Yesterday I had lunch with one of my clients who is a publisher and sells both conventional print and online advertising space. One of the items we discussed was their companies sales and marketing approach and success of a new advertising product we've developed with them.
For the record it's going gang busters - she's achieved 2/3rds of her annual sales target in less than a month of selling - she's happy, her boss is stoked and the big UK boss who was out on a visit yesterday was also very impressed. Ahhh nothing better for a business than a happy customer!
Driving back to the office I gave this a bit more thought and one of the important elements to the rapid success was the existing relationships she, her company and products already has with her clients. One of the most important factors "trust" had already been established - her clients were already spending money with her (and her competitors) and the new service was innovative and captured her customer's attention. Her customers want to be first to market - the important WIIFM (What's In It For Me).
"I go in, present, if they are not interested or desensitised to the message they're not going to buy (straight away), I plant the seed, we move on. Interested customers are in straight away, they get it, price is not the major consideration - they want to innovate and create".
As most sales people know this is totally different scenario then selling a commodity product or service with the pressure to make the mass numbers. It's about moving beyond price and looking to inform and inspire your customers.
The example lends itself to some work I've been doing on Product Lifecycle Management; Business/ Innovation Diffusion Theory and Online marketing strategy development for the new CLIVE service we are providing.
A quick snapshot of some theory
With any new product you got through the initial introduction; growth; maturity and decline.
Business Diffusion and innovations theory
This is the customer product adoption curve and some ballpark distribution
* Innovators - venturesome, educated, multiple info sources; (2%) < we are here
* Early adopters - social leaders, popular, educated; (9%)
* Early majority - deliberate, many informal social contacts; (40%)
* Late majority - skeptical, traditional, lower socio-economic status; (40%)
* Laggards - neighbours and friends are main info sources, fear of debt. (9%)
Online Marketing Strategy
The new media marketing view of the world (as opposed to old mass media view) the focus is given on identifying and influencing the earliest product life cycle adopters - "the innovators" and giving them the product experience and tools to tell other customers.
Mass media is focused on the 80% of Early and Late Majority Adopters on the consumer product adoption curve.
So, the focus is on identifying innovative customers. The rest will roll from there.
The Four Types of Money
Back in the office I was speaking with a sales prospect from a local business seminar we sponsored last week - a local accountant I know and he talked about the four kinds of money
1. Your money being spent on you.
2. Your money and spent on someone else.
3. Someone else's money being spent on you.
4. Someone else's money being spent on someone else.
I began to wonder how this matrix can be applied to selling, particularly our services online advertising and strategic marketing targeting - from Participants to the Decensitised customers?
This leads into buying behaviour - we'll look at that a bit later.
The challenge for Business and Product Managers
Where does you product or service fit in the Product LifeCycle?
How do you increase sales?