted on websites that are specific to your target audience based on your budget and criteria. These ads often increase genuine traffic to your website by initially engaging customers.
• Email Marketing & Avoiding Spam: A professional email campaign based on your website traffic can generate an increase in sales by promoting your product and its features. While there is a fine balance between engaging and spamming, a creative lead in line (or “hook) is a surefire way to generate interest in your product.
• Coupon Promotions: Who doesn’t love to save money? Attract potential customers by providing them a great deal through coupons. Through market awareness, know what will engage your audience in providing digital, printable, website or QR codes or, all of the above!
• Traditional & Print Marketing: Social media and internet marketing is widely successful but traditional marketing through paper media is also beneficial as it can reach a diverse audience (perhaps those less engaged in social media). To gain a stronger local footing, utilize flyers and postcards to promote your product and draw in customers. In addition, local print media is also useful as ads can be purchased in the newspaper or phone book, real estate or local living guides.
• Television Ads: If your budget is large, consider producing a quality television ad to engage a broader audience. Depending on your budget, your ads can be featured on local channels during daytime television so ensure that your target audience would be reached at this time.
• Market Expertise: Know the ins and outs of your market so that your strategies, time and money are not wasted on ineffective campaigns. Conduct market polls and know the demographic range of age, gender, education, etc. The more you know, the more effective your strategies will be as you can tailor your approach to meet the needs of the market.
• Perfect Your Product: By knowing the value of feedback from your customers, you can better perfect your product. What are common product suggestions to increase usability and effectiveness? Are these changes practical to implement? Although you will likely receive a variety of responses, gauge the legitimacy of the suggestions to determine how and if they can and should be addressed.
• Plan the Budget: Marketing is not always free. To determine the best marketing strategies for your product, you will need to have a budget in place to know your options.
• Establish Sales Goals & a Sales Plan: What is the price of your product? How much do you need to sale to make a profit? This is a vital balance to ensure the success of both your product and your business. In addition, have a clearly established sales plan that outlines your timeline, needs, objectives and potential or current challenges. How do you plan on growing the business? Both sales goals and a sales plan are vital to attract potential investors.
• Choose a Strategy: Select a strategy that best meets your needs while understanding that each strategy engages a very different customer demographic.
A Concentrated Marketing Strategy appeals to a targeted market and is more common with luxury items that have a specific audience.
An Undifferentiated Marketing Strategy is a broad-based strategy that appeals to a wide audience and works well with products that are widely useful. This strategy is embodied through traditional marketing using print media and television advertising.
A Differentiated Marketing Strategy utilizes specific strategies based on product features. In other words, an affordable product appeals to budget-minded consumers; whereas, the product’s convenience may appeal more locally.
• Plant the Seed: Offer samples of your products to initially engage your customers on why the need or could benefit from your product. By planting the seed in the market, you can gauge the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and tailor it to suit the ever-changing needs of the market.
• Embrace Growth: Expand your market by engaging large retailers who may have an interest in the product and your company. First and foremost, ensure that you are able to handle the high-demands of retailers before you choose to engage these mega-superstores.
These methods offer further insight into effective product marketing strategies that can launch your invention to success. More importantly, know your product and your market to establish your brand through advertising and engagement.