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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Hello – I have created a graphic design platform (www.dzynspace.co.nz) that challenges the traditional way companies can create files for social media, web, email and print communications.  How can I get marketers to look at what I have done and challenge themselves to think outside the square?I have approached govt, a local chamber, as well as council-owned marketing agency but they, are reluctant to look – I know they currently use an offshore owned similar platform to do their design but will not even look at my NZ owned version even when I offer it for free!Looking for help and support as one of my goals is to offer to the platform for FREE to charities, schools and any local organisation that does good in the community.   I can save them time and money as well as giving an alternative way to fundraise.John

Question submitted 28/08/20 @ 07:07am
Industry: Digital & Online Marketing
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  • Hi John
    Don’t give up. The fact that you are not getting the interest or even ‘look-in’ to your product this may be because of one of these reasons:
    1. There is not a large demand or need for it.
    2. Your message is not hitting the right pain points
    3. Your sales approach is not right
    4. The target audience you are after is not an ideal match (even within marketing, there are so many different types and levels)
    I suggest that you start with evaluating these 4 points as it is highly likely one of them.
    Once you know where the issue is, then you can hone in.

    All the best
    Anne

    Hi John,

    Awesome idea. What I love about these tools is that it empowers people who might not have graphic design skills to design their social media marketing content. As someone who can’t design to save himself, I definitely appreciate businesses and people who build tools like this.

    One thing that I have learnt is that making things free doesn’t necessarily mean that people will use it. As you probably know there is a pretty great tool out there called Canva, and while I am sure most businesses want to support local, people are going to opt for tools that work best for them.

    HOWEVER, I still feel like there are opportunities for you to enter and test the market. The approach I would take would be to focus on one particular client (i.e. schools or charities).

    If you build your website around how you are helping a particular type of organisation solve their design problems, it will be a lot easier to get your foot in the door. Getting in touch with schools and saying you have built an online design tool for teachers will make it a lot more appealing to them, then if you have a generic design tool that anyone can use.

    I would build my website around that particular market too and see what kind of traction you get.

    SECONDLY, you are running a new business. You are going to run into more No’s than Yes’s at the start. It’s the nature of starting a business. The more focussed you get on who you are helping, the easier it will be to get in front of the people who are likely to say yes.

    So, just keep going. You have built an awesome tool, and I am sure people will love it.

    All the best.

    Connor

    Hey John,
    Looks like you have put a huge amount of work into this – well done.
    Great responese from the industry experts already.
    Like Connor says, when you start a business it is really hard. You have to husstle really hard and take daily steps towards your goals. Even if the market validates the idea, it will take time to get traction – after all if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
    Try and get some PR and early customers. Happy to get my team to have a play and see what they think from a user perspective. Email me at richard@pureseo.co.nz if you want us to have a look.
    I try and remember that every rejection I get usually gets me closer to the yes.
    Good luck.
    Richard

    Echo the replies above but would add my own point.
    Have you done any market research into WHY people like or don’t like the site?

    Here are 6 testimonials questions to send to people who have used the site.

    From the answers you can use copywriting to craft social proof statements – that’s the number one thing missing from your home page – recommendations from happy users.

    1. What obstacle would have prevented you from buying [your product]?
    2. What did you find as a result of buying [your product]?
    3. What specific feature do you most like about [your product]?
    4. Tell me 3 other benefits of [your product]?
    5. Would you recommend [your product]? If yes, why?
    6. Anything you’d like to add?

    Share the answers you get from the first three replies.
    Rebecca Caroe

    Thank you all for your comments, they are useful. I have only launched a week ago – having spent the last 2 years working on it so I need to be patient – trust in the processes I have in place and also be confident that I know the market. My main job is owning a print company in chch which I have done for the last 20 years. I have seen first hand the move towards on-line marketing.
    Conor, my platform is along the lines of Canva but I have added some extra design features that they do not have, plus a collaborative space where users can post requests for jobs – along the lines of Freelancer and Fiver.
    I am about to work with the Cancer Society and Starship / Make a Wish to see how the fundraising function in Dzyn Space will go – they will promote Dzyn Space to their databases and I will donate 10% of any sign-up from their databases back to them every month. I also have a few schools about to test and I working with a few sports organisations in Chch to see if this will work with sports clubs.
    So I am trialling quote a few different types of markets but also promoting through social channels and yesterday a post went up on the Chooice Facebook which is a great cross-section of NZ SME’s.
    Regards
    John

    Good one John – businesses like yours can get quite big, but they always start to ‘flame-up’ in a niche, where is a real demand and/or need – so I would be doing your tests to find that ‘flame’ area where there is real need. All the best – Andy

    Also, one thing, I don’t know whether the ‘charity’ thing is a distraction – because in the end, all you want to find are users who value the service and platform and are prepared to pay for it – you want to find your sweet-spot customers. So maybe the ‘charity’ side is really just a channel to your market – you want however to find your sweet spot.

