by David Tandet
The 6 keys to marketing hi-tech products:
1. Emphasize benefits over features. So you’ve heard this before? It’s a basic marketing principle, but one that’s easy to forget with hi-tech products. The technology of the latest handheld device may be something for a manufacturer to fall in love with. But that high school student next potential customer? She may be visualizing how quickly she can edit the weekend’s video images to show her friends.
2. “Own” brand-specific benefits. Related to number 1, but not exactly the same. If you’re targeting the residential market for your home shredder, an easy cleaning benefit can be a major sales point. If you’re going for the business buyer, the person deciding on the purchase might not value the cleaning benefit as much as the fact that 100 sheets are instantly reduced to 100,000 more pieces. Identify your target buyer, decide on the main benefit you’re promoting, and make sure your product and that benefit are inseparable in the minds of potential customers.
3. Highlight personalized service. If you offer 24/7 online support, customers will view your product as user-friendly.
4. Provide occasional instructionals or free lectures. If you sell physical fitness products, for example, seek out community venues to give talks about the healthcare benefits of working out. Your business may only be mentioned once – when you’re introduced before getting up to speak at a community college series, for example – but you’ll begin to build incredible goodwill. People want to know that the person they’re doing business with is a genuine expert in her field with ties to the community.
5. Follow through. If you promise full-time service for a new TV but don’t come through, customers will find out fast. Your reputation – and sales – suffer. Simply doing what you say you’ll do – not a cornerstone of many modern businesses – is still at the foundation of the best of the best businesses. Do it. Just because. And if you don’t mind the fact that it will end up bringing you incredible returns in the long run as well . . .
6. Offer occasional premiums and discounts. An extra supply of ink can sway a potential customer who’s trying to decide between your printer and someone else’s.