Marketing a product with constant churn

15 replies
I've been struggling for awhile with a product aimed at college students. It is a pretty specific demographic and since students are constantly graduating, there is little depth to the sales funnel. Most are one and done. I used to do numbers people would drool about but it's been tapering off. I can't figure out how to recapture those numbers. I used to do really well on Clickbank but now we do so little we don't even bother with that site anymore.

Adwords has become SO expensive and conversions are way down. I'm not sure what to do next to rejuvenate this. Ideas?

What's the best way to continually market to a segment with constant churn when you need to educate people on the need for the product in the first place?
#churn #constant #marketing #product
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by cscamgrl99 View Post

    What's the best way to continually market to a segment with constant churn when you need to educate people on the need for the product in the first place?

    Different markets require different strategies. So if you choose to market to a segment in constant churn you have to accept the fact you're not going to be able to nurture and "bring customers along the buying path" like you can in other more stable markets.

    If I were in your shoes, I would recognize the realities of the marketplace and look for an audience that was more aligned with my proven marketing methods and preferences.

    Why build a house in a neighborhood that you don't like?

    The only other alternative is to become proficient in that market by learning, testing, tracking, and experimenting in order to maximize your efforts. The risk with doing that, however, is that you may spend a lot of time, money, and effort only to learn that this particular marketplace has a poor ROI (which some markets do).

    Time wasted means you have lost the opportunity to make money in other markets that are much more lucrative and require less effort on your part.

    Steve
    Signature

    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
    SteveBrowneDirect

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10582175].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by cscamgrl99 View Post

      I've been struggling for awhile with a product aimed at college students. It is a pretty specific demographic and since students are constantly graduating, there is little depth to the sales funnel. Most are one and done. I used to do numbers people would drool about but it's been tapering off. I can't figure out how to recapture those numbers. I used to do really well on Clickbank but now we do so little we don't even bother with that site anymore.

      Adwords has become SO expensive and conversions are way down. I'm not sure what to do next to rejuvenate this. Ideas?

      What's the best way to continually market to a segment with constant churn when you need to educate people on the need for the product in the first place?
      If you are marketing directly to the students themselves, it may be how you are reaching them. You mentioned Adwords. Between sophisticated competition and lower available inventory (like the loss of the right column ads), costs are going to keep going up while the students are finding other sources for searching for products (like Facebook).

      In your shoes, I'd look at Facebook ads aimed at three different demographics:

      > The students themselves.

      > Parents of the students, emphasizing helping their kids gain an advantage by buying your product.

      > If appropriate, other professionals that deal with this market. People like test coaches, maybe financial aid advisers, and so forth. Look to develop them as referral sources. Even better as a list builder if you have something awesome you can offer for free, which they can recommend.

      The only thing constant in this business is change. Change with it, or get left behind.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583517].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cscamgrl99
      I appreciate the thought into the responses so far.

      To the first responder - it still makes a healthy return for I'm not ready to "throw in the towel" yet - but it has definitely plateaued. Ironically, it does seem like the last few years, I've put more time and effort into it than ever before - but we've been able to keep excellent margins so I can't really complain about that.

      To John, you had a lot of excellent points. I agree that the marketing will become more and more expensive. I know that our previous organic positions (2007-2008) where we were at the top gave us a huge advantage, but now it seems like we're chasing the #1 just like everyone else and that hasn't really paid off.

      I think you are right that Facebook is becoming the way to go - I'm not sure why I've resisted it for so long. You have some excellent ideas about splitting the target market, and I completely agree. Now it's time to find some good Facebook resources and strategies so we can get that up and running.

      You are right - change or get left behind.

      And to our last poster, we do have an Evergreen, recession proof product which is constantly getting new people in it - after all when one class graduates, another starts. We don't really have a product that would follow them into the next phase, so that's a brainstorm session for another day.

      I really appreciate all the time and effort you've all taken to help out. I'd never found this forum before yesterday - implemented something from another thread and it was very successful.

      It's hard to find like minded people to bounce things off of.

      Thank you all again!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583830].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        We don't really have a product that would follow them into the next phase, so that's a brainstorm session for another day
        By all means brainstorm it - but it may be there is no such product. The "student population" is a target market but on graduation the interests are splintered and there may not be a "consensus" product that will work well.

