If you listen to any marketing mentor they will rightly insist that to make the most money online you need to create your own products. You notice I said rightly that is because this is the correct thing to do but its also not the right way to approach your prospects.
Lets talk breakfast.
You and your prospects awake and the first thing you need to do is progress through your morning routine, if your life is in order and you have not slept-in then breakfast will be part of this routine.
Lets make some money and create a new breakfast cereal.
Okay so we got that done, cereal created and up for sale, brilliant.
Well this is where we come unstuck as the product is created and doing its thing but we are no closer to understanding our prospects as they never featured in our thoughts. When it came to creating our product, we simply copied an existing cereal and added a new feature.
This is why although creating products is the right thing to do…
First lets consider what is the point of breakfast cereal, what problem are we trying to solve?
We should aim to remove the morning hunger and leave our prospects feeling fulfilled until either lunch time or perhaps their first morning break. There are of course many ways to do this and yes we can simply copy an existing product and add a new feature but the difference this time is that we now have a solution development plan open to us.
Encourage customer feedback and let them create their perfect solution for you.
Now lets return to Internet Marketing and our products.
Over the last 12 months I have learned aspects of product development from Rich Schefren, Napoleon Hill, Paul Myers, Rob Cornish and many more. They all contributed to the creation of my project plan mind map but until recently I persisted with a mistake that set me up for failure.
The first step was the product, the prospects needs appeared several steps later, so I was intent on creating products and then finding a market that wanted them, big mistake but one that I made work if only in a limited fashion.
This of course is where the danger lies.
You and I are part of a species that is highly adaptable, this natural trait has allowed us to make the most of our opportunities and overcome many of the hurdles that stand in our way, even if these are ones that we created.
Yes my products are working, the lists are growing and sales are being made but it all feels like so much hard work, a good indication that all is not well in camp igor.
Thus I have revised my project mind map.
The steps are now in a far better sequence, finding problems; checking that there is competition for these prospects spending power, understand these prospects and how to engage with them. After all of this comes the product development steps but by this time, these prospects will have told me what to build; how to deliver it and best of all how to engage with them to listen out for new product features and benefits.
Okay this is all fine for new products but what about your existing ones?
Simple treat them as new ones.
Do your solution research and see how your product aligns with the desires of its prospects. If you cannot find a hungry market with active competitors it maybe time to kick this one into the long grass and put it down to experience.
This is what I am going to begin doing with all of my existing products, return to the market and test their desire, this will allow me to re-align them to their target prospects and open up new growth avenues for each of them.
If you do not believe in the wisdom of this approach then consider how the big companies operate.
We all know we should eat in the morning however far too many of us lead lives in chaos, poorly organised and with stress built into this chaos from the moment we open our eyes. These manufacturers were aware that far too many people skipped breakfast as they could not take all the required cereal paraphernalia on their daily commute, a solution was needed and an obvious solution was created.
Welcome the breakfast bar, a solution that combines all the ingredients of a breakfast cereal but comes in a delivery mechanism that can be consumed during the daily commute, perfect.
The next step is of course to listen the customer feedback, perhaps its too small, too sweet, too crumbly, too easily damaged in the pocket or handbag, all of these offer potential avenues to engage with specific customer lifestyle patterns and of course price these at a lifestyle premium.
Admitting defeat is never nice but better that than insisting you know what your prospects want when you have not even asked them!