As early in the process, one of the first questions any business should ask itself is, who is this product for? Who needs and needs this? Who does this provide value to enough that they would pay money for it? In short, who is your target market?

They often say in business, that the best target market to go after, is the one that you are a part of. Design, create, develop a product that you would want as a customer. If you wouldn’t buy it yourself, probably no-one else will either right? But if you love it, then surely there are other folks out there just like you that will love it as well. That’s the approach I took with The VinylCast.

I had recently resigned from my position as Vice President for a startup renewable energy company. While I’ve got a big environmental conscious, and love a business challenge. I wasn’t going to be a consumer of the product we were creating, and as such didn’t love it and had a hard time getting excited about it at times. That’s when I knew it was time for a change and to go back to pursuing something that gets me super excited stoked… Working with incredible bands up close and personal, diving deep into their personal stories, helping orchestrate and put together unique, live, acoustic performances in great spaces and recording that at the highest quality, producing it into exactly the kind of show I would want to buy and listen to.

So who is that person? Well in short, it’s anyone that loves great music whether they fit inside our little demographic box or not. But as you do in marketing you attempt to narrow the market as much as possible, knowing there are lots of folks on the fringes and outside of those barriers that will love it as well, and they are all of course welcome. But , to define that little box…

We think VinylCast listeners are folks roughly 25-55 who are young professionals, and likely have a kid or two at home under 10. We get that you work hard for your money, and even harder at your family, and time runs scarce. When you do have free time, you want it to be spent well on a quality experience.  That roughly describes our household, and I often think what is the best gift my wife could ever get me? To be entirely honest, the answer would probably be something like 1 free hour a month to just sit back, relax and enjoy something on my own in relative peace and quiet, sans screaming kids. The kids are great, but the gift of time and a quality experience on my own is a rare thing and exactly what I’d love. I picture lots of other mom’s and dad’s in a similar boat. They love music, especially live music, learn about new bands and such, but find it hard to get the time to go out as often as they’d like and to keep up with what’s new and cool. I imagine the VinylCast as helping to solve that problem a little bit as being the perfect gift for your spouse. Each month they can look forward to an hour or so of peace as they sit down, put on their VinylCast episode and soak up the tunes, and learn about a cool new band.

So in addition to testing the show with professional musicians and record company execs to develop the show’s format and model, I also sent the test shows out to a bunch of folks in and out of the target market for feedback. The results were surprisingly close to what I expected.

Folks wanted to stay in touch, wanted to hear great music, unique performances they couldn’t get elsewhere, and wanted it sent out regularly to them each month. A few folks eden mentioned that it could be a guilty pleasure they’d possibly feel guilt about buying for themselves, but would LOVE if their spouse bought it for them as a gift

With that target in mind I went through my typical process on a project, and built out that person as if it was a real person, gave them a real name, and create a chart of what they are into, what they like, don’t like, where they listen to / buy music / find out information, and fill in some demographic info.

If you’ve done an awesome job nailing down that target and creating that avatar essentially of who they are, presuming your product matches that, you’ve won much of the game already. Now it’s just a matter of executing, finding those folks, and getting the message out to them in a way they want to hear it, in the places they go to find out things. Simple enough right?

I have to say my initial expectations of building this massive social media, quickly and easily was rapidly dashed. The good news though? People who are into live music and into vinyl are super passionate about it. I put out a few seeds of messaging in a few different social media groups and before long our audience was growing.

I’m stoked that we recently just passed 1,000 likes on Facebook. While that’s essentially means nothing in the long run until the product officially goes on sale, I have to say it’s encouraging that there seems to be a  bunch of folks out there that are into our concept.

Now it’s time for the real truth teller….Officially launching and putting the product up for sale to see if anyone will actually put up money to pay for it. That’s where I’ll pick up in tomorrow’s post. Preparing for launch.

Until then,

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