Chris Kille is the CEO of Payment pilot and Elevate Outsourcing, operating out of Charlotte, NC.
When you’re plotting your next move in a saturated market, it can be easy to feel like you’ve already lost. Many startups are looking for ways to succeed in a competitive environment, but don’t know where to start. If that sounds familiar, I have seven tips for increasing your chances of success by choosing the right market, finding your product-market fit and pitching correctly.
1. Create a niche for yourself.
In the world of saturated markets, it’s important to find your own niche. You want to stand out and create something that is unique to you. If you can do this, you can market yourself successfully because you know exactly who your audience is and what they want. For example, if you are an accountant but have specialized knowledge in tax law, make that your niche. Accountants who can offer tax law services can be more valuable in the market.
2. Offer value-added services.
Think of unique packages for your product or service. This can be as simple as offering an exclusive deal or offering additional services that are not part of your standard package. Customers can feel valued when they have access to these benefits, which will lead to loyalty.
As an example of value-added services, a nail salon near me offers free nail art sessions to customers who spend at least $300 per month. Similarly, Indian streaming platform Hotstar played their cards in competition with Netflix and Amazon Prime by offering a free month of service when new customers sign up for financial statements.
3. Use the Pareto principle (80/20) for sourcing products.
The Pareto principle is a very useful tool for sourcing products. It states that 80% of your results should come from 20% of your efforts, meaning you should focus on the most effective sources and ignore the rest. This can be difficult because many people tend to take on more than they can handle to feel productive or because they don’t want to miss out on business opportunities. However, it is important to focus on the 20% of the existing suppliers that will bring 80% of your profits.
This principle can also apply to negative situations. In a 2002 Microsoft report, the company found that “80% of errors and crashes in Windows and Office are caused by 20% of the entire pool of detected bugs.” So in this case, Microsoft should prioritize those 20% of the detected bugs when creating patches.
4. Stay authentic.
In a saturated market, staying true to your brand and offering products that align with your values is critical to attracting an audience. For example, if your business serves animals or pet owners, don’t deal with agencies that conduct animal testing. Authenticity will help you build trust with your customers, which will improve your retention rates.
To embody authenticity, start asking yourself these questions:
• How do I want my customers to feel when they use my products?
• What do I want them to experience?
• What emotions do I want them to feel when they encounter my products?
• Why would someone buy my products instead of someone else’s?
5. Be consistent in the way you communicate your brand.
Your brand is one of the most important things in your business because recognition will encourage people to buy your products. But if people don’t know what your brand is, they can’t buy it! So make sure your logo, colors, fonts and marketing language, such as your slogan, are consistent across all platforms. This helps customers remember your brand and makes it easier for them to recognize you when they see something with your name on it.
6. Treat affiliate marketing like a sales force.
To infiltrate a saturated market, don’t ignore the benefits of affiliate marketing. This approach is when a company pays a third party a percentage of sales to promote their products to a target audience. This can be through social media, blog posts or even email campaigns.
When setting up an affiliate marketing program, make sure you have clear parameters about what is expected of affiliates and how they are rewarded based on their performance. Remember these points:
• What are the goals of your affiliate program? You should decide what success looks like before starting your program so that you can measure your progress and return on investment.
• How do you know whether an affiliate has achieved its goals or has performed well? Set clear stats on how much revenue an affiliate will receive based on their performance so they know exactly how they will earn their commissions.
• How will you measure whether a member has actually complied with their key performance indicators (KPIs)? Make sure each KPI, such as weekly clicks, has an associated metric so they can be easily tracked.
7. Stay focused.
Finally, to withstand a saturated market, you need to be consistent and focused on your goals. Set goals for yourself, track the return on investment in your marketing strategies and use those insights to make adjustments where necessary. You can also build rating and feedback mechanisms into your product delivery so that your customers can provide instant insight into your company’s success in the marketplace.
When it comes to owning a business, you should always take the time to develop a strategy, whether you’re trying to launch a product, offer new services, or update your branding. Consider your company’s strengths and where it is in your market. This is how you build a brand platform that makes you stand out.