What is meant by the term marketspace? Some may have heard the term Marketspace starting as early as the late 1990’s by those who let go of conventional marketing and understood a market not restricted geography and location. As has happened in the past, the world is still ongoing a dramatic disruptive change to how business transacts from the internet and its ability to connect almost anyone anywhere in real-time.
There are key differences, advantages, and even disadvantages to those who do not adapt to the new world of Marketspace business. Those who adapt remove themselves from statements like “why would I show everyone my prices, our competition will see it”, or “we only sell our products locally with our direct sales model”, have the most to gain as most often their competition will not adapt to this new way of strategic thinking.
Early Adapters of the Marketspace
The idea in market positioning has been, when the organization is first to market they have the best chance of winning the mind of the customer. This rule again has again fallen true with current brands like Dell, Amazon, and Napster. What is known of these brands, other than they are all market leaders in there respective category. Why? Not because any of them produced a better product, nor did they sell a product or service not offered by anyone else. It’s that they found a new medium to execute the marketing strategy, the internet, and their competition ignored it.
Over an over, several markets are being “Amazon’ed” due to the fact that they want to run the organization the way they did 10 or maybe 20 years ago, “because that is how we do business”. A lot of out of organizations in these markets believed in that same philosophy. For example, the book market: “why would someone by a book on the internet, they can’t even sample it” or better yet; “nobody would ever purchase an automobile on the internet, you can’t even test drive it”. It’s safe to say when an organization or market lives in the “pastlane” they are next to be in the unemployment line. The Marketspace has opened the world up to a new information sharing market, where yes, the consumer is actually educated and knows what they want. Start listening, stop selling, and take advantage of this opportunity.
Three steps to get started in The Marketplace
Getting started in the Marketplace does not mean an organization instantly must list all their products online with the best possible e-commerce site, nor must they accept credit card payment for sales of widgets. What an organization must understand is the opportunity the internet brings to their business. If an organization, for example, manufactures large bottling machines, maybe having a web presence stating “hey we're out here, and yes we do that, is enough”, maybe it’s not. What an organization must first find out is if customers are looking for their products online, or related products in which they can advertise their products on another’s site. It is almost always true to find information about anything on the web, especially the most obscure businesses. If the business is unique, good, the site will take less effort in keyword research as it is less competitive.
Step 1: Get a Website or make the old site better
The web is constantly evolving; with this so should an organization's website. It can be said that customers used to judge an organizations health by the size or upkeep of their building. Now the same can be said about an organizations website (actually most customers never see an organizations building).
Below are couple basics for a good start to a website in the marketspace:
First: Keep it simple, and clearly explain what the organization does. There should be no question about what the company does. If there is, junk the site or get new content. If it is difficult to explain in under a few sentences what the organization does, the problem is deeper than just marketspace development.
Second: Remove all the excessive flash animation, buttons, music, and images from the existing website, or do not add these components to a new site. All this does is either A.) Frustrate the customer, B.) Ruin basic navigation on the site, C.) Remove chances for the site to be indexed by search engines,or D.) make the site load slower and anger the customer. These things do not mean that an organization cannot have a cool looking site, but unless the organization is in the Disco business don’t make the site look like a Disco club.
Third: Get the best content. Content is the most important component to any website, it tells the customer what the organization does, and gives search engines a way to match web surfers searches to a site. When writing the content use clear statements with the same keywords that a customer may use to find the organization. This will help search relevance.
Forth: If there are graphics or images, make them relevant to the page and make sure to use tags to describe the pictures if they do not appear in a browser. ]Never place a picture of the organization’s building on the site, unless of course it is an impressive building and the company is either in the construction or real-estate business. No exceptions to this. If all the organization has to offer is the building, there are problems. If the building means that much to the ego of the founders of the site again, the organizations has other problems that are not marketspace related. No building pictures! (Except for real-estate and construction) No other exceptions!
Step 2: Begin Positioning the Business in the Marketspace
Any business owner, entrepreneur, or sales person must first ask themselves “what products, services and topics are related to our business”, “what do our current customers visit on the web, and where do our prospective customers visit on the web”, “what are the core interests of our customers and prospects”. Once this information has started compiling the organization can begin to relate to other products and services.
Remember, relating to competing products or even another’s position in the marketplace is valid in the marketplace, and yes, it is valid in the marketspace. Realize people are looking for your products and services on the web and they need to find you before they can place that order. Hell, a placed advertisement under competitor’s brands and keywords web Pay-Per-Click advertising is cheap. Even if someone doesn’t click them still see the organizations brand name and that helps with awareness. Get in the customers mind, and get their business.
Since information travels so quickly on the web it is important to find related products and sites where an organization can advertise because of the chance for click through, brand awareness, or a sale. Find out where customers and prospects might be visiting and get there before the competition. If the organization has partners, trade links between sites, get the most traffic possible, and become known.
Step 3: Keep Looking for Opportunity
The web is growing everyday, look into all options, ask the employees to ask new prospects where they found out about the organization. Get the employees in the organization to understand the importance of the business in the marketspace, listen to their suggestions, and execute a robust marketspace strategy. Overall, complement current marketing strategy, positioning, and communication by integrating with the marketspace.