EconomyInvestingMarketing: the insider's strategy to sell a new product

Marketing: the insider's strategy to sell a new product

Chapter of the book “The great plan. A simple strategy to cultivate an extraordinary business in any market ”, just published in Colombia. Tips from the entrepreneur, author of “Profit First,” former columnist for “The Wall Street Journal.”

What if you could predict how many people will buy your new product or sign up for your recent service? What if you could build a community committed to promoting your new product or service before even developing it? What if you could assure that every time, and I mean every time , that you launch something new it is not going to fail? To hell with the “what if you could.” Because you can.

The process is very straightforward. No mystery, hocus pocus or nonsense. You only need your consumer community to have direct influence on the development, launch and marketing of what you offer. At the end of this process you will have a product that your customers already want (because they did) and the rest of the strategy will take care of itself. I call this the insider’s strategy because it gives your clients direct access to what’s going on in your company and you get insider information out of their minds. This is co-creation at its most effective. And just as the sun has the greatest responsibility in growing pumpkins (or any living being, life in fact) the community of these clients, prospects and suppliers acts like the sun for your business, giving the energy it needs to grow and grow . Let the sun shine, friend!

The insider’s strategy is more than just finding a way to promote your product. There are many other benefits of acting on this idea: (We recommend: Marketing processes).

Generates innovation in product development. The more you connect with the needs, wants and ideas of your community, the more products or services you will create that you would not have imagined without their help.

Saves you money. By being able to predict how a product or service will be sold, you save yourself from developing and marketing something that no one really wants or modifying your offer until they want it.

It shapes your brand. As you get to know your community by allowing them to have information about your company, you gain a better understanding of what your brand means to them, why they love you, what you stand for, why they return to you.

Inspire loyalty. When customers participate in the creation of a product or service, they feel important, meaningful . And when people feel meaningful because of your company, they will be loyal for life, or at least until they stop feeling that way.

Causes unsolicited promotion. Ultimately your insiders will promote the products or services they helped create. The conversation they have with friends is no longer “look at the amazing thing this company did .” Change to “look at this amazing thing I did .”

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Just let me warn you about my simple plan statement: If you don’t work out the rest of the Grand Plan, this strategy won’t work for you. In fact, it could completely fail and drive you crazy in the process. I would fail because, and this is key , my Big Planner friend, as long as you continue serving each type of client under the sun (instead of taking care of only your best clients), doing a thousand things under your todologist disguise (instead of focusing in a single field and build your team around it), betting on anything (instead of sowing your Atlantic Giant seed) … implementing the infiltrator’s strategy will lead you to divided paths, all arriving at the same place: Mad City, aka the bankruptcy capital of the world.

I know this sounds very strong, but it is true. When you sell the milk before you milk the cow, bad things happen. So promise me that you won’t use this strategy until you have mastered the other steps of the Big Plan.



Okay, now that we understand each other, let’s continue …

Advantage of crowdsourcing

I’m sure you know everything about crowdsourcing or open collaboration. In case you’ve never heard of it, I’ll tell you: it works when you use a large outside group (not your team) to achieve a goal, be it developing a product, launching an initiative, or completing a task. A crowd can be used to map the universe and the millions of galaxies within it (Galaxy Zoo), spread local information at the speed of light (Twitter), conduct complex disease research (Fold.It), generate content for blogs and books ( Chuck Norris Cannot Be Stopped: 400 All-New Facts about the Man Who Knows Neither Fear nor Mercy … and other timeless classics).

Also to build a company worth more than 30 million dollars. T-shirt company Threadless is a popular example of crowdsourcing well done. It was launched in 2000 with an initial investment of a thousand dollars, and allows its customers to design their products.

The system is as follows: The company asks the public to submit their designs, one of which will be selected as the next Threadless T-shirt. The result is a broad base of people excited to create the next great product they are going to buy. And the winner of the contest? Well, that person is a loyal Threadless consumer for life. When people say, “Hey, where did you buy that cool shirt?” She will say, “Buy? I did this marvel! ” And you know, since she was involved in the process, she will promote the shirt (and Threadless) all over town… on her Tumblr blog… on her Facebook page… and on her Twitter account.

When people get involved in the development of a new product or service, they become loyal to it and want to promote it. In fact, they cannot help themselves . They want the world to know that they were involved in creating something new, that they are connected to a company that they already thought was great. Threadless produces a sick amount of profits and profits from crowdsourcing . When they offer a new shirt design, they sell out. One hundred percent. Not a shirt is left, not even in any box at the bottom of the tank. They are all over.

Who else can say that? When was the last time you sold everything you had of something? When was the last time you sold out your offer? But while crowdsourcing is an incredibly effective tool for gaining customer loyalty and inspiring enthusiastic participation to promote your products or services, the insider’s strategy will change your world. The main difference is predictability. When you crowdsource to develop a product or service, you are not really sure whether it will work or perform lamely and it will fail, because you did not necessarily involve the crowd in the conception of your idea.

The infiltrator strategy allows you to measure customer response from the beginning and at every stage of the process. And since the first few behaviors are great indicators of what is going to happen, you will know if a new offer will be successful or will fail before investing effort in developing it. You will know it because the first thing you will say is not: “Go ahead, send your best designs (ideas)”, but: “I have the idea of x things, how do you see? would you be interested?”

It is a simple distinction, but it makes all the difference because it is a predictor of your success or failure. A does not tell you that people do not want what you are offering. Point. A disappointment, but at least you know it now, right? You saved yourself from sweating over the creation of a new product or service that no one is going to want. Asking clients if they would be interested in what you are thinking of offering before investing in developing it will save you a lot of time, money and effort.

There is no better answer than silence before silence. If your core consumers don’t respond right away, it’s a big sign that your offering won’t sell and you don’t have enough affinity with your community. If there is not (minimal) a small group of customers interested in what you offer, it is an absolute indicator that you did not plow your pumpkin patch properly. A series of “yes, I’m interested” points to success.

After testing the prediction stage a few times and keeping a detailed history of customer responses, you will be able to predict how many sales you will have. Really. For example, I know that if I sell a product that costs $ 100 or less, I will have a 39% rate. So if 500 people answer my prediction question with a strong yes , I know I will sell 195 units.

Using the insider’s strategy will change your life a lot and help you grow and grow. Why? Because when it’s predictable how many people are going to buy what you’re selling, you don’t have to build, create, order, or buy more than you need. No more stacked cardboard boxes with last year’s products. No more hours spent looking for ideas for a new type of service that no one is going to use. No more spending money you don’t have to build something no one really wants.

When people respond positively to your offer, they are assured from the start. So, as you move through the insider strategy process, most will stick with you and eventually buy whatever they said they wanted, as soon as it’s available. So now you have sales closed, with little or no money spent on promotion to get them.

And when customers step in to help you develop a new product or service and you give them the credit, they will be so committed to the result that they will promote your new offering, even without asking! This way you’ll have a street team spreading the word about your pitch. (And they will do it for free. Do you understand me? Free .)

Now that you have the wish list , add another line to the early prediction stage by asking your clients: “In response to your wish (or complaint, concern, frustration) I am working on x’s. It is at the height? Would you be interested?” Now you really have vested clients, because they inspired the idea. And let me tell you, inspiring someone else to innovate is irresistible to most people – it’s like crack! Except if you’re addicted to it, it won’t ruin your life. Small difference.

Are you already jumping with excitement? Does your mind race with the possibilities? Are you starting to see how this marketing method could help you earn the blue ribbon? Fantastic.

* Published courtesy of Penguin Random House Editorial Group.

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