Market Sophistication Levels

Market Sophistication Levels are about selling differently based on competition level and the degree of public sophistication about your product and market. They are based on a book called Breakthrough Advertising by a copywriter named Eugene Schwartz. Vishen Lakhiani popularized it in his video (below).

Market Sophistication Level

Market Sophistication has 5 levels. To get people to buy or use your product, you need to get a gauge of what level of sophistication your market is at. You do this by looking at the messaging your competitors are using, like PPC ads, home pages, TV commercials, radio commercials, and landing pages.

Market Sophistication Level 1

You are just introducing a new thing to the world. There is no need to differentiate your solution. The public is unaware of anything close to your product because it is a radically new invention. You simply lead with the declaration that your product exists (ie. “The World’s First Car vs. A Mechanical Horse”)

Market Sophistication Level 2

Once you have competitors, your job is to outbid them by making outstanding claims about how your product or service is different and better. They are aware of several of your competitor’s products, then emphasize the most powerful benefits of your product (ie. “The Fastest, Safest Car Ever Created”)

Market Sophistication Level 3

They’ve seen many competitor products, then emphasize the mechanism that makes your product unique from the others (ie. “The New Engine That Makes X The Best Car In The World” Emphasize different sections of your marketing copy to best capture their interest and desire in your product or service.

Market Sophistication Level 4

Keep elaborating the features, not the product. Focus on the mechanism behind the product or service. They’ve already seen several competitor products that use your same mechanism, then emphasize the most powerful benefits of your mechanism (ie. “The Quietest Engine Luxury Can Buy”).

Market Sophistication Level 5

Finally everyone has a new feature and the audience becomes jaded of all of the advertising and are familiar with all of your competitors’ claims. Instead, emphasize identification with your prospect. (ie. “The Only Luxury Car Exclusively Driven By The World’s Best Business Leaders”).

Marketing Strategy for Great Marketing Plans

When you’re doing initial market research into how to market your product or business, it can pay to start off figuring out your market sophistication level before making your marketing strategy or marketing plans. But it’s not only about products or services – any page from a job posting to an About page to a Contact page can be optimized using market sophistication levels. “To sell is human“, and you should always be closing.

The eReader Revolution

How eReaders (also written e-Readers), which are digital readers for eBooks (also written e-Books) have taken over the tech news and gadget landscape? From Amazon’s Kindle™ which was first released on November 19, 2007 to Barnes and Noble’s nook™ which was first released November 30, 2009 to Apple’s iPad which was released April 3, 2010, there clearly is a revolution going on in how books are read, purchased, stored, and shared.

The first chart shows the dramatic rise in news articles related to ereaders starting in 2009. This chart also highlights the differences in spelling of the different terms for ebook readers. While there is no official way of spelling it (both ereader and e-reader are acceptable), Google Trends clearly shows that “ereader” is used more often or is more popular. In general I think that if hyphens can be avoided, they will be, just as in “e-mail” is more often written as “email.”

The second chart shows the steady rise of Amazon’s Kindle, followed by the nearly identical rise of Barnes and Noble’s Nook an Sony’s Reader. Other ebook readers like the Que and Alex don’t yet register in comparison to the traffic of these other major players, but if you compare Apple’s iPad against this chart, it makes the Kindle look pathetic in comparison.

Now these are mostly news trends and not necessarily a reflection of popularity or quality, but it does highlight a tipping point in the use of ebook readers that happened at the end of 2009, about a year after the market crash in 2008. Despite a recession and a bad world-wide economic situation, consumers have still went out and purchased not just ebooks and ereaders, but e-reader accessories, which can sometimes equal or cost more than the ereader itself. Nook covers, for example, average around $25 each.

How about you? Do you own an ereader or plan on purchasing one in 2010? Answer in the comments below.

Analyzing Actions

youtube-diggI decided to do a little research on how this blog was doing.  I went to Google Analytics, which records data on what keywords visitors use to find this site and exported the data into Microsoft Excel.  Data has a funny way of changing your realities from what your gut thinks to actual reality.  What we intended this blog to be about can be summed up in one sentence:

Thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to results, so to change your results, you must first change your thoughts.

This meant that Zac and I wrote mostly about thoughts, actions, analyzing the way you feel and think – basically changing the insides in order to affect the outsides, the results, in order to achieve success.  What the analysis told me is that even though we are writing about all that, most visitors only care about one of two things, “How to Delete a Digg Submission,” and “Youtube Query String Parameters.”

Both of these subjects, or posts, are in the “Programming” category, which, out of all the categories (Actions, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Job Hunting, Life, LOST, Management, Marketing, Pop Culture, Small Business, Startups, Success, and Technology), Technology is probably the only one that is remotely close to being like it.  All the others, besides LOST, are mostly homogeneous.  So what we really have here is a kind of identity crises.  It’s a question of who we are.  It’s also an opportunity to innovate and make some changes.

Blog Analysis

Most popular posts and keywords are just one metric of the success or current state of a blog.  For each keyword there are, “Pages per Visit, Average Time on Site, Percent New Visits, and Bounce Rate.”  For example, the keyword which resulted in the most page views was, “youtube embed querystring parameters,” at 17 pages, whereas the keyword resulting in the lowest bounce rate, “creative avoidance,”at 42% also had 3 more page views per visit.  This tells me that out of all Managing Actions blog posts, the most popular post that also captures the essence of this blog, “manage your thoughts in order to manage your actions”, is “Creative Avoidance,” by Zac.

I recommend breaking the “Programming” category off into its own blog and focusing on “Creative Avoidance“-type subjects along with the other popular trends in this category, “Purpose,” “Actions,” and “Confidence.” [Update: I have since started blogging about query string parameters (1,2) and how to stay alert. 9/15/2009]

If you would like an analysis done on your blog or help with Internet marketing, please use the comment box below to leave your name and email address and we will contact you shortly.  Thank you for visiting Managing Actions – and may your thoughts lead to action!