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product marketing

10 questions to ask to avoid undermining your product marketing activities

Recently, I was in the market for a new mobile phone because mine had been stolen. Working through my provider’s website, I was somewhat irritated because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for at a price I was willing to pay. I ended up stopping by the store, just to see what phones they might have in stock, just in case.

When I arrived at the store, I was approached by a sales person, who listened to my needs and concerns before beginning to make recommendations. “For informational purposes” he showed me several of the latest and greatest items so that I could begin to benchmark capabilities.

Interestingly, I learned that most people in the store had a phone that I’d seen several times and glossed over because it hadn’t been marketed nearly as much or as well as some of the other brands. I learned, however, that the device is actually faster and runs better than devices costing twice as much and 80% of the people employed at the store used that phone.

That speaks volumes. However, I was skeptical. It simply didn’t make sense. Regardless, I purchased, it after being assured that if I didn’t like it, I could exchange it. It hasn’t left my side, since.

Thinking about this, I realized, as you probably have experienced, as well, that there was a misalignment between the product and the promotion for the product, which essentially undermined the company’s sales of the product. Which seems crazy.

It would seem as though a product as great as this one is deserves more attention. A lot more attention. It seems as though if the company had told the world that “the next big thing is already here” or that “Loving it is easy” instead of “the new phone”, it might have been greeted with greater trust and me, the consumer, would have had more confidence in purchasing it.

Oy vey.

As small business owners, you have great products and services that you are bringing to the marketplace. Whether the offering is education, an experience, creative services or building something, consumers of your offerings cannot do so if they don’t know you exist, don’t understand what you are offering or have know way of determining if they can trust what you say or not. Since you intend to stay in business – and probably grow the business, evaluating the alignment between your messaging and positioning and your product is essential.

Here are s a few questions you may wish to use to evaluate your offerings to see if you are undermining them:

  • Does your messaging accurately describe your product with a choice of words that creates an expectation for your audience?
  • Is your pricing aligned the value your consumers would expect for the price? Undercharging grossly undervalues your offering; overcharging builds distrust.
  • Are you seeking to add to your customer’s trust account with each interaction, even before they sign?
  • Are you giving your target audience enough information to be able to tell the difference between what your company offers and what your competitors offer?
  • Are you providing consistency with your offering so if they come back a second or third time, or recommend your services, there will be no surprises?
  • Are you checking in with your clients to get feedback how things are going?
  • Are you making adjustments to your offering based on what they are telling you?
  • Are you customizing your offering to fit their needs, or customizing them to fit your offering?
  • Are you giving them a complete solution that will address their needs, or giving them a “band-aid” to temporarily address a much bigger challenge?
  • Are you constantly building your audience’s trust account so that when they are ready to buy, you are the provider of choice?

Most business owners want to build and extraordinary business – one that well organized, stands out in the marketplace, produces innovative offerings, has a good reputation in the community and allows them to consider themselves as successful. Your business is built around your product.  Therefore, don’t undermine them. Think in terms of giving your product and your company the best opportunity to be successful.  Give that audience a clear, compelling understanding and belief about what you are offering and why you are the ideal vendor of that product, build trust in your company, and follow through with it.

Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni Business Consulting is an Operations & Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated helping business leaders DESIGN | CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. For nine years, we have helped our clients create and pursue extraordinary visions for their companies, by leveraging what they already do and strengthening their marketing & sales, product delivery, productivity and financial management.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you are seeking to take your business to the next level, we would love to meet with you to discuss your plans.  Please join us for a Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.

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