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Selling and Marketing Unsought Products

My weekly grocery store run is easy. I know exactly what I need and exactly where to find it. For businesses, marketing the products that people already want is simple, but what about products people don’t know they need? These are called unsought products, and their marketing strategies cost a great deal of time and money to execute.

Because consumers either don’t know unsought products exist or their benefits, they’re difficult to market. This article will explain what they are and why content is a perfect marketing tactic for them.

Marketing helps your business boost awareness and comprehension of its products or services. When a product is already clearly defined and understood in the marketplace, advertising, sales, and marketing are more or less straightforward.

Unsought products are a unique beast. These items certainly have a use in the marketplace, but require extra exposure and additional marketing tactics to inform and motivate consumers. They are often extremely specific, so they appeal to very niche audiences. They also need a large advertising budget to sell to consumers.

In this article, we’ll cover the most critical aspects of marketing an unsought product, including:

  • What are unsought products?

  • Challenges of marketing unsought products

  • Why content is an ideal tactic for marketing unsought products

  • Creating a cohesive strategy

What Are Unsought Products?

There are four primary categories of products: convenience products, shopping products, specialty products, and unsought products.

Convenience products are bought frequently, immediately, and sometimes on impulse. Think of items like laundry detergent, chewing gum, and fast food.

Shopping products are distributed through fewer outlets and are often compared and contrasted by factors such as price, convenience, and quality. Although these are still frequently purchased, they’re not as common as convenience products. Clothing items, flights, and furniture fall into this category.

Specialty products are positioned for luxury, hard to obtain, and highly specialized. They are exclusionary by nature and come with a high price tag for their unique designs, models, and benefits. Luxury vehicles, specialty jewelry, and designer clothing are considered to be specialty products.

An unsought product has none of the elements from other segments. If a product is unknown, not actively searched for by the marketplace, and is very specific, it is likely an unsought product. Its price can be highly variable, and its marketplace perception is often more muted than other segments. Eugene Schwartz classified it as a stage one unawareness product, meaning clients and companies have no idea what the product is or why it exists, although it can also include services that people know about but don’t want to buy.

Below are a few other indicators of an unsought product:

  • Little to no desire to purchase, like home smoke detectors.

  • Associated with negative connotations, such as pre-paid burial plots.

  • Lack of immediate tangible benefits, similar to health insurance.

  • Low motivation to spend time or money, especially reference books or encyclopedias.

  • Unaware of a new product, like SlaaS programs (Sleep Lab as a Service).

There are many other examples of unsought products in the marketplace, from fire extinguishers to thesauruses, and they require a large amount of money and time to secure willing buyers.

Challenges Of Marketing Unsought Products

Due to their unique marketplace positioning, unsought products have several inherent challenges to overcome. They may be unknown to consumers or associated with negative connotations or life events, such as a burial plot’s association with dying, which dissuades people from purchasing. What’s more, a lack of immediate benefits can turn buyers away.

There are other challenges that stem from unsought product marketing, although unawareness and lack of immediate benefits are the most significant factors. In both scenarios, long-term advertising campaigns are required to generate awareness of and interest in the product or service, which can mean enormous marketing spending.

Many marketing tactics have been used to sell unsought products, some with great success. But as time goes on, it’s vital for marketers to do away with tired ploys that are less efficient and easily tuned out.

Fear, for example, is a classic motivator. Consider unsought products such as accidental death insurance. Discussing the negative consequences of not purchasing the item can motivate consumers to buy, but it is a risky strategy that doesn’t always pay off. For one thing, leveraging fear is not always ethical. For another, it can be easily ignored by customers with low motivation or interest. The message needs to be executed carefully so it doesn’t exaggerate product claims.

Why Content Marketing Makes It Simpler To Market Unsought Products

Content marketing has long been one of the most potent forms of inbound marketing. The content itself offers short-term spend and long term gain, as well as results that last a very long time. Once you post a piece of content to the internet, it’s there to stay. You can continue to reap the rewards of content long after being published, months or possibly even years into the future.

It’s easy to see why content is one of the best mediums for selling unsought products. Content draws an audience directly to your site and avoids costly TV or billboard ads. Even better, its methods of raising awareness can be highly cost-effective for an unknown or unsought product.

Let’s look at some of the most significant benefits content marketing offers in an unsought niche.

Content Marketing Is Actionable

Content marketing provides information at every stage of the buyer journey. It funnels customers from the awareness stage to the comparison stage, eventually leading them to purchase. You may also know this process as top, middle, and lower funneling.

Content Marketing Is Informative

Content marketing is informative first and entertaining second. It helps answer any pressing questions that people are searching for online, particularly about your industry. If you are the first company to make a post or answer a question, you have the opportunity to drive an enormous amount of traffic and position yourself as an authority.

Content Marketing Is Integrated

Content marketing is a cross-platform strategy, which captures bigger audiences using less work. For example, your brand could create social media posts that advertise blogs on a specific topic. Customers click through to your site, where they read a post that encourages email sign-ups. They enjoy your blog so much that they sign up for a weekly newsletter. Your brand will continue to nurture leads via email, which will eventually help readers decide to buy.

Content Marketing Is Customer-Oriented

Content marketing makes it easy to emphasize the benefits of an unsought product safely and ethically. It can also highlight the risks of not having it without devolving it into a fear tactic. For example, technical blogs could capture a drip campaign about industry trends and your product and all the ways they’ve helped customers thrive.

Content Marketing Is Affordable

Content marketing ranges wildly in terms of cost, but it is widely considered to be one of the lower-cost strategies. It doesn’t cost a penny to send out a social media post or create a blog post on your site. If you want high-quality copy in a particular niche, you may need to pay extra for creative labor, in which case freelancers and content agencies are both popular options.

An excellent case study of unsought products using content marketing includes pre-planned funeral homes. Well-conceived websites and unique on-page content can nurture leads through the funnel. According to this case study on Hoff Funeral Home, good website content helps leads find and place trust in your brand. In this case, a single lead was able to submit an online funeral pre-plan using an online form. Finally, the lead RSVP’d services for another loved one on the same site. This would not have occurred if the company did not have strong website content and good inbound marketing strategies.

If you aren’t sure where or how to begin your content journey, consider partnering with a pro. Technical content marketing agencies like Draft.dev make it easy to generate quality content without the hassle of sourcing writers.

Creating Cohesive Strategy

Unsought products are any item or service customers don’t know they need or don’t actively want. This could be due to the product’s position in the marketplace, the type of product, or the target demographic Unsought products face many marketing challenges due to their unique positioning, including extensive marketing spend, low awareness, and high comprehension thresholds.

Harnessing the power of inbound marketing is a great way to alleviate some of the pain points in unsought products. Create a cohesive marketing strategy that integrates strong content marketing for the best possible outcomes. Highlight the benefits of your USP and encourage engagement to create an active audience segment. Finally, focus on creating a solid content marketing strategy that communicates the advantages of your offering and moves people through your funnel.

Richard White

By Richard White

Richard is a communications expert with over a decade of experience across B2B and B2C. He currently manages marketing content at Draft.dev.