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“The best marketing decision you can make is to have a product or business that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real and defined group of people — no matter how much tweaking and refining this takes.” — Ryan Holiday
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Let’s assume that, by now, your idea has grown and your product kicks ass, so now it’s time to go out and tell people about it… but how?
There is no one right way, but the earlier you figure out the best way to reach your target customers, the stronger your business will become. As I’ve written here many times before, the most important first step in the customer development process is to “get out of the building” and talk to your customers.
Ask them questions. Understand their needs. Build a product that solves their problems. Complete these activities, and your marketing strategy just became much easier to implement.
Essentially, customer development is synonymous with planning your marketing strategy. By understanding your target customers so thoroughly, you’ll be able to speak to them convincingly about their own problems and the best way to solve them (i.e., your product). After you’ve spoken with hundreds of your customers face-to-face, developing a compelling, cohesive marketing strategy will be a walk in the park.
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Besides directly asking your customers, here are 3 additional strategies to support your strategic planning efforts:
Find out what your competitors do today. Do they sell via retail? Direct to consumer via their website? Do they drive across the country and give sales meetings? Try your best to learn exactly what they do and how they do it.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers:
- Where do you usually buy products like this?
- How do you hear about products like this?
- What might entice you to buy? Buy again?
- What might entice you to tell your friends?
Others have gone before you with a similar product and have paved the way to your customers. It is in your best interest to go down that path with them.
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Social Media is Your Friend
People who follow you on Facebook, Twitter, etc. want to hear about your product and everything you’re doing. Ahem — that’s why they follow you! So use this as a way to educate them on your product and encourage them to buy.
Fill your feed with cutting-edge industry news, inspiring stories, upcoming events, unique viewpoints, and little tips and takeaways. Keep it fresh and interesting! Above all, keep them engaged. You’ll be able to turn followers into customers if you’re active and helpful enough.
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Ask Your Network for Help
The best way to tell the world about your new idea is to first tell the people you know. Send them a message; introduce your idea and the mission behind your work; list off two ways they can help you out if they want to support.
If anyone demonstrates more interest than others, make sure to chat with them further. See if they’re connected with anyone who could be of help in implementing your marketing strategy (or in any aspect of your business, for that matter).
In the end, you need to promote your idea exactly how your customers expect to discover, learn more about, and purchase your product. It’s as simple as that.
So go! Get out of the building and talk to your customers.
- How do I make my customers aware of my product?
- Where do I sell my product?
- Where do they prefer to buy products of this type?
- Which method works the best, or is the most cost-efficient?
Grow Your Idea helps first-time entrepreneurs talk to and understand their customers, establish their business model, and plan their growth strategy. Our mission is to empower anyone with a great idea to take action on their big idea.
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