Helping Products Spread

When there isn’t time to meet, but you need to show a colleague how to do something, an email or screen shots may not be sufficient.

That’s why you use a product like Loom.

You can record your screen and a video to explain relatively complex things.

My colleague shared a video with me to do exactly this. I watched it, then proceeded to sign up for Loom and share a video of my own with a different colleague.

Slowly, Loom began to spread in our company.

Some of our colleagues were even using Loom to send videos to clients.

Then, we received an email from Loom. They mentioned our colleagues were using the product and wanted to see if we’d like to chat.

This outreach was their attempt to find our champion and help Loom spread further.

We know products spread bottom up and with a champion.

Rather than let that be a black box, it makes sense to find ways influence that process. By finding our champion and helping them spread our products wider and faster in their organization.

Ultimately, to get organizational awareness and buy-in.

The question isn’t whether your product is spreading in an organization. We know that it will.

The real question is how do we find the champion, or couple of champions, doing the spreading. Then, help them spread it wider and faster.

Products spread, but they need help.

How are you helping your champions spread your products?

Customer Marketing with Tylenol

In the 1950s, a family owned pharmaceutical company saw an opportunity to use the chemical paracetamol – also known as acetaminophen – in medicine.

It was effective in reducing fevers and pain management.

This compound became the active ingredient in Tylenol.

To find its market niche, Tylenol targeted fever relief.

Specifically, fever relief in children.

They chose this audience for its lack of competition and a specific product to serve the audience’s needs.

The makers of Tylenol knew Aspirin dominated the pain management market, and to acquire customers in direct competition with Aspirin would be costly.

By targeting fever relief in children, parents began to trust the Tylenol brand.

This provided Tylenol the brand recognition to begin turning its marketing efforts towards pain management.

Going head to head with Aspirin.

By taking this approach, Tylenol was not competing with Aspirin as a no-name startup, but competing as an established player. With a brand that parents already trusted.

Slowly but surely, by marketing to existing Tylenol customers, they were able to start taking market share from Aspirin.

This is the power of starting with a specific problem.

Then, once you’ve done the costliest marketing activity – acquiring new customers – you can educate your existing customers about all the additional ways they can use your product.

You might call this customer marketing, increasing wallet share, or even the loss leader approach.

One thing holds true, growing through existing customers is an effective strategy.

And just like Tylenol, it’s a sneaky way to take on competitors.

Engaging Influencers

If you lose a tooth, you’ll head to your dentist to see about getting it replaced.

There are a few ways to replace it.

One of those ways is through a dental implant.

A screw that fits in the spot of your missing tooth. Which then gets a fake tooth placed on top.

Now, your dentist may or may not do this for you. It’s likely they don’t. The most likely scenario is they would refer you to an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist.

These are dentists that specialize in dental implants.

I sold these dental implants.

The buying process is a hub and spoke model.

The Oral Surgeon or Periodontist is the hub, while the dentist you visit is the spoke.

These specialists have many dentists referring these dental implant surgeries to them.

In this model, there are a couple ways to grow your business.

You can sell directly to Oral Surgeons and Periodontists. Convincing them to use your specific dental implant.

Or, you can sell to the referring dentists and have them request a dental implant to be placed. Typically, the specialist will oblige.

The latter of these two methods is effective. Reason being, the specialists care more about their relationship with their referrals than they do about which implant they use.

This is a classic situation of understanding who the buyers are, who the influencers are, and how they interact together during the buying process.

To succeed in this model, we need to create awareness and demand for the buyers. But more importantly, we need to do this for the influencers.

By doing so, we are able to engage and empower the influencers. Giving them enough reason to introduce our solutions to decision makers.

Rarely is the B2B purchase decision made with a single buyer. Nor, does it lie strictly in a buying committee.

And once you engage those influencers, you get the call from your target Oral Surgeon who finally wants to use your product.

Local Community Engagement

I saw Billy Joe Armstrong, the front man for Green Day, live for the first time in 2019.

For being a fairly big Green Day fan, it took me a long time to get around to seeing him live.

When I saw Billy Joe Armstrong, it was with a side project band called The Longshot.

They happened to be playing at a small club in Oakland. I think it stands maybe 200 people.

This is the exact setting I have always wanted to see Green Day or Billy Joe Armstrong.

The main reason is Oakland is his home town. And the feel of the show is local.

He actually plays quite a lot of local shows in small clubs in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.

Whether it is with Green Day, The Cover Ups, The Foxboro Hot Tubs, or The Longshot.

He will tend to just show up at places and play.

Which, for someone who does stadium tours around the world, it’s pretty cool to see them in an intimate setting in a small club.

What Billy Joe Armstrong is great at by doing this is local community engagement. He is heavily engaged in the Oakland community.

It’s where he got his start with Green Day and it’s where he lives.

It’s a reminder that we like to see local community engagement.

As marketers, regardless of how big we are, engaging with our local customers is a great way to keep a pulse on what our customers want.

Giving back to our local city is something to enjoy.

It’s special and you can only have it one place.

Just like getting to see a hometown show.

Al’s Barber Shop

Since 1953, Al’s Barber Shop has been cutting hair in Alameda.

It’s a fixture of The Island.

Alameda’s fun and has quite a few of these types of places.

Al’s is a classic barber shop. Minus a small change in ownership when Al retired, it’s gone unchanged for decades.

Even through the change in ownership, the shop itself was renovated to look and feel like the original Al’s Barber Shop.

It’s a place where you get a great haircut and have some good conversation.

Nothing fancy.

It’s like a barber shop should be.

Authentic. Local. They know what they are and the story they tell.

If you don’t live in Alameda, but live in the Bay Area, it’s worth the drive in.

They’re appointment only and you can book online here.