How to solve the Challenges of a Single Target Market -2

B2B, Marketing, niche, single target market, Testing

Continuing from yesterday’s post , you have identified what you think is a good Market to enter. Now if you have been working in the overall market with your offerings and you chose the Single Target Market based on that knowledge, then you have a good place to start.

But if you’re coming out with a new product or service and you don’t have knowledge and you have chosen the market based on “armchair ” thinking, then you can be in for a big shock if you deploy all your resources for this.

In these situations, especially in the case of B2B where there are too many moving parts, you need to be testing with limited investments.

Its happened multiple times with me, that the market-product match which I had thought of, for my single target market, didn’t materialize or it took a much longer time to materialize .

These things happen because while you may have observed a niche in the market there’s no “market” in the niche. And this could happen, as an example, because that there’s already a solution to the problem which you are solving and its much easier to use / lower cost or any other reason.

You can only figure these things out if you’re testing. After feedback from each test you tweak a little and test again, till you start getting a response. That becomes your base from which you start.

This testing need to be on the product itself, it could be on the market, it could be on the people that you’re targeting in the company. After testing you may realise that the solution does not have a significance for the specified problem, but when re-purposed, it can be a best seller.

The faster you can do the iterations, the quicker you’re to pick up the market.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Testing for marketing messaging

B2B, messaging, Testing

Everyone is given the motivational talk about Edison and that he failed to 9000 times before he was successful with the light bulb. While you cannot take away the fact that he was a master inventor, he also utilized the principles of mass testing. He tested vigorously and kept learning from each test….so they were iterations not failures.

When a company says that the electric motor they manufacture has an average life of 3000 hours, they would not test each motor for 3000 hours. They would typically create a sample and then keep the sample on for 3000 motor-hours. If no motor fails then 3000 hours is a safe figure to commit. By continuously testing samples over a long period of time you will be able to come to a figure which is then extremely reliable.

What Edison did was employ multiple people for testing different filament options at a mass level on the electric bulb. So even though there were more than 9000 failures, these failures were not all sequential done by one man, but parallel tests.

In messaging also you can’t keep trying to check which message will stick to your target audience in B2B. What you need to do is test parallel messages and see on which message you get traction. Then the message that gets you the best traction, becomes your “control” piece. Now you start testing against this message by changing one variable at a time.

You need to test very fast at mass scale. One of the challenges I have faced in doing these mass testing procedures is that the people involved lose patience and the tests go haywire because people start compromising. The testing process has to be rigorous, for you to get a clear winner.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Successful failure

Marketing, Methodologies, Product Management, Testing

I read this term today while I was reading the book The Bezos Letters by Steve Anders.

I just finished reading the 1997 letter to the shareholders and started reading the first chapter of the book. I was astonished by the amount of emphasis Jeff Bezos places on successful failure.

I keep writing about testing everything because only the market has the right to decide what will succeed. You may have the best product, the most expensive and elaborate media roll out, but if you don’t first test and see, it can bomb.

But Bezos takes it further, he’s talking of billions of dollars that he’s spent on failures, learnt from them and made other things successful and made many more billions.

In marketing and product management, especially when you are a small company , you need to be very agile at testing continuously, learning and adapting to make your product more attractive in the market.

When you do testing ensure you only do with one variable at a time, to keep reducing the risk of a complete disaster. Never try multi variable testing because you will never be able to figure out the interplay between two variables which could create an indeterminate third variable.

Everything that you do has risk. You mitigate it by testing, identifying the failures and then converting into success.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Testing…more testing …and even more testing – Part II

Positioning, Product Management, segmentation, Testing

I wrote a post, a few days back, on this topic for identifying the right message, the correct strategy, the correct segment etc. with respect to marketing.

I was wondering if I was being too headstrong in insisting on this.

I just realised, that the nations who were able to bring Corona / Covid19 under control faster also relied on this. While keeping a safe distance and wearing a mask are the only deterrents to catching the Covid19, for the people who are involved in pandemic control, the only method was to test and see how the rate of growth of the pandemic was taking place.

The faster and higher the number of tests being done, the faster the identification of the possible infections , the quicker the response to isolate the people and quarantine them, thus reducing the opportunity for the virus to spread.

On the manufacturing floor also the higher the tests you do in the process, the lesser is the chance that the final product will have defects and will need to be scrapped.

When I visited Paris recently, I visited one of the perfumery companies and they showed us the process of launching a new perfume and how multiple tests had to be conducted to ensure that it did not react with people’s skin and the kind of audience reactions.

For releasing any vaccine they have to go through multiple rounds of tests.

So my rant that the only way to figure out what would succeed in the market is to test, then do more more tests and then even more tests, is actually a standard practice in all kinds of domains. I therefore don’t understand why people in marketing are averse to the idea of having a very serious process of testing their segmentation, niche, messaging etc.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!