Let’s assume you have a new idea and want to launch it. What is the main challenge you face?

Often entrepreneurs think that their most immediate problem is one of “marketing communications” – i.e. how to tell people about the new product. They think that if they can achieve product awareness, they will achieve product success. However, at this early stage marketing communications is not the answer because the real challenge is not awareness, but relevance!

Establish relevance, before awareness:

  • Do your customers like what you offer?
  • Do they need it?
  • Does it solve a problem they have?
  • Is it priced, right?
  • Is it packaged appropriately?

These are the questions you need to answer before you invest in marketing communications.

No doubt, market communications through your website and social media will eventually tell you how people feel about your offering. They’ll either react to your advertising, or not. It is a slow, expensive way to judge market sentiment. It is much more efficient to simply go and talk to a selection of potential customers and ask them what they think.

Your most immediate challenge when launching a new idea is not to start the marketing, but to start the research.

Too many business owners waste money on premature marketing communications. When I consult to clients, I deliberately pull up the handbrake on marketing activity. Let’s first take a step back and start at the beginning…

Most entrepreneurs are reluctant to spend money on marketing, yet they feel they have to otherwise no-one will know about their offering. It is a catch 22 situation. The way out of this conundrum is through a deliberate program of customer visits to gain more insight and greater confidence into the commercial potential of your idea, thus automatically freeing you up to spend more on marketing!

Next time you are considering starting with marketing communications, rather don’t. Step 1 is not “marketing” but research!