Creative marketing ideas for difficult-to-market products

Learn how creative marketing ideas like working with partners can help attract attention for products that are difficult to market in this tip from Martha Rogers.

People dislike or fear certain products and would not demand them at any price. Can you suggest ways to manage the negative demand for a product and attract and work with those customers? I'm thinking of a health care marketer trying to market cancer screenings to patients and customers, for example.
I think this is an excellent question because there are some things that people just don't like to think about, some of them because they are fearful – such as flu shots, or maybe buying life insurance -- nobody wants to think about dying. (Of course, we really should call it death insurance, but then nobody would buy it.) And then there are some other products that just aren't fun to think about. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, "Wow, today is the day I get to go sign up for natural gas or cancer screening or life insurance." Those just aren't the kinds of exciting things that people look forward to buying. Since that's the case, what do we do?

Many people are very responsive to taking care of themselves in order to protect themselves for their families. So, you get your cancer screenings today because them you have a better chance of living through a problem and being there for your children and grandchildren and spouse and all that. But in some cases it might be interesting to work with partners. So for example, even if patients aren't volunteering themselves to come through and look for these kinds of products, maybe the physicians will encourage their patients or the insurance agents will encourage their policy holders. And then there is also the possibility of making it part of something more. So if I'm writing you health insurance then I charge you a different rate if you come in every year for your mammogram or your cervical cancer test or if you have your prostate exam every so often. So it becomes part of a bigger picture -- just as we might make car insurance cheaper for safe drivers. I hope this has been some help.

Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

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