The Five Stages In the Life Cycle of Online Products

Life cycles are an extremely useful concept. Like most models, they help people to visualize the progress of an online product under certain conditions. They help people to predict the effects of decisions within the life cycle of that product.

There are a number of different life cycles. In fact, everyone who has an interest in an online product has some form of life cycle. Learning content creators have their version of a life cycle based on the effort. Accountants have their view of a life cycle based on income. Project Managers often have two. One based on the development cycle and one based on the types of projects needed. And marketers have their view.

In a previous article, I suggested a very complex life cycle. However, in this article I’m going to describe one life cycle of online products as seen by a marketer.

This marketing life cycle consists of five steps.

1. Pre-Launch

The period before the launch of a product is the focus of many other life cycles. But for a marketer, this time is used for two main purposes. The first is preparation of a marketing plan and marketing assets to be used later in the life cycle. However, this period is also used to create a buzz. Frequently this is a very heavy period of marketing as pre-orders are important to recovering the cost of development of the online product. A large pre-order also helps to focus partners on the product so that they continue to support the marketing effort in the next stage.

2. Growth

Once the product is released there will be an initial period where sales grow. While the pre-launch focused on the initial penetration of the market, this stage is more concerned with obtaining a commanding share of the market. This period is often characterized by high marketing spending with respect to profit.

3. Stabilization

In time, the market begins to reach equilibrium. While new competition enters the market, it tends not to disrupt the status quo. This stage is characterized by high profit with limited market spending and a stability in the market share.

4. Decreasing Sales

As time goes by sales begin to decrease. This can be caused by an obsolete product. Or it may be a market-wide phenomena caused by market saturation. Or it may be the result of an alternate innovative market arising. In any case, this stage is often characterized by wild swings in marketing spending. This is the result of increased spending on marketing with little result followed by a demand to reduce spending in order to increase profit. Determining the value of increased marketing spending during this time can be frustrating and frightening.

5. Alternate Use

This is sometimes referred to as retirement. However, I prefer the concept of alternate use with online products. Online products are most often used as bonuses to improve the sales value of other products. Actual retirement is frequently used to adjust the market demand. Online products are also frequently improved and renamed with a version which somewhat eliminates their retirement in this stage. However, regardless of the strategy chosen, this stage is characterized by the withdrawal from sale of the product and the associated suspension of marketing efforts.

Finding the Best Value With Online Product Reviews

When you are planning to buy an item or product, a common gesture done by most consumers is to ask their friend or family members for opinion about a given product before buying to generate information.This applies for all type of products,whether it be appliances,clothing, or any other items. Anyone wants to gain more information about a certain product before they go on to pay for it. same thing applicable for online product reviews are the best tool that online shoppers can use to help them out in finding the best product out there.

If you have tried online shopping before, you probably have noticed a star rating provided next to each product as you are browsing through your possible options. Although not all online shops offer this feature, most of them do and you have to take advantage of this feature. In most cases, those ratings provide direct link to online product reviews that you can read to gather information about a product and learn what others’ opinion of the product is.

Although these reviews provide valuable information about a certain product, you must not take 100 percent of the information as it is. Most of the reviews written for products found online are legitimate, such that they are written by industry experts who have tested the product or consumers who bought and have tried it. You need to be wary about fake reviews though that were written with product promotion as its hidden agenda. These types of reviews provide positive assessment of the website and serve to shadow the negative features just to convince buyers to purchase it. It is therefore important to have an idea of what to look for in a given product before heading out to do your online shopping.

Although they are of help, star ratings placed next to the product do not offer anything. You can be more confident with reviews written by actual users or consumers of the product. It will provide a more realistic and effective insight into the product, especially issues concerning user functionality. Going back to the above statement, knowing what your needs are and specific characteristics that you want, reviews you read can potentially impact your buying information based on your buying priorities and intended use. You have to admit it; product descriptions provided in online shops do not offer much, so these online product reviews should be generated to the fullest.

To conclude, online product reviews enable the consumer to identify the advantages and disadvantages of buying a certain product. Hence, many online merchants have invested on the business of writing reviews knowing how much it affects the buying decision of certain individuals. Indeed, they double as a promotional or marketing strategy knowing that consumers rely on the validity of information provided to ensure that they have made a great choice.

Building a Catalog of Online Products

How many times have you heard that you must have your own products in order to make money online? How many times have you seen someone offering a course on how to make big money writing eBooks? How many times has something about the pitch just seemed wrong? Or at least sounded a little like snake-oil?

Well, you’re right to question the concept.

Yes, you really do need to have a list and your own products in order to make the big money in internet marketing. But you’re never going to make a fortune with a single eBook. Sorry, it isn’t going to happen. At least it isn’t going to happen to the vast majority of us.

In order to make money over the internet, you need a catalog of online products. Not just one product but a line of related products. After all, once you sell one product to a person and turned them into a rabid fan, wouldn’t it make sense to try to sell them more products? In any other market that’s where your major sales come from. And the internet really isn’t any different. But to do that you need a product line, meaning a catalog of related online products.

But how do you do this?

In this article, I’m going to explain one technique for building a catalog of online products.

Creating an online product always begins with an analysis of your customers. It can be existing or it can be a predicted customer. In any case, you need to develop a picture of your target customer.

Once you’ve done that you need to identify their motivators. What is it that will make them want to buy your product? What problems are they facing? What is going to happen in their future that they want to avoid? What would they like to happen?

Step three is to determine a solution. How can your topic or product solve their problem? How can you create a teachable system for solving their problems, achieving their goals or avoiding their fears?

Okay, now you’ve got something to sell them. All that’s necessary is to turn it into a product. Or two. Or three.

Start by identifying what products you need to create to support this line. What will be your freemium? What will be your introductory product? What will be your midrange product? What will be your high value product? Now keep going. What will be your marketing products?

Now that you’ve got one product line defined it’s time to consider the rest of your catalog. Start by going down. How many other people can you sell this product to with only minor adjustments?

Then go wide. What similar products can you create that your customers might like?