Effective Market Discovery is probably the most underestimated, but most important aspect, when starting out a new business/website. You can have access to the best traffic in the world, have super web design skills and have an unlimited advertising budget but it won’t mean a thing if you don’t have a clue about “what to sell to who”.
Market Discovery also happens to be one the aspects of marketing that most people struggle with. Reason for this is that most people start with a “product”
They don’t know who to sell it to yet, but they have a product in mind.
Thing is, you don’t sell a product – you sell a “solution”. You don’t sell a drill, you sell a “hole in the wall”. I wouldn’t just stop there – you can also sell “experiences” or “emotions”. All of the above sell better than “products”.
Behind every transaction online, behind every click there is a real person. A human being with real feelings, needs, emotions and most of them are dying for some kind of “experience” or “sensation”. All of these can take on many forms, from getting rid of a migraine, to getting a date, to booking your dream vacation. It can also be something simple like finding a CD or album you’ve been looking for the longest time. Or maybe you’ve stumbled onto a killer recipe for Chili con carne – which happens to be your most favorite dish.
All of the above “can” be products – but in reality, they are much more than that. These are experiences, intermingled with emotions. All of the above make you feel good to a certain extent and you would pay money for them if only someone would take the time to present them to you in a way that you experience that need in your own head.
Markets are a dime a dozen, the world revolves around markets that are inhibited by specific demographic and psychographic groups of people that shape a market – sometimes by choice, other times because they have to.
Somebody, who chose to be a “supplier” for that market, is now making money from you – simply because there is a want or a need on your end to get something that’s on offer in this market.
It can be something as trivial as bread (or other food and beverages) that you simply have to go buy or else you would die. Or maybe it’s that eBook about “Getting La*d” because your most primal senses force you to perform that “act” but you are missing a partner, and it drives you bananas.
Or maybe it’s a new Mac computer because you’re such a huge Apple fan and a “regular computer” simply doesn’t cut it for you.
All of the above are markets that have a significant group of people as loyal followers. One is driven by the need to survive, the other one is driven by testosterone and, in a sense, you also need “that” to survive and the third one is driven by passion and emotion and, to be totally honest, you also need that to survive.
We haven’t even mentioned the markets that sell solutions based on certain problems people face.
What I want to make clear with these last few paragraphs is that, behind every sale there is a reason and the reason is very often based on some type of emotion, passion, deeply rooted urge, want or desire.
The “product” is never the reason, it’s what the product does for/to you that makes you flip open the wallet and plunk down the cash. You’re buying an experience when you buy your next Mac – if you just wanted a “computer”, you would have just bought the cheapest PC at Best Buy and be done with it, no need to pay X times the price.
OK – all of the above may sound all sweet and sexy but how do you go about figuring out who wants to buy and at which price?
I wish I could just send you to some website or resource that has all this stuff pre-figured out for you. As you probably already know, there is no such resource – but some logic and common sense will take us on the right path and will limit our chances of focusing on the wrong crowd or the wrong market.