Boil down every discipline, method and technique of marketing and you will find this equation:
Marketing is the act of creating demand for the supply of a certain product (or service).
Poor marketing results in too much supply and not enough demand. Think: full warehouses and overstocked shelves with few consumers wanting to buy what you have for sale.
Successful marketing equals high demand for something in short supply; it usually sees the producer in prime position to raise their prices…
The thing with a lot of small businesses is that they don’t place much importance on marketing, and instead, focus too much on their supply. It’s not good adding a bell here and a whistle there to what you offer if no one wants it.
A brand that has crafted demand very well is Apple. On the face of it, they produce a smartphone, within a competitive field of many other suppliers who also produce smartphones.
Few of their rivals have consumers camping and queueing for days outside stores to get the latest edition. Fans pay well over the odds for what is essentially a motherboard with a few microchips on it, a glass screen and a plastic casing. These components will barely amount to a hundred pounds, yet consumers pay many, many times more than that for the privilege of owning what they amount to: an Apple iPhone.
Creating demand isn’t just a trick for the huge corporates. Small businesses can influence levels of demand for what they supply.
If a product you sold wasn’t around all the time, people would make a point of buying it when it was available. The food industry does this well…e.g. Costa Coffee’s pumpkin flavoured drinks around Halloween. Think of what would happen to sales of mince pies if they were available all year round – most would have to be thrown out because they wouldn’t be sold before their expiry date.
You don’t have to be a food retailer, nor do you need any particular reason to withhold a certain product. A product that manages to ‘sell out’ every now and again suggests it’s popular and in demand. The fear from buyers when the product next appears is that they may not get their hands on it before it sells out again; therefore, not only do you see people rushing to buy the product, they may even buy more than one to ensure their stock doesn’t run out like yours!
Offer a little bait
Whether a try-before-you-buy, no risk taster of the full product or a limited time special offer, give people a taste of something and they may find they like it. Particularly good for converting new consumers who wouldn’t have picked up your product without the bait to influence them.
Get an endorsement
You don’t need to pay/convince a household name to shout about your product nowadays; there are hundreds of influencers across social media, all with their own audience. Word of mouth is always a successful method to stoke interest in what you offer, and if you can hit a large pool of people in one go through someone they trust and respect (i.e. blindly follow), you should see a surge in sales.
Solve real problems
It may seem that this is a waste of time – what can we possibly need that isn’t already out there? At least, that’s what we think that until the next great invention arrives. For instance, fifteen years ago we didn’t use the internet as we do now - and we probably thought everything good had already been invented back then, too.
You don’t have to bring out an earth-shattering invention to create demand, but you do have to convince your target audience that what you have is answer to their problems, that your product saves them time, money…or a big headache. Remove their pain and they will come back to you time and time again.
Novus is a full-service marketing agency that takes away the pain for so many of our clients: small businesses just like yours. That’s why we’re in demand and struggle to keep on top of our diary!
We have a unique weekly video package that none of our competitors offer, which is also in demand. And when we’re really, really busy, we have to restrict how much support we can offer; clients not only understand, they wait patiently for us until we’re free to work on their businesses, as they know we must offer something stellar to be rushed off our feet.
If you’re honest, how much focus do you spend on your supply rather than the demand for it? Do you need help? Get in touch with us and maybe we can get the general public to camp out for what you offer…