“Amazon keeps changing my product titles. How am I supposed to produce more sales on Amazon if they keep doing that?”
Me: “What do your reviews look like?”
“Well, I have a lot of 1-star reviews. I have these really cool images showing how strong my product is. But, customers keep leaving one star reviews saying that the product is breaking in half when they use it.”
Me: “Hmm…I think I know why you’re not producing sales…”
(This was from a recent conversation with a real Amazing.com member who is in the early stage of building a business.)
Since you’re reading this blog post, I’ll give you a hint at what advice I gave him: marketing is not the problem.
Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest Ads, Instagram ads, press releases…yeesh! I can’t keep track of all that either.
If all of those traffic sources are the supposed sources to business riches, then how can this be true:
Tesla spends next to nothing on marketing, yet their market cap is about $35 billion.
Or, how about this:
The software company Atlassian went public last year, and is worth about $5 billion, yet they are known to spend a fraction of what big software companies spend on marketing relative to their revenue levels.
Let’s say you’ve launched your business and are deciding what to do next.
You decide to spend $10,000 on marketing.
You acquire new customers for $10 each. You get 1,000 new customers.
But then you – and your customers – find out that your product really isn’t all that good.
They don’t refer anyone.
Even worse, they start telling friends, family, and their social media followers that your product isn’t really all that great.
You want more sales. So, you spend some more money to acquire more customers.
This time, because the word is out about your product quality, your cost to acquire customers is not $15 each. Your next $10,000 gets you less than 700 customers.
I think you can see where this math is heading.
On the other hand, let’s say you take a different route.
You decide to put your $10,000 into improving your product.
You decide that you’re going to create an extremely high-quality product that solves a real problem for people.
You’re not spending anything on marketing, so customers very slowly come in. Maybe it just starts with some friends and family and a few randos who find your Facebook post about your new venture.
But, those who do find your product LOVE it.
They tell as many people as they can about it. They talk about it constantly.
Each person brings in a couple more people. Two becomes four. Four becomes eight. Eight becomes sixteen.
You get to 50 customers, then 100, then 200, then 400.
You then have more money to invest more in making your product even better.
This speeds up the growth ever further because now customers are telling EVEN MORE people about it.
Then there’s your competitor: “Man, if I could just come up with some sneakier Facebook ad copy and get more people to use my crappy product, I’d be RICH!”
Achieving Better Quality
So, how can you improve the quality of your product?
First, you have to listen to your customers.
Ask them early and often about your product. Ask them how they use it, when they use it, what they like, what they don’t like, what problem is it solving (or not solving) for them.
Get constant feedback.
Second, forget marketing (until your product is great and you know who you’re selling to). Otherwise, you’re spending time and money on a diminishing return activity.
Spend everything on creating a better product and delivering more for your customers.
You know you need a higher quality product.
If you’re selling a consumer product, now you need to know where to get it and HOW to get it.
The supplier you work with is absolutely critical to your ability to create a better product. Get the right supplier and it’s easy to innovate. Get the wrong supplier and innovating feels like a daily trip to the dentist.
So, where do some of the world’s highest quality products come from?
Probably somewhere you wouldn’t expect.
See you soon.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.