Businesses, especially startups spend a lot of time and money marketing their product. But most of them still don't make as much as expected. A lot of factors need to be considered before making a purchase, which means that there are several reasons why your product is not making waves or profit.
To get the sale you desire, it is important to consider the following:
“They spend too much on marketing, and don't earn enough from that marketing campaign to cover the cost of marketing.”- Mark Essien,CEO Hotels.ng
Often times, consumers shy away from new products that they are unaware of. If you are marketing and sales are not being made, it may be time to evaluate your marketing strategy and why it's not working. Check if you are targeting the right market with your message. This is not about spending so much money on marketing but making sure you are sending the right message to the right people. “more marketing”, because the problem may lie with where you are marketing at, and what marketing channels you are using.
'More/aggressive marketing' may not be the solution, because the problem may be the marketing location or the channels used.
The benefits of your product are not compelling enough
“We never had to do any marketing when we launched. That’s one thing most developers need to understand the fundamentals of business. It is not about impressing people. it’s not about creating the most impressive or, should I say, the most morally justified application. No, it’s about the demand and opportunity; finding a niche where the benefits of your product are compelling enough. That’s the most important thing because if nobody is going to download your stuff, you might as well not do it.”- Abiola Olaniran, CEO Gamsole
The price of a product is not usually the only factor a consumer consider. The benefit of your products and services overrides the amount paid. If you asked your customers what the benefits of your product are, would they really know? This is important. Your entire marketing strategy should be built on the value your product offer. Come up with at least three benefits of your product and use those in your compelling story for your brand.
Your branding is bad
Typically, a company's brand reflects its characteristics and the quality of its products. The branding should distinguish your company from its competitors. However, several people fall into the trap of designing their brand to look just like their competitors. They think, "after all, it’s working for them it ought to work for us too." Wrong!
When it comes to branding, don’t try to fit in and don't be bland in an attempt to be outstanding. Your brand is your company’s face, reputation, and identity. It's like a first impression; make it count.
Suggested Read: The Comprehensive Guide to Designing your Company Logo
Consumers don't see how your product meets their needs
“Find out if the product is actually saving people time or money. If not, then sell something else" - Mark Essien,CEO Hotels.ng
Every business needs a reason for their customers to buy from them and not their competitors. This is called a Unique Sales Proposition (USP). How is your product meeting the needs of the customers? Is it in any way affecting the lives of those using your product or service? What need does your product or service satisfy? Your product has to communicate these to the consumers clearly, without any guesswork or assumptions.
How good is your distribution channel?
“I don’t know any tech company in Nigeria that has grown at even 1% the rate which Shoprite has grown. Shoprite is a bit ambitious; I would even say, Spar. I would even make it worse and say Goodies, which has only 2 or 3 outlets. But I guarantee you their rate of sales and turnover is drastically higher than any tech company in Nigeria. That’s not doom and gloom for tech companies. It just means that there’s still a long way to go. For now, we still have to do a marry of offline and online.” - Lanre Akinlagun, founder, Drinks.ng
Consumers cannot buy what is not accessible to them. If they hear about your product but it is not accessible, then what is the point? In this day and age, consumers desire a stress-free delivery chain and an excellent user experience. How can you make your product meet these standards? What distribution channel do you intend to use? Will it be better for your business to be online or offline or a combination of both? Evaluate the accessibility of your product and see if you need to make changes.
It is advisable to pace the growth of your business.
According to Debola Williams, the Co-founder of Red Media, patience is key.
“The progression is from hard work to talent before achievement. You don’t jump from talent to achievement; you have to put in the work. The Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of this world went through this same process. You don’t earn it if you don’t learn it. So I encourage small scale businesses to be patient and allow themselves to grow so they don’t end up as a half-baked in whatever it is that they are creating.”