Saturday, March 26, 2016

Launching a new product: more than 50 questions to ask!

Launching a new product: more than 50 questions to ask!

Often I have requests from customers who want to launch a new product and establish a marketing plan to market their software, their startups. But before defining its an action plan, it is important to know the type of prospects to whom you are addressing. Your "typical customer" will result outline the marketing plan.

Questions to ask about his prospects before launching!
Above all, think about the customer, not the product. It is the most common mistake! But we do not sell a product, it makes you want to customers reason to buy (see the article on the 4C).

Here is a series of important questions to clarify your project:

-What is the problem you solve? How do you know the needs of your target? How this problem is solved now badly? What are the benefits you bring? *Your product is it a "vitamin" (ie a little more to feel better) or dopliprane to relieve a headache (ie you would be willing to make kilometer to get one! ).

-How this problem is Urgent & Important and if not how to encourage impulse buying via an emotion, or for pushing you to leave contact information to sell a paid product later?

-What does your typical customer? Who in your overall target will get the most benefits of using your product?

-How big is your market (how many already equipped by you and the competitors, not equipped, potential consumers)?

What would motivate them most to buy? What are the elements on which they place the most importance?

-What they like / not like with existing products?

-How will you put emotion into your products and services? Would you tell a story? What influences them in their purchasing act?

-Why the current market products are not suitable? What you bring radically new?

-Who are the current competitors (direct and indirect), and what are their proposals?

-What is your primary target? Who is most willing to pay for your products and services?

-What you be so unique that a prospect will say  immediately yes to your offer?

-Is a 7 year old child or your parents can understand your offering?

-Is my target can afford my product? Do I get to make this priority purchase?

-How can I join? How are they to buy their other products of the same type?

-Did I ask an expert, a prospect to tell me about this?

-Is your target is regional, national or international? Is it that you can easily expand your physical or virtual trading area?

-What is your margin for a sale (to know which marketing efforts you can implement)?

-What are the main obstacles to buying your product?

-What prevents your prospects to sleep, what are they afraid, what frustrates now?

-How will you earn your money? What will be the marketing methods and the principal duties?

-What are the "whaouuu" functions you'll come out and that will make a difference?

-What is your market size? How many products you hope to sell at first, and then in the first year?How many months have you cash advance?

-Have you ever faced your idea to an expert, a prospect...?

Note: to stimulate your creativity, and then give him some order, I recommend using a mind map (mind mapping) to give a visual dimension to your thoughts. You have a list and use Mind Mapping principles on it.

The 2 main types of prospects!
To simplify, depending on your market, your product, there are 2 types of prospects to target:

  • A defined target small target and clearly identifiable

For example you sell a BI application, and your customer are CIOs of large companies in the industry a good starting point is to identify how much you have of businesses concerned, what percentage of prospects are not yet equipped with tools (or you think fit), and you get the size of your market. If this number is very small, and you are in B2B, you can identify the decision maker on Linkedin and Viadeo, and then contact them.

In this context your challenge is to identify by name the target, and contact them qualitatively (because you have a small number of targets and can give you the means to do precise work on this target). It is essential to set up a technical survey and making contacts that is "scalable", ie that to reach 10 times more leads, it will not cost you 10 times more expensive.

For example if you are selling solutions to large French eCommerce sites, you can very well call them one by one on the phone, chained appointments physical. But it will take considerable time. In this context alternative strategies can be paid, as being on an eCommerce salon, be present in the Internet Manager Club / Adetem / 

  • A generic and large target, not easily identifiable and contactable (eg ski lovers, fans of gothic music)

In this context, companies may choose to implement content marketing strategies such as Sparklane which is the production of content for target and by partnering with marketing experts recognized in France. They are also strategies of "notoriety" more or less segmented into areas of interest.

For example more startups are using Facebook Ads, Youtube to launch their funding on Kickstarter. Of course, this distinction remains a caricature, but it can already make a first selection of the actions. It was therefore one side a well-defined target you can try to contact people and bring them value (often B2B) on the other there is a large and heterogeneous target that is not clearly defined and on which you will use audience and mass advertising intersections (often B2C).

Explore a defined and identifiable target
The first type of prospects is the basis of clearly defined prospects in number and kind.
Most often these are companies in the B2B, ie when one is aimed at professionals. For example when you sell hardware or software to hospitals, you know how many hospitals in France and therefore the size of your target. The goal is to identify the target, for the attention of this target and go touch it. There are several ways to contact the target:

  • Contact information for key contacts to call them by phone, for this you can rent a contacts file from the file lessors. If you also internally a contacts file, you can use a telemarketing company to qualify files of a few hundred contacts. The goal is to detect contacts interested in your offer. Example: To obtain the coordinates of all the plumbers to Paris.


  • Attend events where you can be contacted in a maximum 1 once. By participating in a living room, a union meeting, you have the opportunity to contact a maximum of prospects. Example: CAPEB attend expo to meet with the union craftsmen building.


  • Do targeted advertising on this particular population. For example advertising on Facebook Ads as profiles (eg commercial director).


