Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Learning to market all over again

I just finished developing a new product -- a book not related to perfume -- and I want to promote it. How should I go about it?

My situation is not all that different than yours if you have just created a new perfume. What do you do to sell it? Let's think this through together.

First, let's eliminate all the thoughts that will not be helpful -- "the economy is bad, no one can sell anything just now" ... "people don't want to take a chance on a new produce"" -- stuff like that, things you can't change. Like it or not, this is the world we live in and, within this world we need to find buyers for our products. Time is passing us by. We need to act now, to present our case to people who do have money and the urge to buy. Forget about everyone else.

My market, at least initially, is very small. But it exists. Your market, initially, might also be quite small but, if you are going to sell your perfume, you have to believe that your market exists and, if you try hard -- very hard -- you can find it. We get the ball rolling by making some sales. Keep at it and more sales are made. No, it's not easy.

I'm a believer in paid advertising, but only when I have data that will support it. Paid advertising is great when you can get a return on your advertising dollars. In this case, for me, it won't be practical. I don't have a hot, pin-point target media and even if I did, I don't believe I could sell enough units to get my money back much less make a profit. You'll find your perfume will likely have the same problem.

While, at the moment when our products are new, paid advertising is not likely to be worth the investment, shooting off a press release to the right people at the right media makes solid good sense. There are a number of companies that can provide distribution lists and even arrange to distribute your press release for you. This could be helpful for you. But before you even begin to research list providers (through a Google search) think about the ACTION you want to trigger. You'll need a distribution point -- a retail store, website or some such where you can take orders. Also, when you send out a press release it will go to media people, not consumers. This means if interest is shown in your perfume, you may be asked to provide samples. Keep this possibility in mind and the potential cost to you -- your production cost per bottle plus packing and postage. I've been calculating how many copies of my (non-perfume) book I'd be willing to send out for reviews -- but reviews are not sales.

What I am going to do, and you might do too, is to personally give some copies (bottles for you) to people, friends, who might be able to promote some sales if they like my book (or your perfume.) These would not be reviewers but people I know who know others with the same interest. Hopefully some word of mouth pressure will be generated but I'm not so naive as to think this word of mouth stuff will go viral. No, I'll have to prime a lot of pumps and that will take effort, energy, time, and a belief in what I'm selling. You should be in love with your new perfume and have confidence in it's appeal. Then you can talk well about it.

There has to be more we can do. There is more we can do. Give me another week or so to explore some practical possibilities. I'll report back to you.

-- Phil

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