Ask Biz Ep 9

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The 4 P’s of Marketing: Product

This week we kick-off a little marketing 101. The 4 P’s of marketing is a pretty common notion and they are: product, price, promotion, place. Many times people want to limit marketing down to just promotion but that would be selling marketing short. Phil might make the finest widgets in the world but if the customer doesn’t understand that and can’t find them, he is going to have a hard time staying in business.

This week we are going to breakdown product.

I can’t help you if you do not have a good product to sell. The product/service that you offer has to be of good quality or no one will buy it. If we went ahead and did the marketing and sold that bad product, the consequences could be worse than the benefit of the few you would sell. People could return them or spread bad word of mouth which could kill your chances of succeeding, potentially even if you fixed your offering.

A good marketing partner will help you diagnose how to improve your product/service. Now this might be difficult with some things that are more technically challenging. This is not to say that a marketer is an expert in your field, but most marketers are quick learners and bring a outsiders perspective to your business model. They do not bring the burden of knowledge to your business and can look on your offering with fresh eyes.

But keep in mind that the actual product/service is not all that there is to the product category. The customer experience of getting that product is also very important to how good a product is. This is an area where a marketer can really help you. An outsiders perspective is extremely valuable in assessing how a customers experience might be coming across.

Additionally, marketers may be able to help you improve your product by conducting focus groups or customer interviews. Who better to talk about how to improve your offering by talking to the people who buy it or the people you want to sell it to! These groups can help you to test your assumptions verse the market which can pay dividends in the short and long term.

Product is the first on the list of 4 P’s because it is the most foundational. Next week we will be back with the second P: Price.

Social Media Win or Fail: FX-Atlanta

This month I want to draw attention to a traditional media outlet using new media to create a win for its brand. The tv network, FX, has always been a bit edgy but I think this was a really smart play for connecting with this program’s target audience.

Atlanta is a new series on FX headlined and created by Troy Barnes, I mean, Childish Gambino, I mean Donald Glover. The target market for this is millennials and younger and you can see this come out in how they target the promotion. I do not have cable but this has been promoted really well all over the internet to my demographic.

The bigger point I want to show here is that they are using free things to drive people to a paid product, which will exist only with a purchased avenue. You can watch it on their app but you have to login with a cable/satellite account. Early reports look promising for Atlanta and FX.

How did they do it?

First, they put out lots of teasers. Short teasers, longer teasers that help get people interested.

Second, they put the first episode online, even straight on Facebook and Youtube, without ads, to get people to see it. What a move! They know that the lifetime value of a viewer is more important than that one episode. I think the traffic on the Facebook post is pretty amazing:


The Atlanta page boasts almost 200k likes but look at the traffic! 34k shares, and it has more like than shares. There is no contest here to generate shares, people like the content/ were excited about the content enough that they shared it. A lot. Additionally look at those 1.4mil views. We know that Facebook views are not the best stat to judge success by but it’s a pretty impressive number. It also has nearly 1 million views on Youtube.

It also did pretty well on the TV ratings near the top of the tv charts for that Tuesday night. But I do not think those include the online stats, which is where it is prone to succeed.

People are going to be motivated to either go and watch it on cable or possibly buy it on iTunes for a few dollars per episode. At the time of writing (Saturday evening) it is number 5 on the iTunes video store

This plan brings in some thought processes like are discussed in the FREE book. They gave this away, to help create secondary sales in other places. We probably won’t ever know the exact details of its success but I think we will know when/if it is renewed for a second season.

But this use of social media is a win.




Instagram Stories

Instagram just recently released a new feature: Stories.

This is a not so hidden strike to try and keep its users from SnapChat. Stories are a 24-hour photo or video series that lives outside of the main feed and instead lives on a feed at the top of your Instagram channel. This looks like multiple circles at the top of your instagram. These circles will be circled by a gradient if you have not watched them and will not if you have already watched it.

These stories can be made up of verticle video or pictures with text or drawing that you put on through the app. Most people are using the story function to generate the content but you can insert content you have taken else where by swiping down to reveal a menu to upload photos or video.

Once you have an image or video, you can swipe from the right to add a filter or use the text/drawing tools in the upper right-hand corner to add details.

After posting a story you can swipe up on it to see who has viewed it. This is only available while the story is live, when 24 hours have passed, it will disappear into the digital abyss. But you can also download the content if you want to save it for archival use.


Advantages for marketers:

Top priority: Becuase it shows up at the top of the feed, even if your last post has been buried by other accounts, there is a good chance you will be seen.

Creativity: Becuase of the short shelf life of content, you will need to be more creative with your content so that you can produce more. The drawing and text tools will also allow for more flexibility.

Information: This will allow you to collect some analytics on who watched what, including specific users. More data is almost always helpful for marketers.


Disappears: Having a story disappear can be disappointing when you spend so much time building content. But this is part of our short attention span culture. You may be able to counteract this by saving some content and reusing it.

Soon to be crowded: Though not very trafficked now, this real estate will likely become more and more trafficked in the days to come. It will be interesting to show how advertising works, which I am sure will be sooner or later.