Image source: PACEDm
Want to raise over $100,000 in Kickstarter in just nine days?
Well, you can pick up some tips from Mike Del Ponte, founder of SOMA – an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable water filtration system.
Speaking on an episode of Social Triggers podcast, Mike shared how he stumbled into the water filtration business while trying to solve a problem that he personally experienced while trying to serve filtered water to his dinner guests.
Such personal experiences are strong triggers for an entrepreneur’s business ideas.
The 4 Rs of Marketing Communications
Next, to get your stuff moving, Mike advised that your product launch needed to have a surround effect (ala Tim Ferriss). To do that, consider the effectiveness of your marketing communication efforts by working with media channels, bloggers and content platforms that can satisfy the 4 Rs, namely:
1) Relationships: How are these platforms linked to you, and why should they care about covering your product or service;
2) Readerships: How many people followed or read these blogs/websites/publications;
3) Relevance: Would their readers/followers talk about what your business is focused on? In other words, are they the right target audiences whom you’re hoping to impress; and
4) Reach: What is the effective reach for your content on these platforms? In other words, how many of them would truly read and respond to your message?
The 4 Ps of Selling
After you’ve identified the right platforms and partners to work with, you should work on your message.
Here, you should consider the 4 Ps of selling. According to Mike, this structure was inspired by the way in which great sales letter were crafted. They normally include the following:
1) Promise: Start with a grandiose promise; a benefit that the customer can get from enjoying the service or product;
2) Picture: Paint a vivid picture of how your customer can enjoy the benefits, using descriptions and phrases that they can connect with;
3) Proof: Provide proof points for why your customers should believe in what you’re proposing via customer testimonials, awards you’ve won, expert opinions, research, and media coverage; and
4) Pitch: Provide your Unique Selling Proposition and “the ask”, where you give your customers the offer. Here, it may be useful to include limited time offers in order to drive purchase.
Case Study: SOMA
In the case of SOMA, Mike’s unique water filter product was promised as being smart, sustainable and beautiful. It was designed by David Beeman, a foremost expert in water filtration systems.
The benefit which consumers could get was the feeling of being proud of putting it on their dinner table, as the water “looked as beautiful as it tasted” while exerting minimal impact on the environment due to the use of biodegradable water filters and recycled materials.
SOMA Water Filter (courtesy of Kickstarter)
Re-segment Your Market to Create Demand
Quoting from Al Ries and Jack Trout’s classic 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Mike shared that it was always better to be the first than to be better. His main challenge to entrepreneurs is that you should re-segment your market in order to create fresh demand for your products or services.
In the case of jeans, for instance, companies like Diesel differentiated themselves by creating a designer jeans market. This sets themselves clearly apart from workhorse jeans manufacturers like Levi’s and Gap.
The Three Laws of Marketing
Finally, to cap it all, Mike introduced us to the Three Laws of Marketing. These are namely:
1) People love to buy but hate to be sold: This is why prospects cringe when approached by overly enthusiastic sales folks trying to push products to them. To avoid this, companies should consider adopting the 4 Ps above to create a compelling desire or need before making their pitch.
2) People buy based on emotional and not rational decisions. Here, the idea is to paint a vivid picture that can show your customers how it feels like to have that product or service. Make it as personally relevant to them as possible. This would be what advertising honchos call the Single-Minded Proposition.
3) People use rational facts to justify their emotional purchase decisions. This is where the facts and figures come in to reassure customers that their decision to purchase was sound. Where possible, these should substantiate the emotional benefits gleaned in the second law above.
Create ‘Talking Points’ through Design
The final point raised by Derek Halpern was that things which looked different are different. In other words, a great design for a product or service can change consumer expectations significantly.
This was evident in SOMA, which was specially designed to be aesthetically more beautiful than other water filters while being sustainable and good for the environment.
By being significantly different from other water filters, it became a talking point (or social object in today’s digital marketing parlance) which people around the dinner table would love to chat about.
Personally, I found the above laws rather useful as a mnemonic device guiding how I should plan and lay out my marketing efforts. I guess they must be pretty effective if they could help Mark raise over $100,000 in less than two weeks on Kickstarter!
Do give the 4 Rs, 4 Ps and 3 Laws a try and let me know what you think about these ideas.