  • Using Social Media to identify prospects B2B. You can use LinkedIn and Viadeo to identify by name makers in companies. For example, if you work with hospitals, you can find LinkedIn and Viadeo administrative officials and you call them on the phone, or send them an email in order to achieve a sale or an appointment.

Prospecting an unidentified target
In this second category often found B2C, as it is for a significant number of individuals that are not easily able to identify by name and individually. Indeed there is no easy access file containing those income> € 100,000, people who have diabetes problems. This is a target that can be very important in quantity (in thousands hundreds of thousands of contacts), very heterogeneous, which does not have a public census. For example, if you are talking to all SMEs, football fans, there's no name file.

You can not have a clearly defined and individualized list of people, so you need to use marketing tools based on the interests, needs to reach this population. To help you in this process, you can study for your customers to find out what their buying journey, who their influencers, in which distributors they shop. You can also use the Mass Media that can reach as many people who are in the target.

Mass Media These are:
The television
The radio
Newspaper & magazine

This visibility can be achieved by paying (eg sponsoring a TV show, doing TV spot), or through press relations. Then, there intersections audience that visits your target. A crossroads of hearing, it is simply a place where those prospects are, and where you can touch them.

The best known web
1. Google, where people go to search for information when they have a problem
2. Facebook with over billion.
3. Youtube video with the audience.

It will either make a generic advertising, or advertising use targeting tools.

For example with Facebook Ads you can target Curling fans in France, targeting the scene, location and those who are fans of the World Federation of Curling:

Google Adwords is a keyword targeting to the search engine, or via the display network (Adsense) on blogs, forums, news sites.

These audience intersections can be segmented:

YouTubers
Blogs trades
Forums
Facebook Groups

You can also use more generic promotion tools:

Rental bases of emails
Advertisements on blogs
Affiliate
Etc

In this context, your goal will not sell directly but, to attract a maximum of prospects via a White Paper, a buying guide, then convert them into customers.is to offer an irresistible offer (eg coupon on a great brand, innovative product)

An alternative is to be present in shopping places frequented by potential prospects.
It can be physical retailers like supermarkets (Auchan, Carrefour) or specialized distribution (eg Metro, Nature and Discovery, FNAC). The aim will be to draw attention and create emotion with a POS or highlighting products.

However careful to calculate the return on investment: eg how many visitors of the mall will see your product, and how many will buy and what is the cost of SEO and visibility. For example there a few years ago, a software company made reference application Surcouf (then one of the first major software specialist stores), or even the locomotive selling software not marketed a product of ten a week which was very far from profitable referral fees and the commercial that made the animation of sales. And it was even more expensive when referencing offer at Metro (stock products being linear).

It remains only to offer an irresistible offer!
In fact you have two options:

The first is that the person wants to buy the product, and in this case it is relatively easy because you just have to convince her with an offer "irresistible".

So you have to offer, with a problem to solve or an immediate benefit, a purchase emergency and a call for strong action. To this we must reduce barriers to purchase, put the emergency, simplifying the order, highlight the benefits:

The second is when the person is not buying process. In this case, you can convince several ways. 

-The emotional lever prize: a coupon or an irresistible bundle or a quality / price ratio that reduces totally afraid to buy an unknown product.

-The loss leader / Special offer / designed to test the offer.

-The free version, the sample

Your goal is not necessarily to sell this product to appeal but also complementary products with more added value by offering a coupon or a bundle for a second order.

Another option is to go through prescribers in contact with your target this. Knowing that there are different levels of influence in the prescription of a product. The goal is to be recognized and to propose in line with the profession of prescribers first level (eg accountants who advocate the management software for their clients).

As a complement or alternative to the prescription, you can set up an affiliate program, sponsorship, or recommendation of loyalty with your customers. Another possibility is to have an exceptional product. In fact an exceptional product allows you to enjoy a good word of mouth, and become a "must". It is much more difficult, but it is also a possible strategy (but not sufficient) to market a product.

There are few products that fit this description. That's what people like DropBox, StarBucks they try to cram in the product and in customer satisfaction, giving him the means to talk about him. But we must get to a level where the product is so unique that the customer influencers will promote it around. For this, we must of course identify the fans and give them the means to communicate. It is this aspect that is seen in the " Cow Purple " by Seth Godin (see this article ), with a product "remarkable"

8 questions to ask your first customers
Once you have your first customers, check your assumptions are in line with who your customers are. For this you can make a qualitative study on your first customers. This will certainly not objective (if you have 10 customers this can be strongly biased), however it can enlighten you on the purchase motivations and actions.

  • Where did you hear about us (eg Google, Linkedin)?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Besides our product, you had selected another product?
  • What made you decide as to book with us? ! What were the keys to your decision?
  • How did you manage to buy this product, is that you can explain in outline your buying process?What are the obstacles that could make you give up to buy the product from us?
  • What he was fine before buying, when you purchase and after purchase? And what should we improve?
  • Would you be willing to recommend our product to a colleague or friend (with our 1 through 10)?

Conclusion
Before investing in marketing actions, integrating a distribution network, it is necessary to think about the different ways to reach their customers and prospects. Indeed to achieve a target, it is possible to use different strategies to you to find the most suitable for your products, your resources and your ambitions. Thanks!

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