If you’ve ever desperately tried to squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans that don’t quite fit right, then you know what it’s like to neglect the perfect product-market fit for businesses. Michael Collins, a marketing expert with 10 years’ experience launching growth initiatives, joins co-hosts Sky Cassidy and Karla Jo Helms on the If You Market podcast to discuss how to ensure the perfect market fit for your brand (no tight squeezes needed).
(Tampa Bay, FL) January 8, 2020 – Many companies fail to realize sales expectations and goals not because their product is not what it should or could be, but because they haven’t invested enough time and energy into determining the perfect product-market fit, according to Michael Collins, Vice President of Marketing at Connected2Fiber, a SaaS startup focused on developing location intelligence solutions for the connectivity industry. Although product-market fit is important to both startup and Fortune 500 companies, it is especially critical for startups, nine out of 10 of which ultimately fail.
“For the most part, I think that many startups kind of live and die by getting this right,” Collins said on the latest episode of the B2B If You Market Podcast. “It’s being in a good market with a product that satisfies that market need, but really being able to align what you build to the buyers by being able to identify, ‘What should I build, or, with what I’ve built, who are the most applicable folks to purchase it?’ That’s really something that I think a lot of startups work hard to get right.”
When those questions aren’t examined, the tendency is to throw up one’s hands and blame the product, when the problem may not be in the product itself, but the subtleties of positioning the product that one got wrong, according to Collins. Still, there’s not a customer for every product and sometimes tweaks are necessary on both sides.
“You can say, ‘we have the product, we’re not targeting the right market.’ Or you can say, ‘we have this target market, the product isn’t right for them,’” said Sky Cassidy, Co-Host of the podcast. “And usually you adjust the product some and you adjust the target market some. You don’t typically just completely change one or the other.”
Collins believes in going with one’s intuition around market focus, then testing, soliciting feedback from customers and potential customers, and examining adjacent markets and asking: “Where would this product apply?” This approach also opens the door to new opportunities.
Collins’ four essential questions for improving a company’s positioning:
- Who do customers think your product/service is for?
- What do customers think makes you unique?
- What pain points do they think you solve?
- How credible do they perceive you to be?
Collins’ additional four-point checklist for getting positioning right:
- Market: Who are you targeting?
- Pain Points: What do they care about? (And how do you help?)
- Advantage: How are you unique?
- Proof: Can you actually deliver?
Show co-host, Karla Jo Helms, sees the process in reverse. “What you’re talking about really is doing your market research before you start to develop a product and find out how big your market really is and is it sustainable and then working it backwards to then developing the product and making the product fit,” she said.
The If You Market podcast is a 45-minute conversation about B2B marketing—new trends, best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Each episode features a conversation with one expert guest discussing topics like: content marketing, account-based marketing, social media, marketing automation, PR, etc. The podcast airs on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn Radio.
About Michael Collins
Michael is the Vice President of Marketing at Connected2Fiber, a SaaS startup focused on developing location intelligence solutions for the connectivity industry. Michael has over 10 years of practical experience in successfully planning and executing marketing and growth initiatives for both startups and Fortune 500 enterprises. Visit Michael via https://www.connected2fiber.com/
About the If you Market They Will Come Podcast
Meet If You Market podcast host, Sky Cassidy—an accomplished B2B marketing guru. And his co-host, disruptive PR evangelist Karla Jo Helms. Together they talk with industry experts to analyze marketing and public relations tactics from a perspective of data leveraging in marketing, entrepreneurial insight, and a measure of crisis management.
Sky Cassidy is also the CEO of MountainTop Data. MountainTop Data, based in Los Angeles, CA, provides data and data services for B2B marketing. Karla Jo Helms is the CEO and Anti-PR Strategist of PR agency, JOTO PR DisruptorsTM, based in Tampa, FL. Visit them via http://ifyoumarkettheywillcome.com/category/if-you-market-podcast/
- “Why startups fail, according to their founders,” Fortune.com, September 25, 2014
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Karla Jo Helms