Marketing strategists give their best to take their company on top and increase sales yet most of them fail at marketing. They spend hours and hours doing market research, getting feedbacks from people about the product, finding the niche they want to target and then getting the idea verified by those people on will they be interested in using the service or buying the product. Well, that’s how the startup industry or any company work isn’t it?
You did everything right still you’ll fail at marketing
We all know about lean startup right? The methodology behind it, for finding the best consumer and what will give the best results.
But we ignore one major thing when we do market research or verify idea. I will try to explain it by giving an example.
Example 1: Person X founded a startup where he will repair your bike/car headlight, tail light, side mirror directly at your home. And then person X goes to do market research.
In Lean startup checker box he found 8 out of 10 people were really excited about it. Happy person X start building his company put up his money to make a website, an app but when he started to market it he didn’t get a number of orders he expected. Most of the people who earlier said yes have not used the service. And he is not able to understand the reason why. He did everything right even followed lean startup but still why did he fail at marketing.
The Reason: The reason he failed because he didn’t think of something which was crucial in this service. When a person is sitting inside his home, watching TV and spending time with his family, he doesn’t remember that his car’s or bike side mirror broke or his tail light is not working.
He remembers it when in the morning he have to drive to his office and is in a hurry. So will he have time to call that person X, or he can just drive to the local repair shop which is at 5-10 min distance from home and get it fixed there and then go to his office.
When providing a service, add an extra box on the checker list that when the people are actually going to remember your service and can you be fast enough to provide it in time.
Example 2: So, now PersonX realizes the problem which was there and he thought what if I provide a service where I can fix the car or bike when it is moving. (Wouldn’t it be awesome?) He again did the market research, people, again was excited about it, fix my car when I’m driving. Awesome, we will surely opt it.
So PersonX worked hard, developing a technology which made this possible. But in the process, he spent a lot on the product. The cost got higher, well you’re getting your car/bike repaired while traveling. That’s something innovative. So in initial phases he started to get orders, he was happy but then after some time the order rate fell.
He again searched for the reason. Why did the growth suddenly stopped? He couldn’t understand the reason. People were paying him early on, the product is innovative, like none other.
I want to see the crops,I want to see the crops, I want to see the crops said little johny. On the drive excited johny pointed out to the crops to his mommy and daddy for 10-20 min. Then he became quite. He got used to it. It was not exciting anymore. Well, it was boring. Nothing other than green on side of the roads.
When people get used to the innovation your awesome product becomes normal and if you don’t get the price cheaper no matter how good you’re you’ll fail at marketing.
The person X realized it, and he thought he can go for investment and use investor’s money to give discounts so the price goes down and people start getting addicted to the service. So that after some time he will be ready to pay more.
Example 3: So, now person X, has got the investment. But his product is in the market for a long time now. Innovators have an eye on it for a long time and have developed their own tech to compete with that.
The advantage which person X had over the market just went down, sure he have the head start but he have not reached the whole country yet. The market is stolen by upcoming startups.
All the market strategy went down the gutter, every strategy needs a fresh start now. The product has become normal, some of the other startups also got funding. He doesn’t have investor advantage too.
So, what are the options available now, what are the marketing strategies he can follow, what is the scope of development, how much money will go in marketing, where will the money come from.
Should he burn the investor money on advertising with TV ads, big billboards on the side of the road or should he focus on quality service of the existing customers? There’s not enough money. So he goes for next stage investment but now his company is not his own.
But he didn’t care, he spent a lot of money on ads, but so did the others. The market has become saturated. Everybody already knows the companies, they have become loyal to them. Even if you give a free service a loyal customer always rolls back to the company they love.
The infinite cycle keeps on going. But obviously, the person X gained from it. Didn’t he? Millions in equity, but is he satisfied?
So the conclusion from all this, why you’ll fail at marketing. Did you get the answer?
The three rules for marketing which will ensure you don’t fail at marketing.
Marketing is not like old days, where you make a product or service, spend money on ads and the consumer comes running to you. Now, whatever the consumer wants, he already have it. Even if you make something damn innovative, it will become mainstream after few months. You will become normal.
Marketing needs to go viral that you need not do any marketing and it does itself. It needs product development. If your product doesn’t market itself, please run from it. You will not survive for long or you will not be satisfied in the end.
Marketing needs to be done only for early adopters. Because in Moore curve, we all get excited for the big peak in between. But we need to understand that our target is the early adopters because only they are willing to listen and this is your niche related consumer who is in need of the product. And they will be the one who will market your product further.
The market has changed and it’s the time we change our strategies as well. We don’t want to fail at marketing. Doesn’t it?
I highly recommend you read “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. It’s an awesome book. You’ll love it.
PS: For some of you, maybe the person X achievement will look pretty good, well it’s millions of dollars, why wouldn’t it? Still do keep in mind the three rules for marketing.
Because, Marketing is too important to be left behind for the marketing department.
Hope you got something, tell me how could I have made the article better. I am in my learning phase. All comments are heartily welcome.