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I would appreciate help on this...

Nate

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Sep 24, 2007
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I hope this is the correct place for this.

I am working on a little idea, and I do mean little. This will be something I will promote to a smaller demographic; people in my county and a few surrounding areas. So it is NOT something that can go nationwide.

That being the case, I have bought the domain and will get the website ready, but I feel like non-internet advertising is going to be a must, with just a little bit done online.

My ideas are:
  • Some ad-words
  • A mailer (snail-mail) to the correct demographics
  • Flyers
  • Ads in newspapers and appropriate local magazines
  • Craigslist
  • Ebay
  • A local Craigslist type thing that seems to be used here more than CL
The product will need to be mailed and I hope to be able to take orders just on the internet. (Getting a real merchant acct. seems to be out of my reach now, I wonder if I'll be able to do this with just Paypal and something like 2CO for the time being???)

Anyways, I hope that is at least enough information to get some help from some people.

  • How can I best test this to see if there is even a market before going gung-ho?
  • Are there other advertising avenues or ones on my list that should not be done?
  • What about the idea of advertising on Craigslist/ebay/CL substitute, prematurely with the intent of checking interest and capturing email address?
  • Would a small adwords campaign also accomplish the same thing?
I would appreciate any feedback from you marketers out there. I know I have to go be missing a lot. Thanks.
-Nate
 

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JScott

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Because you will be focused on a local market, as opposed to a national or international market, here are some suggestions:

- Skip the adwords campaign...there's no way to target the campaign at the demographic you're interested in, so you'd just be wasting money advertising to people who can't use your product

- Likewise with eBay. The local services part of eBay isn't yet to the point where it will be very beneficial from a targeting standpoint

- The best way to find out if there is a market for your product/service is to actually ask people. And if the target market is you local area, that shouldn't be too hard. Make a list of the types of people that make up the demographic for your service, find some people who fit that demographic, and give them a survey or talk to them (focus on people who don't know you, as that would bias their answers)

- Local advertising is generally relatively cheap, and if you can hit your demographic head-on, a good choice for something like this
 
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Nate

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 24, 2007
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Utah
JScott, thanks for the reply.

Do you think that adwords would work if it was targeted towards local people? I noticed some very local terms that get a small amount of searches according to the overture tool (anywhere from 50-400 per month). I would imagine that these kind of clicks would be pretty cheap, and anyone searching the terms I checked would be probably be interested. But still like you say, it might be a waste of money.

In regards to asking people... do you think there is a way to be able to ask people besides in person? Some way I can ask hundreds/thousands? What do you think about putting up an ad on CL or in papers that would attract attention? If anything people sending emails saying they would like more interest??? Would that be a good indication of whether or not people will buy? How many responses should I expect to get if this is worth doing? I expect a cost to me of somewhere around $5-10 per product, and think it can be sold for somewhere around $30-50... really hoping for the 50. I heard that less than $50 and people start to think it doesn't really have value... although that probably really depends on product/industry.

Any more responses from JScott or anyone are much appreciated. Thanks guys, what a jewel of a forum.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Spend $50 for a spot a local flea market and craft fair -- place your product there and get feedback. Or, approach someone with a booth and offer them a flat fee or commission to place your product.

Sounds like you're still in market research mode vs start-up mode.
 
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Nate

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Yeah, market research. Thanks for the help.
 

JScott

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Great suggestion by MJ...

As for asking hundreds or thousands of people, I don't think that's necessary. Even 10-20 people (in your target demographic) would probably give you a reasonable idea of whether the idea has merit. Plus, instead of just asking those 10-20 people if they'd buy the product or not, you can also ask them more detailed questions, like:

- If you wouldn't buy it, why not?
- How much would you pay?
- Would you give it as a gift?
- Would you buy it online or only at a store?
- What type of packaging would you prefer?

These types of questions would tell you not only if you have a viable product, but also how you could make it even more viable and attractive.

By the way, in terms of number of people you need to survey, here's a trivia question I really like:

How many people do you think Neilson (the TV ratings company) needs to poll to have an accurate estimate of what the 200 million people who watch TV were watching at a given time?

Answer: Only about 10,000-20,000 for statistically significant data...
 
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Nate

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 24, 2007
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Utah
Thanks for that. Fantastic points. I probably should have remembered that. I studied sociology in college, and that is a lot of surveys. Sociologists typically think that a random survey of about 3,000 random people will give you a good idea of the entire country.

Tim Ferriss says in his new book that people will usually tell you that, yes, they would buy your product, because nobody wants to be mean. Do you think that is true?
 

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