    Thanks Andy
    Yes, the charity side could be a distraction but I work with most of them through my printing business so an easy add on discussion with them and helps to maintain the print work I get from them. Also, a good way to get some good PR – initial research I did was that our typical user would be female between the age of early ’20s to mid 50’s – typically in an admin/support role at a company possible working part-time and, again generalisation, but with family/children commitments – time poor so looking for a time-saving tool that could also save her employer money. Hence our female focus on the main video and the charity side we believe will get more traction with a female audience. As a design service/provider there really is no specific customer/market sector – everyone uses and needs design – my short term goal is to get 500 subscribers – so to a certain extent my marketing strategy at the moment is very much scattergun – how can I get to as many people in the market as quick as possible.

    Great, my only reflection is that this goes against every bone in my body around starting a company up – I think super laser like focus on a core group of users who just love what you do, and how it solves their problem, and then finding more of these people who are similar will help you grow, because if you ended up with 500 users with say 40 different ‘types’ and co-horts I reckon you will have a major challenge on your hand with different use cases, different needs, different journeys – would make it quite hard to scale at an early stage – but i could be wrong, Andy

    Hi John

    You’re getting some great advice here.

    From our experience of creating a product for a similar market (website builder http://www.rocketspark.com) being very focussed on a very specific niche is super important.

    At the start of our journey we were similar in that that we saw every small business needed a website. The reality that we learnt somewhat slowly was that the more focussed we became the better we could grow due to more focussed feature development and marketing activities.

    The non-technical graphic design market is very large but there are some established players like Canva that are very well regarded. Does your website clearly articulate what the pain points are with tools like Canva that you solve? Being just a little bit better is not going to be enough to get people to switch.

    In our website builder space there are large players such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Shopify and there is a real inertia to switch from a known platform even if there are known challenges. Being NZ Made is the cherry on the top too but is not the reason people will switch or even consider alternatives. We learnt from our early design partners that they loved ease of use when they handed the site over clients and also the speed at which they could create the site for the clients so we’ve been laser focussed on ease of use and design tools that enable designers to efficiently create great sites that genuinely perform for their clients. We started to become focussed on these design specific areas in 2016 and now we’re starting to see real fruit from these efforts but it takes time (and belief you can crack it).

    Word of mouth referral is super important for growth in this sector. Without reading closely your platform name I googled ‘Dezign Space’ and your site didn’t show. I realised later I’d missed the tricky spelling you use. You really want to be found for your business name to harness the word of mouth referral. I’m sure Richard at Pure SEO will have some suggestions on how to get found in Google for the misspellings but you might consider a name change too if you’re not getting any traction online.

    Our key learnings to market to this community are:
    – Produce content that provides genuinely great help and advice to the target community
    – Build a community. We use a private facebook group, online classes, business coaching and a design partner conference as ways of building this community. We also refer leads out to the community so we’re genuinely helping them in their business in multiple ways.
    – Tell success stories. e.g see the video on this page: https://www.rocketspark.com/become-a-partner/
    – Provide 5 star support, fast and accurate
    – Have a true point of difference

    BTW, the team did pass on your request to connect. I’m sorry I’ve not been in touch. I get lots of requests for help each week and I love to help but I’m not always able to be speedy with so much on the go. This forum is great as many can benefit at the same time. I will be in touch though and I’d be happy to share more of our learnings.

    Kind regards

    Grant

    Hi Grant
    Thank you so much for the reply and the advice is great. For the last 2 years, I have been inwardly focused on getting the platform built and my other life is owning a print company that like all in the industry has seen a 50% plus drop in demand over the last 4 to 5 years so that has taken lots of my time.
    Pretty much all of what you have said above I am now starting on as we start to hit the market – really appreciate you taking the time to reply – I am reaching out to as many contacts as I can to build awareness and know that it will be a 2 to 3-year journey.
    Kind Regards
    John

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