Starting off a new year is a good occasion to check over your products and services and make sure you have enough people to sell them to, and a sound strategy to do it !
( Don’t miss the product description cheat-sheet at the end of this post. )
I wrote a post at the end of 2015 covering 3 steps to plan out 2016. These product tips will help with Step (2) – looking at the current situation.
So first off …
Do you still have a market ?
When you look at your businesses current situation, you need to stay alert for a couple of things that can happen …
- Sometimes your main customer base can decrease or even cease to exist !
For example: Here in the Australian Hunter Valley, the mining industry has been hit hard ( the subject for a rant in itself ) and of course the follow-on is that a lot of the small engineering firms and mine-supporting businesses have lost their customer base.
If they want to stay in the same business, then their options are either to find another market that needs their product as-is or as a modified version to suite.
- The needs of your customers can change.
How to look for other areas that may need your product.
One place to get ideas is Google’s Display Planner, which along with the Keyword Planner, is provided in Adwords accounts ( if you don’t have one, it’s free with no credit card needed to start and you can get one from adwords.google.com ).
- In the Tools drop-down menu of the top navigation bar Click on Display Planner.
- Expand Find new targeting ideas > Search for new targeting ideas …
- In Get new ad group ideas, type in the most obvious term that describes your product or service.
- Also enter a website page address that describes the product, if you have one.
- Click the right button – Get placement ideas or the other button is fine too.
- In both the Ad group and Individual targeting ideas tabs, have a look at Interests and Topics to find who else may be interested in your products.
Here’s a screenshot of what came up for gardening and landscaping and a nursery website.
There‘s also more demographic information that can be used when you run an ad on Google or anywhere else. This is the link for Display Planner help … https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3056115
If a good number of people are writing about a subject ( particularly if they’re paying to get a magazine or book printed ) that’s a good indicator that there’s a large crowd willing to spend money on the products.
Have a look in the following places and see what related products are most popular and have the most interest.
- The Dummies books website.
- And look on the printed magazine stands in newsagents too.
If you’ve found a new area to promote your product or service into, or a modified version of your product that can be promoted you next need to communicate it …
How do you describe your product ?
Sometimes you can find that another market segment exists that could use your product, but it just needs to be described differently.
For example: if tent pegs are no longer selling well to campers, you may find that gardeners are looking for ways to hold their protective netting to the ground. Describing the tent-pegs to suit this need may get you a new customer base.
Here’s a rules-of-thumb cheat-sheet that you can download for free to help you get the message right.