Even Crappy Products Sell.
Hanging out at the intersection of Internet Marketing, Social Media and Communications. It’s a great place to be – watching things unfold as marketing types tell you that “this is the thing you need,” and social media types push certain people as gurus, and communications folks try to make sense of it all for their company.
And smack-dab in the middle of one such “thing” of late. A piece of software. $39. Perhaps life-changing. No risk trial.
Oh, and it’s a crappy product.
What is the product really worth?
Here’s where the mistake often gets made. Let’s assume that this particular product really can drive tens of thousands of dollars of revenue to your personal or company bottom line.
Then, dare I ask, why IS IT $39?
Chris Brogan had a tremendous post on price and value. Take a look here and figure out if the stuff you’re looking at, or considering, is worth the money.
How to do product value math
Software can be an easy question: what does it cost to buy, what does it cost to implement, and what value does it potentially bring? Even online tools that are free or freemium have a cost associated with them – but spending the $20 for an annual subscription to a service that allows you to do in 5 minutes what you would have to ask someone else to do for hours of time = probably worth it.
But information products are really interesting: did my investment of $39 in this “software” that is REALLY an information product disguised as software make sense?
No. Here’s why:
How do you value your time?
Rough math alert: a six-figure marketer who works a 40 hour week values his time at $50 an hour.
Same marketer that spends $39 on a product that he has to (1) learn and (2) implement and (3) monitor for roughly 10 hours a week…now we’re one week into what has turned into a $539 experiment.
But what if it’s something you HAVE to know? Or something you “think” you need to know. (Like, for instance, SEO for the Corporate Communications person: here’s a link to an Area 224 webinar we’re doing on 2.24.)
Maybe we’re talking ourselves out of some business here, but this comes back to your investment in your own time, or your company’s investment in you.
If you’re a $100K a year Corporate Communications person, it might actually be a sensible investment to spend the additional $40 or so bucks, on top of your hourly rate of $50, to get to a decision point:
Is this something that will make my life easier, my job better, or my company more findable if I invest more time on it?
Is this going to always be way too complicated – so maybe I should hire a professional?
As for Crappy Product Avoidance…
Make sure there’s an airtight, easy-peasy guarantee. Protects everybody. We had a tough time finding the Crappy Product’s refund policy, or who to contact, or how to uninstall the software in exchange for a refund.