Sopped Sales

Apple has more to worry about than the FBI, courts and the government breaking Apple’s privacy engineering. Apple has a peaked market that appears to be limiting their growth. All markets eventually saturate. The smartphone market, in most first-world nations, is saturated, or nearly so. Thus, the number of people willing to pay a premium for Apple mobile devices is almost capped. iPhones – at least in their current incarnation – appear to have reached saturation. iPhones will not compete in second- and third-world markets against $4 Android phones. All markets are segmented. When the segment you dominate becomes saturated, you have to change something before revenue growth abates and stockholders call for your head. The question remains which action is correct. Apple has a brand built around the high-end of their market, so they are unlikely to trash their brand by dropping prices. Since this is basically a segmentation … Continue reading

Distilled Desires

“Our software is the greatest thing ever. It is disruptive and something that will make your employees happy!” That is not an exact quote, but darn close to the opening paragraph of every landing page created by newly minted marketers at Silicon Valley startups. Like most web fodder from such shops, it communicates nothing. In our infobesity age, humans have learned to scan at a nearly subconscious level. Gone are the days when a one-pager would actually be read by a prospect. People glean information based on gut-level reaction to keywords, images, colors and social indicators. In short, they read headlines. Hence, if your headline does not grab the reader’s attention in the first five seconds, the odds of them investigating further approaches zero. That headline value propositions are hugely important is not new, nor are the steps to creating them. But the urgency has multiplied. Ignoring the process for … Continue reading

Question Yourself

Take your market research seriously … unless you didn’t take it seriously from the beginning. It is relatively easy to screw-up market research because there are many ways to do so. The most careful of statistical validation calculations are meaningless if you asked New Guinea tribesmen their first class cabin cocktail preferences. The heart of research (market and marketing research included) is knowing what you need to learn, learning it correctly, then applying it appropriately. That last one can be tough for start-ups when visionary founders resent market researchers telling them that their baby is ugly. There is no way to exhaust the list of methods for creating lousy research, but some of my favorites include: Not having a business purpose behind the research My first question to executives looking for primary market research is … Continue reading

Positioning Power

Growing your market in the modern age without knowing your positioning is like driving motorcycle down an Interstate while blindfolded.  You will lose and the resulting splatter will not be pretty. Positioning is simply establishing where on a competitive map your products are in the eyes of the market.  The concept is quite simple if you ignore for a moment the complicating factors of market maturity, multiple segments many buyer genotypes, or 3,274 other elements.  To determine one’s position you simply have to identify the issues that are of primary concern to your buyers, and either measure their attitudes about competing products and perform a realistic evaluation of all the entrants. Sounds simple, but it isn’t, and often leads to awkward issues.  Here’s an unfunny example. Silicon Strategies Marketing recently performed a series of investigations for a client to determine what the market felt was important about a services offering … Continue reading

Mobile Mayhem

Silicon Strategies client DeviceAnywhere has the good sense not only to employ us, but to take the pulse of their own industry on a regular basis. Knowing that trends change over time helps companies know how best to serve their customers – to anticipate their needs DeviceAnywhere surveys examine what technologies mobile applications developers design for, how DeviceAnywhere services are used and most interestingly what kinds of mobile applications are being written. This last bit says everything about how the mobile application market has shifted and what consumers really want. They want the Internet in their pocket. The Internet is a success because it is Darwinian in nature. Every mutant content provider self-formed out of the digital muck, rapidly mated in orgiastic enthusiasm, and new species of content and application are perpetually being delivered. Go forth and iterate. The reason a Darwinian Internet creates is popular is that every possible … Continue reading