Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Leeds Inventors Group 17/09/2008 - Gareth Morgan

“Because Your Business Success Depends on Marketing” : Gareth Morgan of GAP Management

Leeds Inventors Group 17th Sept 2008

Gareth has been working closely with inventors and start-up businesses for eight years. He began his talk by asking the question What is marketing? His answer was that broadly it is about identifying and fulfilling a need.

Identifying a need is something which many inventors don’t spend much time thinking about. Just because you can invent something doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone will want it. Instead of inventing something which overcomes a problem which no-one cares about it’s important to see where there is a market for a new product and whether that market is big enough. As Gareth put it – an accountant doesn’t sell you a load of figures, he sells you a chance to save tax. The figures are a means to an end.

Marketing is everything you do to promote your business or product – including your image. Knowing who your customers are and how they operate is vital in enabling you to get their interest – a will save a lot of time. It’s very important to understand the market and any available trade magazines should be utilised. Where does your product fit into the market? Having a patent does not mean that your product is commercially viable. Many people have spent a fortune on patents and yet not checked that there is a market for the product.

What an inventor needs to do is summed up in the AIDA acronym – Grab Attention, create Interest, create Desire, call to Action

Gareth pointed out that the inventor has to generate his or her own sales – retailers will put stock on their shelves but won’t market it. It’s important to be able to identify what the benefits of your product are (simpler? easier? cheaper than the competition?) He gave an example – the mobile phone. This has lots of features which can include texting, a camera, internet access and many others. However none of these features are benefits if you simply want to make a phone call. What unique benefits does your product have?

Once the benefits of the invention have been matched to a market, progress must be measured and adapted according to what’s needed.

If you manage to gain the interest of a producer / supplier Gareth suggested that it’s sensible to ensure you don’t present them with your only prototype. They will want to test it out – possibly to destruction – in order to determine its strengths and weaknesses. He also pointed out that if you supply only one firm with your product you will be in a much weaker position. You may be at the mercy of their tactics, and if that firm goes out of business or decides not to continue with your product you’ll be in a very difficult position.

If an inventor is competing in a market with an established product, retailers will favour the established product. They will always be wary of someone they don’t know, not knowing how reliable they are likely to be. Will the inventor be able to match the demands of the retailer if the product takes off?

Pricing is vital – if the price is too high, it won’t sell. If it’s too low, once wholesalers and retailers take their cut you won’t have enough to cover your costs. Pricing is part of what Gareth referred to as positioning, or how you’d like your product / business to be perceived. It includes image, value and quality of service.

Thought needs to go into how the product will be promoted. Gareth gave the example of “Innocent Smoothy” drinks. Initially they promoted the drinks simply by giving away samples at festivals.

Making good contacts is always important, as is “word of mouth” – this includes “viral marketing” or using the internet to spread the message to potential customers. Gareth went into detail about various aspects of promoting the product such as mailing, advertisements, brochures, networking and attending relevant events. Having a clear marketing plan should focus all of these elements.

Most importantly, an inventor must always be clear about what they can offer and what the invention does, who the target market is and how the advantages of the invention has can be proved.

Leeds Inventors’ Group
Presented by
Gareth Morgan
September 2008

What is Marketing
The 7 Ps of Marketing
Marketing Toolkit
Selling your idea

…Wonderful SPAM!

What Is Marketing?
Identifying and fulfilling a need
Identifying who your customers are
What they want
Meeting their need

What Is Marketing?
Marketing is:
"Everything you do to promote business"

Market Research
Customers – Who? How many?
Product – Real need?
Price – Consistent
Marketplace – How do buyers buy?
Competition – Who? Your advantage?

Setting Off
Identify your targets – how will you reach?
Customers will buy from me because…
Benefits means that…
Measure, Modify, Adapt

Patent does not mean commercial viable
Retailers are middlemen selling space
You are responsible for generating demand
Retailers not particularly interested in whose product they sell
Retailers looking for ranges not single products
Marketing is about trust

People buy the Results
Feature – what a product is
Benefit – what a product means for the customer
What do customers REALLY buy?

Mark up
Contributions and charges

What you stand for in the eyes of customers
Standards of Service
Quality of Staff


Marketing Tool Kit
Business Stationery
Company Literature
Signage & Premises

Marketing tool Kit
•Word of Mouth
•The Web
•Direct Mail

Getting Underway
People buy from people
Short words, short sentences
A Attract Attention
I Create and hold Interest
D Stimulate Desire
A Motivate Generate Action

Intellectual Property
Product – better than others, patented
Brand name – distinguisher, trade marked
Logo – promotion, trademarked or registered design
Colours – distinguisher, registered
Website and literature – promotion, copyright

Selling Your Idea

What appeal does the product have?
Why will customers buy the product?
Where does it fit into current offering?
Who are the competitors?
Does it show sufficient profit?
How packed, displayed, promoted?
Is continuity of supply secure?

What is a Marketing Plan?
Purpose of your Marketing
How you will achieve – describe the benefits
Describe your target audience
Describe your niche and position
Outline the weapons your will use
Outline the budget and timescales
Describe the results

Why do you need a Plan?
To attract and keep profitable customers
Identify who you and where you are going

Who do I want to reach?
What message do I want to generate?
What action do I want to generate?
What is my competitive advantage?
How will I prove my claims?
How will I create urgency?

Your Next Step
Learn More
- Leave your card for a copy of the presentation
- Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter (for hints and tips) at: http://www.gapmanagement.co.uk/
Personal Help
- Use GAP for all your Marketing needs
- Marketing Review to evaluate your marketing

Gareth Morgan 01226 290288