Does the product concept precede the market, or does the market determine the product? In my experience it is a bit like a carousel, you can get on the ride almost anywhere along the cycle. Wherever that may be, unless you are Steve Jobs, it is wise to take some risk out of the equation by engaging in dialog with prospective customers. So, let’s assume we have a product in either physical or conceptual form. Now what?
This is where “marketing” gets interesting and nuanced. If you have read my posts “…The Pareto Principal” or “What a Mathematician Can Teach Us…” you will understand that the closer you look at a market the more texture (roughness) you see. Too often I have heard “our market is up-scale households…the U.S. and Canada…18-25 year olds…women over 40”. Even where characteristics have been combined for further refinement, the targeting is still too general offering no competitive advantage, and wasting always limited and therefore precious resources.
A skilled marketer understands two imperatives…
Successful products must have a competitive advantage.
The more refined the marketing the less expended in money, management & time.
This is the code that must be deciphered for success. Deciphering begins with identifying your core market. By “core” I mean the inner most central part of the fruit that contains its seeds, in this case “seeds” being an apt analogy.
My next post Marketing: Step 2 – ID-ing Core Market