The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Checklist
- Does it arrive on its own or does a person or team need to install it?
- Is it ready to use immediately? Can you: put it on and wear it, plug it in and watch or listen to it, hang it on the wall, etc.)?
- Does it require instructions?
- Have you created fulfillment material?
- Are the transmittal, welcome letter and instructions so simple that an idiot can understand them?
- Supply samples of fulfillment materials.
- Who and what will your new product/service be competing against?
- List the websites of your competitors.
- Estimated share of market of each competitor.
- Strengths of each competitor’s product/service?
- Weaknesses of each competitor’s product/service?
- Difference(s) between your product and the competition.
- What are the competitors’ prices?
- What are the competitors’ offers?
- How do competitors reach their prospects? Space advertising? TV? Radio? Direct mail? Couponing? E-offers? Pay-per click? In-person sales efforts?
- Can you supply samples of your competitors’ ads and sales and promotional materials?
- In your opinion what is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What is the one—or at most three—overpowering benefit(s) that makes your product/service stand out in the field and makes it superior to the competition? Hint: Chances it is the top benefit that you described above.
Current Status of Your Product
- Will this be a dry test or a wet test?
- Has it been beta tested?
- Results of the beta tests?
- What feedback from the beta tests?
- When will it be ready to ship?
- Projected launch/release date?
- Suggested retail price (MSRP).
- Raw cost of goods sold.
- (Excluding amortization for research, development and start-up.)
- Cost of shipping and handling.
- Will you sell direct or do you have a sales force?
- If you have a sales force, presumably you will need collateral sales material.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
- Continuity shipments over time.
- A yearly contract (maintenance, updates, etc.).
- Add-ons or upsells.
- Licensing arrangements.
- Revenue-share deals with other marketers.
- Related products and services.
- A yearly renewal.
- A membership offer might be more effective than yearly renewals. “In my experience membership renewal is regularly ten points above subscriptions levels,” wrote the legendary guru Dick Benson. “This is the result of billing for dues rather than asking for a renewal of membership.”
Crafting an Offer
“As direct marketers, we’re not here primarily to make a sale; we’re here to get a customer. Sales are important, of course. (Where would marketers be without them?) But the name of the game is repeat sales rather than one-shots. And to have that, you need a customer.” —Joan Throckmorton