        John hit in on the nose, though - move to social media marketing and you may find your numbers going back up.
        Signature
        Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583833].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author cscamgrl99
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          By all means brainstorm it - but it may be there is no such product. The "student population" is a target market but on graduation the interests are splintered and there may not be a "consensus" product that will work well.

          John hit in on the nose, though - move to social media marketing and you may find your numbers going back up.
          I agree - I think that most likely after graduation, they don't have anything in common with their peers anymore...but there could still be some value to the customer list....maybe to someone else.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583847].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            there could still be some value to the customer list....maybe to someone else.
            Maybe - though it's not something I condone. I know a lot of marketers sell leads or lists of buyers - just be sure that's covered in your privacy policy.

            Not knowing the product it's hard to guess - but could it you could aim at the other end of the buying cycle of customers? Is this a product you could advertise to parents of high school jr/sr, college bound students?
            Signature
            Saving one dog will not change the world - but for that one dog, the world will change forever.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10584075].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thesuccesscoach
    I guess my question would be the following:
    what can you offer them after they move on?
    Is there a market that they move into?

    One other thing if they churn out of the funnel, there must be new people to come into the funnel? I take it this is some sort of evergreen product?
    Signature

    A life and business coach
    Ready to help you make it happen, just ask!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583525].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by cscamgrl99 View Post

    What's the best way to continually market to a segment with constant churn when you need to educate people on the need for the product in the first place?
    I need life insurance, but i don't want it.

    I need a family doctor, but i don't want one.

    I need a 401, but i don't want one.

    I want a 2016 Lexus SUV, but i don't need one.

    They need your product, but what if they don't want it?

    Ask yourself, are you selling needs, or wants? People buy what they want, not what they need.College students typically don't have money.

    Heck even some of them when they do graduate from college, they go to work at Walmart or a grocery store.

    Would young people working for $7.25/hour likely buy your product?
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583836].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cscamgrl99
      I'd say, if they knew it existed, they'd want it - even if they had to borrow the money to get it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10583844].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    Referrals... ask for referrals.

    Yes, they may have graduated, but they probably still have a few friends, acquaintances, etc. who might be interested in your offer.

    or...

    offer previous buyers a piece of the action to get them motivated to sell for you.

    and...

    while brainstorming, don't be afraid to ask your customers what they might need now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10584200].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Consider following your customers through their life stages. For example, in my early days one of my niches was selling study aids to college students. As they graduated, started careers, families, etc, product promotions continued relevant to such events in their lives.

      Today, many of them are now in positions of decision-making or influence within large corporations and government to buy products, services, capital equipment, etc. In my experience, college students are among the top demographics to cultivate, as they are in some of their prime formative years.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10585370].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author cscamgrl99
        So you'll never believe the follow up to this post.

        So I do some research online, create two test ads on Facebook. Add their tracking pixel, etc...

        Four days later I receive an email saying I've violated their advertising terms and my ads account permanently blocked. Their reason:

        Your account was disabled for running misleading ads that resulted in high negative feedback from people on Facebook. Our goal is to provide the highest quality user experience. We reserve the right to reject any advertising that we deem contrary to these objectives. Similarly, we reserve the right to close an account creating ads contrary to these objectives.


        So - now what? Try to fight this? Can you even try? And the ad wasn't even close to misleading. I wonder what metric they are going by - not enough conversions? I mean, have they seen the trashy ads on Facebook? Okay a little frustrated here.


        What are your suggestions now?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10597993].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          Yeah, I can believe it. FB is toughening up and some fall thru the cracks and don't get caught. Sooner or later these trashy ads will be canned as well.

          Best thing to do is move on. There are MANY people who make a living doing this stuff without FB.

          Of course it helps but it is not mandatory.

          Anyway, Iam always leery of approaching a Market where your Funnel is so dearth and without multiple Offerinngs mandated by your Audience ( Iam also hesitant that this could even occur... as people in general will need solutions and help in many facets of their lives)

          You may need to step back and reevaluate this



          Robert Andrew
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10598085].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    What are your suggestions now?
    Bing PPC...
    Signature
    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10598122].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Maybe try other PPC advertising, like on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram along with retargeting.
    Signature
    Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
    Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10598155].message }}

Trending Topics