Q: I have a product that appeals to everyone, but my sales are slow. I need to know how to go about marketing. What would you suggest?
A: Let’s back up… right to the part where you say your product appeals to everyone. Is that really true? “Yes,” I can hear you proclaiming adamantly while shaking your head vigorously.
Ok. Would my brother want it? How about my grandma?
I have a feeling you just said no to both questions. No matter how hard you try, everyone is not your customer. In fact, you don’t want everyone to be your customer. You want the people who want you back, just like every good relationship. And that is probably your problem. Sales are slow because you think that everyone is your customer.
So to answer your question: don’t do any marketing yet. Figure out who wants what you’ve got and then go do some marketing (aka convert some people into customers).
See the problem is that if you try to go after everyone, you will exhaust yourself. If I had any experience fishing, I might use an analogy of the right bait for the right fish, but I don’t know, and well, you get the general idea. Instead, let me tell you the story about one of my clients. I will blur some details so she isn’t recognizable.
Missy makes a body product. She knows that men aren’t really her customers, but she thinks that, of course, her body product appeals to a wide variety of women: all ages, races, backgrounds. When she starts thinking about messages to write that will hook her potential customers, she gets overwhelmed. She doesn’t know what to start saying about her product. Because she thinks she is writing to everyone.
Rather than appeal to every woman over age 16, Missy can take one of two strategies: 1) she can think about who has historically been her best customers or 2) she can think about who she really wants to appeal to (probably if she hasn’t had many sales; or truly doesn’t have any data; or wants to switch to a different customer segment).
Think about their similar motivations for buying your product. Think about what is similar about their lives. Think about similar ways in which they receive information.
Then, you tailor your messages to how your product uniquely fulfills what they need or what they want. You put your message in the places they get information. And you be consistent about it. Sales over time are rarely represented in straight lines — they are represented in curves — which basically mean this: sales start slow but as you gain momentum, they ramp up more quickly. So when you are enacting an effective marketing plan, you keep going even when things seem slow. If you are seeing no movement, it is probably time to re-visit the needs/wants of your target customer and where you think they are going for information.