It sounds simple. Come up with an idea for a marketplace. But getting it up and running and setting a foundation for what will become a successful business are two different things. For your marketplace to make a profit down the line, you need to think, “Why should people purchase from me and not my competitors?” Before you begin, ask yourself these 5 questions to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
1. How do I get started? The idea.
Does my product/service fill a need in the market?
The way people consume has changed in the last thirty years. In the eighties, the expression “Keeping up with the Joneses” rang true as commercials for new cars flooded the airways. Don’t get me wrong, people still buy things but they are lot more discerning when it comes to opening up their wallets. Since the 2008 recession, consumers have become more practical, which explains the rise in peer-to-peer and on demand services.
Advice: test early and test often.
Do some market research before building your product and once you do, make sure to test it out. Collect the data from surveys and fine-tune aspects that need improvement. If you wait too long before launching, you won’t know whether or not to move ahead with your idea.
- Who is my Target Audience?
Your research should include analytics about who your target audience is. Information, such as age, income, spending habits, will help you in your marketing and advertising strategies. Make this data available to everyone on your marketing and sales team. With a clear picture of what your ideal customer looks like (Customer Persona), you can pinpoint the places where they are likely to be, thus reach them at critical moments in their buying cycle.
- Who are my Competitors?
Knowing who your competitors are, and how they are approaching their business, is essential at every level of your growth. A clear image of who your competitors are, and what they are not, will help you to position yourself in the market. First, make a list of your competitors. Look at when they started and how they were able to amass customers and expand their brand. What can you learn from them? What will you do differently?
- What is my Unique Selling Proposition?
In the 1940’s, advertisers used the USP to create persuasive ad campaigns and slogans. Some popular slogans were,
“Melts in your mouth not in your hands.” (M & M’s, 1950)
“Don’t leave home without it.” (American Express 1975)
”Think Different.” (Apple, 1990)
Slogans are less prevalent today since social media has enabled a more organic way to advertise. Still, it is important to determine what features set you apart from your competition. What emotional need is being met by your product? Whether you end up using a slogan or not, it can be beneficial to jot down a few phrases that capture your unique selling point. That way, moving forward, you can be consistent by promoting your product or service in a way that aligns with your mission statement.
- What experience do I have working in this industry?
As the copywriter for Near Me, I have had the opportunity to interview marketplace owners in many different industries. From storage space to on-demand taxi services, the sharing economy is proving to be more than just a trend. During these interviews, I have noticed a pattern: experience within the industry leads to success. It is a lot easier to build a marketplace if you already have expertise in your field as opposed to jumping into completely new territory.
Coming up with an idea is the first step. Afterwards, ask yourself these 5 questions to set the framework for your marketplace. If you still have questions reach out to us @NearMeCo.