When you’re planning to start your service business, it is crucial to incorporate a marketability evaluation. At its core, the purpose of this is to answer the basic questions:
- Who will buy this service?
- How much will this service cost?
If you’re a new entrepreneur, you may be unsure of what “marketability” is. So let’s pause and look at the definition.
“The definition of product marketability varies depending on the company. Essentially, marketability is a measure of whether a service will appeal to buyers and sell at a high enough price to generate a profit.” (Source: http://ift.tt/JO87q7)
To help determine whether your service has mass-market appeal, let’s look at the 5 factors below.
How often do you hear your niche mentioned in the news?
If the news media considers your subject important enough to report on with regularity, it’s probably something quite a few people are interested in. Televisions, magazines, and newspapers are looking for ratings, and they get them by drawing large audiences with the information they present. The broader the audience they feel can be reached with a topic, the more often they will seek to cover it.
If you are marketing your service online, you should still investigate the news outlets, but you need to take it a little further.
The place that first comes to mind is social media. Look at all the platforms where you believe your target market is active. If you’re totally new to internet marketing, don’t get stuck here. The world of social media is vast and you can easily get lost and just spin your wheels. This article at The Search Engine Journal gives you valuable insight into which platform to use.
Going beyond social media (and please do!), there are several sites that will provide insight into what your target customer is interested in. The following sites are two of my favorite but you should also look for other sites that are specific to your niche.
What’s Trending Obvious from its name, this site will show you what people are talking about now. It has several different categories so you can laser focus your research.
BuzzSumo In their words they, “Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.” This will give insight into what your potential customer is interested in. Click on the “Trending Today” tab and you will see what people are looking for now. You can filter this for different time frames.
After this survey, review the data you’ve collected. What does it tell you about how often your service is mentioned? Look at this over a few weeks to identify any patterns. If your service is mentioned frequently, that’s a good indicator that it is sought after.
How many service providers are available on the market relating to your topic?
Many aspiring business owners don’t do enough competitor research. In order to gain market share as a new business in your niche, you need to know:
- Who the top brands are.
- The price points of their service.
- Why people buy from them.
Finding out you have a lot of competition is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means there is a large enough consumer base to support services that deal with the topic—and that will include your service. Research your competitors thoroughly and then analyze your service to determine how it is different and better. Does it deliver your customer something they seek but isn’t currently being provided by your competitors? Find out what people love about your competitor’s service and what buyers complain about, and then try to go one better.
What is the approximate age range of people who would find your topic interesting?
Don’t rush over this step with a quick “my target is over 18.” That is too wide a range and I can’t think of many services that would be the same for 18-year-olds and 80-year-olds! There’s an old marketing saying that goes like this “Target everyone and you target no one”. You need to create a specific demographic profile of your target audience. This should include the most relevant demographic data points such as age, race, economic status, and geographic location.
I highly recommend you create an ‘ideal client persona.’ You will use it throughout your business process. This is a good article to get you started.
How fast would you act on a great deal for a service relating to your topic?
How about your friends? Would they jump at a bargain if it related to the topic you’ve chosen? And how about the people you hang out with—your easy-to-reach target market? The sooner you can hook people into a sale during the buying process, the more likely your marketing campaign will be profitable.
What are the benefits of your service that customers would gain by buying it?
People want to know they’re getting what they pay for. Your service should be able to provide buyers with some tangible benefit i.e. knowledge, skill, free time, profits from their business, they would not otherwise have if they hadn’t purchased your service.
If you have included at least four of these factors in your business planning, congratulations! Your service is marketable! Proceed with confidence; you’re on the right track.
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