Published on 22nd Dec, 2008 in Online Marketing

How to Create a Fail-Proof Online Product

By: Shama Hyder

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I am usually not a huge fan of the traditional “internet gurus” because often their message feels hype-filled to me. I have found very FEW actually deliver on their promises. However, I ran into some great video by Eben Pagan the other day. Just 45 minutes of very good online marketing advice. No pushy sales pitches. If you like, you can see the video here. My favorite part of the video was when he gave advice on how to create a fail-proof online product. Or at least shared how to dramatically increase its chances of being successful. Now, here is a guy who has done TONS of product launches, so he knows what he is taking about. Here are his 3 recommended questions to ask yourself plus my 2-bit. 1. Is there an irrational desire or urgent pain? Before you create (or worse…launch) your product, ask yourself this question. Does your product solve an URGENT pain or fulfill an irrational desire? Eben shares the example of video games. They don’t always make sense, but there are PLENTY of video game fanatics out there. I’d say that Tim Ferris’ book, The 4 Hour Work Week, did a good job of capitalizing on an irrational desire. People want to work less and earn more. That’s an irrational desire. The social media marketing eBook I am madly working on these days will aim to solve an urgent pain for anyone who is frustrated with how to make the most of social media sites from a business perspective. Does your product solve an urgent pain or feed an irrational desire? 2. Are your prospects ACTIVELY looking for a solution? I see a LOT of people make this mistake when they start out in the online world. Let’s say that “Sam” starts a social media site because he sees how successful Facebook and Linked-In are. But, what would compel people to join his site? Unless he has a VERY unique angle that people are craving, the venture will fail. Because people aren’t actively looking for one more social media site to join. Or, let’s take “Jane’s” example. Jane decides to sell shoe polish online. But, what if no one is looking?Creating desire for a product is MUCH harder than catering to a current demand. How do you determine demand? By using keyword search tools to see what people are searching for, and how many times a keyword or phrase is being searched for. A good tool in this case is Word Tracker. Another good tool that just came to market is Market Samurai. (I just got it yesterday, so I am still playing with it. So far, so great!). 3. Does your prospect have NO or very FEW perceived options? In other words, are you playing in a blue ocean or a red ocean? A red ocean is a metaphor for a niche that’s filled with blood-thirsty sharks. There is just TOO much competition. A circus is a good example of a red ocean. Too many entertainment choices are really drawing crowds away from what used to be the ONLY American form of live entertainment-the circus. A blue ocean is where you create your own category. Cirque Du Soleil created a NEW category. They combined circus theatrics with classical music. They turned the circus into an art form. They are no competitors, because you have managed to differentiate yourself so brilliantly. By the way, I HIGHLY recommend you read Blue Ocean Strategy once in your lifetime. It’s a classic and contains many more examples of blue ocean categories. So, what are your thoughts on online products? photo credit: