“This Product Sells Itself!” – We Don’t Think So…

You’ve heard it before “This product sells itself!” Yet, human history is full of great ideas and magnificent products that never actually made it big.

Products don’t sell themselves. Successful products sell due to effective marketing and sales efforts. For a product to be successful in the marketplace, many things must be done right, before and after the product is available for purchase.

Here are examples of what needs to be done correctly before the product is introduced:

  • Include features and components that satisfy real needs
  • Give the product a name and include a description that resonates with the target market
  • Design the packaging (whether tangible or intangible)
  • Price appropriately, relative to market conditions and desired positioning of the brand
  • Identify and secure the most likely to succeed channels to make the product available for purchase

When the product is available for sale, several other things must be in place – here are examples of those:

  • Promote the product, its features, and its benefits the way the target audience would be receptive to them
  • Promote the product where the target audience is likely to be receptive to your message
  • Ensure adequate inventory is available in the channels to satisfy demand
  • Educate the salespeople on the product and how it should be positioned
  • Monitor and offer corrective measures to salespeople’s efforts
  • Establish ways to collect customer feedback and provide customer service

Clearly, products don’t sell themselves. Products sell well because of a convergence of several variables and efforts. It is true that sometimes favorable results just “happen” not because of careful planning, but rather what some might call “luck”. Since we cannot count on luck, we highly recommend careful and judicious planning of all your marketing and sales efforts.

If you want a fresh perspective on your marketing with no obligations on your part, call us or write us with your biggest marketing or sales challenge – we will be happy to help!

Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer

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Five Signs You Are Ready to Outsource Your Marketing

By Polly Stroup, Editor and Copywriter 

It’s tempting to keep marketing in-house, after all who knows a product better than the ones who produce it? How difficult can it be? When push comes to shove, it’s not as easy as it seems. While technology has opened up many marketing avenues, it has also complicated the process.

Here are five signs you might want to outsource your marketing:

1. You’re doing it all
You’re multi-talented, wearing several hats for your growing business, including marketing. These days, marketing alone requires multiple hats. Being overwhelmed is not a good place to be – You are needed to run your business and do what you do best.

2. Need to control costs
The cost to hire, train, and retain a marketing team, not to mention the hefty benefits package often included, is pricey. Having an experienced and reliable outsourced team who has worked with many other companies in the past and has developed optimized practices, will most likely reduce that cost.

3. Skillset not available in-house
Marketing firms live and breathe marketing, consisting of a wide array of specialists, from graphic and web designers to copywriters and social media experts. They take pride in what they do and are on top of current tactics and trends. Through outsourcing, businesses gain access to teams that are on the cutting edge of marketing methodology.

4. Need for short ramp-up time
Outsourcing marketing provides for an instant “on” with immediate organizational and strategic impact. Having a professional and efficient marketing team seriously reduces the time involved in seeing results.

5. Short on fresh ideas
Outside specialists bring outside perspective, fresh insights, experience, and knowledge. They often work with a wide variety of businesses, developing successful across the board practices, and implementing transferable skills and problem-solving practices.

Building a Social Media Strategy

By Anna Kunz, Marketing Services Manager

Building the social media strategy for your organization is completely different than what you would do for your personal account. Since your livelihood and/or your organization’s success might be affected by your social media presence, you should plan your social media efforts like any other marketing effort.

1. Start with Objectives and Goals:
Determine what the purpose of your media presence should be. Is it to attract new customers, introduce new products, make customer service more readily available, build trust, become an industry leader, or is it something else? Remember, you may have more than one goal…

2. Choose the Right Social Media:
We live in an era of many options, and they change all the time. Identify the social media that is right for you, your organization, and where your target audience is most likely to be.

3. Budget:
Budget your time and cost. Do you have the time to post and monitor social media? Do you have the skill and aptitude to do it? Consider outsourcing your social media work – it might be a better solution for you.

4. Voice:
“Voice” in social media refers to your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional. By establishing your “voice” and creating connection, you can make your social media engaging. Below are some social media trends you should embrace when developing your strategy.

Here are Additional Important Considerations:

  • Images and video – Customers are interested in a wide variety of content formats but prefer content to be strongly visual. The standard video format is undoubtedly the most popular form of social media content. Other visual content on the rise are:
  • Live Stream – Going live has increased in popularity and allows businesses to create real-time interactions.
  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality – Features like Camera Effects Platform, and Facebook Spaces generate stimulating interactions by optimizing the use of Precise location, 3D effects, Object recognition.
  • GIFs – shorter videos get more complete views which makes GIFs an increasingly valuable form of content.
  • 360 Photos/Videos – 360-degree cameras have provided brands with tools to tell stories from new perspectives
    Hashtags – Research any trending hashtags you plan to use before you tweet or post. Make sure you use them correctly and that they are relevant to your marketing strategy. Hashtag holidays for example, should be an extension of the content that is already being produced. Over use of the holiday hashtags could hurt your marketing efforts.
  • Promotions – Give your audience a reason to follow you by providing exclusive discounts, contests, or anything to make your followers feel special and drive them to share your content and increase your reach.
  • Reviews – Plan for bad reviews, it’s inevitable. This is often an opportunity to visibly relieve negative situations that need attention and respectfully address the users concerns. You can publicly respond by giving customers a number or email where they can reach you directly and then take the conversation offline. Today, what makes you stand out is your ability to listen and connect on a human level.
  • Scheduling Posts – While tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can be extremely convenient and effective, make sure you are still in the driver’s seat. Verify your content is actually being posted on time. Cancel or postpone all posts following a crisis until a respectable time period has passed.

New technologies will continue to create more imaginative opportunities for brands to reach their customers and increase engagements. Integrating these innovations into your marketing strategy may seem flawless, but they will always require marketers to jump at the opportunities in order to stay ahead of the competition. This integration will involve some experimentation to test how the elements work for your type of business.

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