We all know that in order to be successful, an entrepreneur must create serviceable products. Of all the workable innovations invented, what determines which ones actually sell? Why do some practical proposals find a willing audience, while others disappear into oblivion? One answer, of course, concerns the marketing strategy.
A quote attributed to Samuel Butler states that “any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.” Although we could argue that fools are unlikely to generate practical inventions, even if they did, they would still have to market them strategically. This would involve two primary actions: locating the existing ideal demographics and creating more.
Finding What Is Already There
Wise entrepreneurs recognize that no matter how brilliant an idea, not everybody wants or needs every good product. Marketing well includes saving valuable time and resources by avoiding marketing to disinterested patrons.
In his Forbes article “Steps to Identify Your Target Market,” the first piece of advice contributor Chuck Cohn gives is to “sharpen your focus.” This simply entails narrowing your gaze to the set of potential buyers most likely to respond positively to your idea. This may seem obvious, and an eager entrepreneur may overestimate the size and scope of the ideal demographic. So, how can you best determine who will want what you are selling? You must step into as many other sets of shoes as possible.
Entrepreneurs often formulate creative solutions to problems they themselves face. While they are likely to find others who have experienced a similar dilemma, other people will have their own different sets of circumstances that must be taken into consideration. See your product from the perspective of a wide variety of buyers. Examine and informally question your own network, then research data more formally and see how many people have your target needs and buying power.
Creating a New Audience
Instead of being discouraged by the possibly small pool of buyers who need exactly the same thing at the same price point, have some fun tailoring your idea to different demographics and making them yours. If you find that your ingenious product addresses an issue that is relatively rare, consider how you might retool it to solve a more common problem.
Likewise, if your innovation cures a common ailment but costs more than the typical buyer has to spend, examine the ways you could eliminate the frills and the accompanying cost. People often forget that Henry Ford did not invent the automobile; rather, he made it affordable to a wider group of buyers.
As an entrepreneur, you invent a product AND also the means of getting it out there. The creativity that gave you your original idea will also enable you to market it to the largest group possible.