An article in Cloudbeat a while ago started off with this statement:
My vision for the next generation of enterprise software leaders is this: the product you deliver should be a joy to use. Customers should fall in love with it … This reduces the sales costs by an order of magnitude, which can be passed on directly to the customer. Up front, you don’t have to spend the resources convincing people that they need your product.
I couldn't agree more. The more a product fits exactly with what the market wants, solves a major pain point and is easy/fun/enjoyable to use, the product will sell itself. Whether it's an enterprise software application, a consumer product or a restaurant. It doesn't matter. The rules still apply.
How many times do you see products that have huge advertising budgets that are trying to create a need in the market? Or that have high pressure sales people with gimmick's to trick people into buying products they don't need?
Marketing products that sell themselves is a dream. When you have such a product, marketing is more about educating target buyers about the product using their language in the early days of the product's availability—and then happy users will become your biggest advocates. That's when you see a product go viral. Think of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Now building these products is easier said than done. Here are a few ideas that may help you build the next killer product:
One company I knew pretty well was Newtoy (before they were sold to Zynga). When the iPhone first came out, they set out to create a suite of compelling social games that users would play again and again and again with their friends. They looked for major pain people have when want to play mobile games with friends. What they discovered was that people want to play but often their friends are not available the same time they are to play. So they created a number of games that let friends play games when they can even if their friends are not online at the time. (This is a similar to how email works. Send a message and your recipient reads it when they have time.) Take your turn playing the game, send it to your friend and they take their turn when they have time. I like to call it asynchronous game playing.
The strategy worked and worked well. Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends have become international best sellers. Even Alec Baldwin was so engrossed with the game that he got kicked off an American Airlines flight a few days ago because he didn't want to stop playing Words with Friends.
Newtoy was acquired by Zynga this year for a pretty large sum of money. (I'm not at liberty to say, but it was quite a bit.) And the founders did it by creating products that sold themselves.
If you can create a product that sells itself you will find you don't need to interrupt target buyers with annoying advertising, email blasts and messages they aren't interested in. You won't need to pitch your product. You won't need to use marketing spin to make it sound cooler than it really is. Instead, once your message resonates, you'll find others will tell your story for you—with a lot more credibility than you will ever have.