Skip links

How to market in challenging industries

You have done your homework. You know what you’re selling. You know what your brand is. You know who you’re selling to. You know pretty much everything there is to know about your product, but what do you do when it’s still not selling? The answer to this question is tricky, but it does exist.

Admit That You’re Going to Have to Work Harder

A good place to begin is to admit that some industries are just plain hard to market—and there isn’t a problem with that. Most products and industries are not going to generate anywhere close to as much buzz as a new iPhone or Tesla model would. It is vital to know this so you can understand that you’re going to have to work way harder to ensure you’re successful.

Think Outside of the Box

Once this is done you can move on to a more creative element of this process: create a need for the product. If people don’t want your product, convince them. Now, this is far easier said than done (in some cases it’s impossible), but this is the only way to truly guarantee success.

For example, take my client, eFax. Faxing, in all reality, hasn’t been a hot trend in a long time. eFax recognized this, but it didn’t stop them. eFax is taking faxing from something that people don’t want to something they need. Combining old technology with new is sometimes necessary, especially with something as vital and misunderstood as the trusty fax machine. The biggest challenge here is convincing people they still need a fax machine (hint: you do). Infographics are a great way to get this point across.

…But Not Too Far Outside of the Box

Whether it is too difficult to create this need for your product, or you simply chose to forgo this route, perhaps it is smarter to start building your foundation first. In order to do this you need to essentially target the customers who are most likely to purchase your product to begin with. You need to develop a relationship with them based on mutual need—they need your product and you need them to use it. This is essentially the crux of content marketing. Capitalizing on the existing market may seem like common sense, but you would probably be surprised at how many skip this integral step in the process.

Cover All Traditional Bases

While sticking with the theme of covering the more traditional basics of marketing, it is worth noting that it is still super important to offer competitive prices. This can become a bit difficult if you value your product at a much higher level than the rest of the market does, so it is imperative that you bring your expectations back down to earth before you set your price(s) at a point that alienates your consumers. Keeping your prices at a point that will sustain your existing market while simultaneously attracting new buyers will allow for the maximum amount of growth. This pricing concept applies to all products and industries, but it is especially relevant to those products and industries that are tough to market to begin with.

Right Your Wrongs

Whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes good companies can get a bad reputation. This can make marketing especially challenging for a company. If you think of it as an opportunity to show the world that your company really is not as bad as it is made out to be, you’ve just created your best marketing strategy. It is always important to get your message out in front of as many eyes as possible, so using visuals as a catalyst to achieve this goal is a great idea. Studies have shown that use of visuals can result in up to 94% more views. To take this point even further, infographics perform 3x better than any other visuals, so why not use them?

Another client one of my clients, Monsanto, did just this. Monsanto gets a bad rap in the media for many alleged wrongdoings, so we created this infographic to illustrate just one example of the good that they are doing for resource poor farmers in the Philippines.

Sometimes it’s challenging to market tough products or for industries that are seen as unmarketable, but following these steps should make that task a bit easier.



by Brian Wallace