Side marketing can help us find a business opportunity in the sense of being a new product or service idea that can become the object of a company.
This ability to create new markets is the main difference with traditional marketing techniques (or vertical marketing). For example, from a chocolate bar, companies have used vertical marketing to add or remove qualities to the product, creating innovations within the chocolate category: with nuts, with liquor, without sugar, with white chocolate… But lateral marketing requires a much greater effort of creativity. If we continue with the chocolate market, a side marketing session could end up with a much more innovative idea: make a chocolate that has a small toy inside.
No entrepreneur would think of setting up a company of white chocolates to compete with existing brands. On the other hand, how many would reject the possibility of producing the famous Kinder Surprise to exploit this new business idea?
THAT’S HOW IT WORKS
The key to creating opportunities is to apply lateral marketing to transform some element of the market, the product or the marketing mix.
Transform the market When applying lateral marketing to a market we should try to change the answer to any of the following questions: What is its utility or what does it cover? Who is the consumer? When and where is it consumed? For example, would it be an opportunity to sell fluorescent popcorn at nightclubs? And make champagne for children?
Change an existing product If what we want is to find a new product, we will have to focus on solving the question: What parts should I remove or add to the product to create a new one? For example, can a motorcycle with a roof be manufactured? BMW has done it.
Innovate in the marketing ‘mix’. New marketing can also help us innovate in marketing. For example, does it make sense for a person to pay for the telephone before calling? For regular consumers of mobile phones with prepaid cards it seems that yes.
The goal is to find a new utility to an existing product, create a new product with a new utility or a new product with the same utility.
FIVE IDEAS TO APPLY SIDE MARKETING TO THE MARKET
1. CHANGE A NEED
Think about what other uses could be given to existing products, as long as they can cover some unmet need.
• Can a soda have a use other than quenching or being consumed in a leisure time? The new drinks have taught us to drink to have more energy.
• Taxis have always been used to carry passengers, but in some large cities they are already used as a courier service. The advantage is that the driver takes the package immediately, while the messengers have to organize their deliveries by routes. The delivery margin is much higher.
2. CHANGE THE TARGET AUDIENCE
Choose a consumer segment that is not a potential audience for a product or service and think about how you might attract them.
• One way to identify non-potential users or buyers is to think about the barriers to buying or consuming the chosen product. For example, the barriers that prevented women from using razors were the source of inspiration for designing the Gillette Venus, which fit the female legs.
• And who said that amusement parks are only for children to enjoy? These facilities are increasingly used for company conventions. Attracting these unusual customers can make them profitable precisely at off-peak hours.
3. CHANGE THE MOMENT
Choose new moments of purchase or use of the offer of a company.
• Thinking about the most late-night customers, Opencor has found its business opportunity by simply changing the usual purchase time of the customers of a small supermarket.
• A similar idea, but applied to the distribution market, has inspired a wholesale business idea. The opportunity was to offer the usual delivery services during the night. Your clients? The pubs and bars that are open and that may need any product.
4. CHANGE THE PLACE
Change the consumption of the product to a new level.
• The possibility of popularizing products designed for very select markets is a good way to use this technique. The relocation delhome cinemaal home allowed to enjoy a product reserved for professional rooms.
• Who would have said that five o’clock tea could be consumed in a can anywhere and at any time? Nestea made it possible.
• Another variant of this technique is to exaggerate the dimension of the place. An example: the use of the mobile phone with worldwide coverage or a train ticket like the Interrail, which serves all of Europe.
5. CHANGE ACTIVITY
Place the product in new experiences.
• Fresh fruit can hardly be associated with a vending machine, but if that machine is placed in gyms to link its consumption with sports activity, it is easier to be successful.
• Taking advantage of the fact that many people waste their time in traffic jams, some companies have designed language courses for radio, which are perfect to listen to them in those brief moments.
SIX TECHNIQUES TO APPLY SIDE MARKETING TO THE PRODUCT
1. THE REPLACEMENT
Take one or several elements of the product and change them.
• For example, adding a stick to a candy gave rise to chupa chups.
• The substitution can also be used with the attributes of the brand, looking for features that have nothing to do with the product. A good example was the association of Sanex with the concept of healthy skin.
2. THE COMBINATION
Add one or more elements to the product or service, keeping the rest.
• The seemingly impossible combination of a bottle and a faucet resulted in five-liter containers that have incorporated a tap for their use.
• The combination of listening and reading generated the books that are sold with a cassette, to learn languages and for children who start reading.
3. THE INVESTMENT
Say the opposite or add “no” to one or more elements of the product.
• The denial of the main quality of a pen or a pen (the fact that they can not be erased like pencils) gave rise to the idea of the famous Villeda marker pens.
• And who would have said that you could create a lottery that offers prizes without making a draw? This is the basis of the scratch tickets in a space where the prize appears.
Remove one or more elements of the product or service.
• The elimination of something as fundamental as the packaging of an air freshener for the home gave rise to the scented candles.
• This technique can also be used in the brand. The elimination of the attributes of a brand is the basis for creating distributor brands.
Exaggerating a part of the product or service: the size of the product itself, the packaging, the brand attributes or the frequency of use or purchase.
• The exaggeration of a bicycle leads to the idea of a bike for two (the tandems) and the idea of a super small car is the origin of the Smart.
• Exaggerating the use of the product, such as the possibility of using new lenses each day, can lead to the idea of disposable lenses.
6. THE REORDERING
Change the order or sequence of one or more product elements.
• The reordering of the way to consume a glass gave rise to the Bacardi Breezers, the rum and soda drinks already mixed.
• And the idea of a popcorn packaged before cooking was used to create the popcorn that is sold for microwaves.
FIND YOUR OPPORTUNITY TRANSFORMING MARKETING ‘MIX’
1. CHANGE THE FORM OF PAYMENT OR SET PRICES
An advertising agency has found its way by using a payment system designed for SMEs: the exchange of products for the services provided.
2. CHANGE THE DISTRIBUTION
The opportunity may also be to offer an existing product through a new distribution channel. The sale of books on the Internet and in the future the purchase of movie tickets by mobile are good examples.
3. CHANGE THE COMMUNICATION
An excellent way to reach the target audience is to get a reliable prescriber. What better way to advertise chewing gum than to get its recommendation in dentists’ offices?