Thursday, February 15, 2007

How to Make a Technology Product Delicious

(a.k.a. How to Sell a Technology Product)

I don't really cook. I can just make yummy spaghetti and bake dozens and dozens of cookies, but I think I can go by and whip up a good marketing plan (and so they say).

I just recently realized I've been marketing technology/IT products since I finished college. And considering that I've two undergraduate degrees that are totally un-IT and un-marketing it was a good thing I took graduate studies.

So how does one sell technology products?

The Ingredients:

First things first - have passion.
Secondly, love your product (no wonder I don't have a boyfriend haha!).
And then, of course, have a good, well-planned, well-researched marketing plan (thanks Dr. Ned for teaching me!).

How to Cook:

1. Mix together market, competitor, targetted end-user profile, product and distribution situation research. Sift through by making a SWOT analysis (or better yet, Porter's way of analyzing things).
2. Beat together an opportunity and issue analysis. This way you would find out what opportunities to grab and what threats to avoid.
3. Heat over low fire number 1 and 2 and this should smoke up your objectives and goals.
4. Check your ingredients by defining your product and determine what positioning to use.
5. While waiting, compute your pricing. After this you can turn the heat off and lay-out the cooked ingredients in a shaped dish.

The Trimmings

This is where you actually sprinkle on the base your sales and marketing strategies. A good communication plan includes the following candy sprinkles:

1. Red goals and objectives - define what you want to happen
2. Blue strategy - how things should happen
3. Yellow measures and controls - define your metrics of success
4. Green action plans and activities - determine your above and below the line and online strategies

The icing on the cake (and very visible to the one who's supposed to bite it) is your advertising, promotion and public relations program. It is never easy to perfect this. You should choose your suppliers carefully, especially those who do your media and PR plan.

One important tip: work with suppliers that have experience in promoting technology products. There are companies that now specialize on public relations for IT companies and I think this would be really helpful to businesses selling technology products. Why? Believe me, it's hard to work with agency people that aren't tech savvy.

And don't forget: passion and love for your product is very, very important.

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