“If you build it, he will come”. This is the ethereal message that drove the main character from 1989 film Field of Dreams to pursue his goal of building his own baseball pitch. And true to the message, people did come to his pitch, and they all had fun and lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, this adage no longer holds true, and the road to success is littered with those who have not realized this. Many entrepreneurs become so because they are driven by an idea. Many of their ideas will be good ideas. But the reality is, many of them will fail, and many will fail for a common reason: They didn’t know how to get their products out the masses. So here are some tips to avoid this deadly pitfall.
1. Think about your marketing before you start developing your idea
Here’s a saying that still stays true: failing to plan is planning to fail. How will people hear about your product? How will you tell them about it? A plan written out for the entire team to see, complete with a timeline would be a good first step in the right direction. Do this before you get too carried away with expanding your idea and becoming too emotionally attached to the idea to think objectively.
2. Stop the ‘they will come’ mentality
The reality is, for most people ‘they’ will not come. Getting your brand known and used is a tough uphill climb, and any other mentality that has any space for complacency can prove to be fatal for any company, no matter how good the idea is.
3. Invest money into your marketing
A common misconception is that marketing can be done effectively and for free. This misconception often arises from the fact that for example, anyone can make an account on social media and start advertising their product. While this is true to a certain extent, effective marketing never comes for free. Everything from online, offline, ads and campaigns, to be truly effective, marketing will cost money, and you should account for that in your budget from the very get go.
4. Invest time into your marketing.
Especially if you are just starting out and your company is new, you are most likely going to be looking after the marketing yourself, or at least, ‘in-house’. Marketing, even the things that don’t shouldn’t seem time consuming, will and should take time. Effects of marketing also take time, so always consider this a long-term investment.
5. Educate yourself
Having said all of the above points, it doesn’t mean the sheer amount of time and money you throw at it will mean a better return, because it doesn’t. You need to invest your time and money properly. Do your research; the internet is surprisingly full of good tips and case studies. Better yet, talk to an expert, so that you can focus on what you’re really good at, at that is, developing your idea.