Chris Kille is the CEO of Payment Pilot and Elevate Outsourcing, operating out of Charlotte, NC.
When you’re strategizing your next move in a saturated market, it might be easy to feel like you’ve already lost. Many startups are looking for ways to succeed in a competitive space but don’t know where to start. If that sounds familiar, I have seven tips to help improve your chances of success by picking 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’s uniquely yours. If you can do this, you’ll be able to market yourself successfully because you know exactly who your audience is and what they want. For example, if you’re an accountant but have specialized knowledge in tax law, make that your niche. Accountants who can offer tax law-related services may be more valuable in the market.
2. Offer value-added services.
Consider unique packages for your product or service. This could be as simple as providing an exclusive deal or offering additional services that aren’t part of your standard package. Customers can feel valued when they have access to these benefits, which will build loyalty.
As an example of value-add services, a nail salon close to me offers free nail art sessions to customers who spend at least $300 a month. Similarly, Indian streaming platform Hotstar played their cards in the competition with Netflix and Amazon Prime by offering one free month of service when new customers sign up for an annual account.
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 must come from 20% of your efforts, meaning you need to 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 any business opportunities. However, it’s important to focus on the 20% of existing suppliers that will provide 80% of your profits.
This principle can apply to negative situations as well. In a Microsoft report from 2002, the company found that “80% of the errors and crashes in Windows and Office are caused by 20% of the entire pool of bugs detected.” So, in this instance, Microsoft would need to prioritize that 20% of detected bugs when making patches.
4. Stay authentic.
In a saturated market, staying true to your brand and offering products that are consistent with your values are crucial to attracting an audience. For example, if your business serves animals or pet owners, don’t associate with agencies that do animal testing. Authenticity will help you develop trust with your customers, which will improve your retention rates.
To embody authenticity, start by 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 come across my products?
• Why should someone buy my products over anyone else’s?
5. Be consistent in how you communicate your brand.
Your brand is one of the most important things in your business because recognizability 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, like your tagline, are consistent across all platforms. This will help customers remember your brand and make it easier for them to recognize you when they see something with your name on it.
6. Treat affiliate marketing as a sales force.
To infiltrate a saturated market, don’t ignore the benefits of affiliate marketing. This approach is when a business pays a third party a percentage of sales to help promote their products to a target audience. This can be done through social media, blog posts or even email campaigns.
When setting up an affiliate marketing program, make sure you have clear parameters around what’s expected of affiliates and how they’ll be rewarded based on their performance. Consider these points:
• What are the goals of your affiliate program? You’ll need to decide what success looks like before launching your program so you can measure your progress and return on investment.
• How will you know whether an affiliate met their goals or performed well? Set clear metrics for how much revenue an affiliate will receive based on their performance so they know exactly how they’ll earn their commissions.
• How will you measure if an affiliate has actually met their key performance indicators (KPIs)? Make sure each KPI, such as weekly clicks, has a corresponding metric so they can be easily tracked.
7. Stay focused.
Finally, to withstand a saturated market, commit to being 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 as needed. You can also build review and feedback mechanisms into your product delivery so your customers can give direct insights into your business’ success in the market.
When it comes to owning a business, you should always take time to develop a strategy, whether you’re trying to launch a product, offer new services or update your branding. Consider the strengths of your business and where it sits within your marketplace. That’s how you can build a brand platform that gets you noticed.