Understanding your Products and Offers

One of the first things we need to do is to clarify what our products and offers are. This is one of the main foundations of digital marketing and without it we go a bit blind. Clearly understanding what our products are is fundamental not only to identify gaps but also to organize a digital marketing plan.

Let’s dissect how to do it.

An Archaeology of Products

Damn, “archaeology” reminds me of my uni years. Foucault was the one introducing this word but I can’t find a better word for the sub-title so there you go …

Anyway, how to understand your products and offer in a way that makes sense?

We have to start by identifying categories. Categories are broad aggregators of services or products. They are broad designations that bring your products together. Example, I want to sell photography courses, then we can have beginner’s courses, advanced or professional courses.

Sometimes, and especially in ecommerce projects, there will be sub-categories. So for example a broad category could be shoes. But of course, there are lots of shoes to choose from. So, there is a need to create sub-categories.

Why are categories and/or sub-categories important? Because they allow us to aggregate products following a logic.

They allow us to see the forest and the trees. And we can start working on these trees.

Imagine you have a sequence of products that can be offered inside one category. Then you can start the process of upselling or cross selling. More sophisticated sales funnels also down-sell.

Is There a Value-Ladder?

Sometimes there is a clear value-ladder between the categories. So, going back to the photography example above, beginners courses are less expansive than the professional courses. Professional courses are our top tier products.

Other time there is no value-ladder between the categories or sub-categories. In our ecommerce example, we can think of many different sub-categories of shoes with no clear monetary distinction between them. Take the example of running shoes…

What needs to happen, however, is a clear hierarchical distinction between the products or services that we offer INSIDE the category/sub-category (not between categories).

If we establish what our initial offer is, our first tier, second tier and top tier offers are; then we have a value-ladder inside our categories.

So to synthesize this is what can happen:

. Products (some projects only have a single product to sell)

. Categories —– Products

. Categories —– Sub-categories —- Products

. Categories —– Products —– Upsell/Cross-sell

. Categories —– Sub-categories —- Products —– Upsell/Cross-sell

Selling your Products

How do we sell our products? The simple answer is you need to create a sales funnel.

This can be done through the use of a broad aggregator that will start a segmentation process.

Or a more specific lead magnet associated with particular categories.

On top of this lead magnet we need to start building relationships with these people before we ask for the sale. Also, and if they buy, we need to think about ways to upsell them with other products or services that we have.

Finally once we upsell them we need to keep this potential customer engaged and present them with other products or services that we have and they can benefit from.