The fourth P of Marketing is Product – and it is clearly one of the most important elements of your Online Marketing Strategy. Your product may be an actual item, or it may be a service. It is still referred to as your product, and the same marketing rules apply.
Your product was most likely what encouraged you to start your own business in the first place. You came up with an idea for something you believed people needed, and you wanted to sell it your own way. That’s how every great business starts.
Identify Your Niche
Take Richard Branson, for example: he started out selling records from a church. Warren Buffett sold chewing gum door to door as a child, and Bill Gates wrote his first computer program at 13 at school.
But however great your idea, you still need a strategy to sell it. You need to identify your niche, and your market, and convince customers to buy from you, not your competitors. It’s not as easy as it sounds!
The best way to do this, is by removing the emotion. To you, your product is amazing and unique and there’s nothing else like it. Of course it will sell! It’s your ‘baby’.
Remove The Emotion
Take a step back, and view your product as an outsider, a potential customer. What is good about your product? What needs further development? Is there really a market for it? How should you package it and price it?
Only when you look at your product with a critical eye, and remove the emotion, can you start to move forward. And that is why enlisting the help of an outside marketer is a good idea.
You need to isolate your product’s point-of-difference from your competitors’ product. There has to be something that would make people buy from you, not them. Is it quality? Price? Availability? Is it because you use eco-friendly packaging? Or because you manufacture your product locally, and provide jobs?
It could be that your product comes with the best warranty, or you offer superior customer service. These are all very valid points-of-difference.
Much of this comes down to research and development, something that should be built into your marketing strategy. The beauty of online marketing is that you have access to ‘live’ feedback on your product, enabling you to constantly evolve and improve.
Fit For Purpose
Competition is stiff out there, and consumers are more informed and more demanding than they have ever been. Price, quality and availability are key factors in their buying choices.
If you want your product to stand out, you must ensure that it is fit for purpose, good quality, safe to use, and does what the customer expects.