5 Steps for Taking Your Product to Market
You've been through development and testing. You've conducted the focus groups and took a deep dive into market research. The packaging for your product is perfected, and al you have to do now is to sell it.
Unfortunately, easier said than done. Getting your message out—despite the revolutionary nature of your product—involves overcoming consumer doubts, beating the competition, and setting a price point that makes money for you without turning off potential buyers.
To that end, you need exceptional product knowledge, creativity, imagination, persistence, and a ton of energy. However, if you adhere to the following steps, you should see the results you're looking for. And don't worry. Whether you're a professional speaker, coach, entertainer, or advertising professional, the strategy is still the same.
Create a Marketing Plan
An excellent marketing plan is essential and serves as the blueprint for your business success. Begin by confirming that there is actually a market for your product. Start by doing your research online, and at your local library, or bookstore. There is a plethora of information and literature available to help you determine if there is a target audience for what you want to sell. You should also do a search on businesses similar to yours and (if possible) speak to individuals who operate those businesses.
Attending trade shows and joining your industry trade association is another way to conduct this research.
Next, write down your specific goals, objectives, and the desired outcome for your business. After you've done this, you're ready to create your marketing plan. Be sure to include your:
- Product description
- Target market
- Customer demographics
- Product Guarantee
- Promotion and Advertising Plans
- Profit Percentage
- Product and Liability Insurance
- Launch Budget
Set a Launch Date
What is the exact date your product goes on a shelf, in a rack, in front of an audience, or online?
Write it down.
Your launch date is considered your debut, or grand opening. It is the day your customers line up on the street or in cyberspace to be the first in line to buy your product. Figure out your launch date and then work backward to set a timeframe for everything else. Especially if it's a seasonal product, this is key.
Typically, a launch date is not less than six months in advance of product introduction but your launch date could be 18 months, for longer. Just be sure to leave enough time to conduct a strong marketing campaign. And, whatever date you come up with, factor in a few extra weeks for those unexpected snafus that always arise.
Be sure to factor in enough time to arrange radio, TV, digital, and print interviews to get your news out— and don't forget long lead time publications like industry newsletters.
Work With a Business Coach or Small Group
Everyone can benefit from the guidance and support of professionals. A business coach or a business support group can help you with any business concerns (such as the best payment system for your online product).
Support groups, on the other hand, can help hold you accountable to reach your daily goals and objectives. You can meet with people once a week, once a month, or once a quarter. It's up to you.
Take Action Every Day
I can't stress enough the importance of this step. You must do something every day that moves you closer to introducing your product.
In addition to hardcore tactics (like finding the right PR firm), make sure you're out there networking and establishing business relationships in your community. A good place to start is by joining your chamber of commerce.
Consider Starting Small and Then Sell, Sell, Sell
But not without a focused strategy.
Depending on your product and respective marketing plan, you may want to start out selling to individuals, then approaching small businesses. Once you get the kinks out and have a good sense of how big your potential market is, you can expand to include retail or wholesale operations. Business-to-business selling is often fundamental to the success of many products.
Frann Briggs is a professional speaker, renowned author businesswoman, and educator.