Let’s go off on a brief tangent, shall we?
What’s one of the most popular wines of the past decade? Yellow Tail. BILLIONS in revenues with this one single brand.
The back story? This wine was invented in a boardroom, not a vineyard. True facts here. Marketers of this company got together and “reverse engineered” a top selling wine. First, they did boatloads of market research. Found out what the MAJORITY of wine drinkers that made up their target market wanted. Taste profile. Price point. Packaging, right down to what kind of fuzzy animal to put on the label:
They got their answers, contracted a winery, and ONLY after the marketing plan was in place was the wine ever created.
Result? Smash success, and MILLIONS of very happy and loyal consumers.
That is the power of marketing, research and branding. And it all came about how? By reverse engineering the entire process of product creation.
The exact same thing holds with some of the most successful digital product launches of our time. Just look at them – the software products such as Video Maker FX that have sold close to 100 THOUSAND copies.
The info products from household names that have generated 6 figure launches time and again.
What do these products have in common?
They set out to solve a need in the marketplace before ANYTHING else.
Yes, new and somewhat experienced product creators tell themselves they’re doing this. Heck, I’ve done it. Consider some basic advice you’ll get in a standard product creation course:
=> Research your niche and market
=> Tally up the BURNING questions people have in that niche
=> Create a product that solves a certain problem
Fine. All well and even good. But somewhere along the way as product creators, even if we’ve done the homework, we pervert the whole process by infusing the product with what WE think the market needs. Which ain’t necessarily what the market needs at all!
Result? If it’s a GREAT product with some good promotion, a decent launch. But definitely not a blockbuster. Zero chance of it going viral, because as a whole, the market isn’t that excited.
FAR better to reverse engineer the entire process. But for a far more altruistic purpose than just lining our pockets…
Sure, the creators of 6 figure (and higher) product launches make massive cash. But who are the real winners? The marketplace full of buyers that desperately NEED that specific solution.
By determining what the market NEEDS and WANTS first, then creating a product to solve that need, we create the potential for an epic win-win scenario.
People get what they’re craving. And as product creators, not only do we profit in a big way with the launch, we also build a loyal list of subscribers who see us people that provide REAL solutions to REAL problems.
THAT’S my kind of marketing.
Full disclosure: this was NOT how I started when I created my first few products. In fact, I didn’t do much research AT ALL when I decided to release a free WSO in order to generate leads (my very 1st product). Simply chose something I knew a lot about and hoped for the best. The topic was content creation, which although pretty important is a bit of a snooze-fest in our industry.
It did okay. Copy was decent. Product was solid. But definitely no career defining moment.
Next up I branched out into an affiliate marketing course. Physical products. The course did well, even made WSO of the day, but it STILL wasn’t what the market was drooling for at the time. Maybe sold 500 copies. Not the THOUSANDS of copies that CPA and list building courses are pumping out these days…
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m NOT advocating simply chasing what the market wants and trying to give it to them. Especially if you’re not an expert in the area. You’ve got to find a balance between something you have proven results with AND has a viable market.
So next up I got into email marketing courses. THAT was something I had a track record with and could teach. And sure, there was a decent market. Not as big as list building or some hot social media traffic source, but there was a market.
Released 2 courses, and was fortunate enough to have them both earn WSO of the day. You know what? Email marketing, as crucial as it is, still ain’t THAT big of a market. 2 products, each making WSO of the day, and less total copies sold than 1 CPA course that hit it big. Lesson? Reverse engineer. If I’d focused MORE on list building and LESS on email marketing, in both the product and sales copy, sure as I’m writing this I’d have made 50% more sales.
Getting back to more current (and relevant times)…
Product creators that do THOROUGH market research before even considering what to create tend to make a much bigger splash.
But is product research, on its own, enough?
I’m going to argue it’s not.
In fact, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and try a little experiment.
The theory is simple. Just like Yellow Tail, reverse engineer the whole process. Research, first. THEN, the marketing plan. Meaning determine the marketing channels, who would be best to promote, and then create the sales copy.
ALL BEFORE CREATING THE PRODUCT ITSELF.
I’ve heard of this process being done in digital products, but only underground. I really like the idea, so am going to test it myself.
Have done the research. Am looking into the best channels and the jv partners I think this would be a fit for.
My next move is to write the sales copy, even though all I have for the product is a solid idea (okay, maybe a rough outline but that’s it)…
Why would anyone write the sales copy before creating the product?
Simple. Makes for a better product!
Well, the job of sales copy is to sell. Meaning it must convey benefits and a whole lot of excitement. This often leads to claims that the product itself will fulfill.
SOMETIMES sales copy can exaggerate a bit (noooo, you don’t say…) But ya, for real!
So let’s say we reverse engineer this. Write up the sale copy FIRST. THEN go back, look to every single benefit and claim we bragged about, AND MAKE SURE THE PRODUCT MEETS OR EXCEEDS EACH CLAIM.
Would that not make for a better product? You better believe it would!
PROVIDED, of course, that the product is quality. Well I’m a Rebel and my boys Lee, Shane and Bryan won’t let me release crap. In fact they’ll be BRUTAL with their editing until this thing is top notch. Plus there’s a bit of personal pride on the line.
So let’s take a look at this whole “reverse engineering case study” I’ve just committed myself to:
=> Do market research to determine a fundamental need / desire (completed)
=> Ensure I have a solution to said need / desire (I do and it’s a BEAUTY)
=> Put a marketing plan in place (working on it)…
=> NEXT STEP – write the sales copy FIRST to ensure I’m approaching my target audience appropriately
=> THEN – create the product itself and ENSURE it meets or exceeds every single claim and over delivers on the benefits in the sales copy
=> SO, if the theory has any credibility, the result will be a successful product that delivers a specific result to a solid audience CRAVING that particular solution
Am I expecting a “Yellow Tail” result? Hell no, I don’t have that kind of marketing budget. But what I am keen on finding out is if reverse engineering isn’t a far more targeted way of delivering value to an eager marketplace.
So – step one of this little case study is complete. I’ve introduced the theory to you. I’ve undertaken the first few steps.
Over the next short while I’ll be developing the marketing plan and sales copy. Only once those are in place will I get to outlining the product itself.
Shall keep you posted of the progress. You get to learn on my dime. And I’ll be 100% candid with the results.
Reverse engineered digital product creation? Is it myth or reality?