Getting an Edge on Product Placement Online

Published by: manav on 10th Oct 2017 | View all blogs by manav

Creating a competitive advantage for your company online seems hard at first. After all, companies are becoming increasingly engaged with different social media networks as well as organic search results regarding their products. As an example, a report in Adweek notes that an overwhelming 88% of companies are using social media for the purposes of marketing.

Getting that edge on product placement involves changing up your basic online strategy and philosophy. Understanding that marketing has morphed into a game of getting people interested in products without realizing that they’re being marketed to is an important concept that shapes how you should approach product placement online. Furthermore, the new phenomenon of dropshipping provides even more opportunity for you to gain an edge.

The Appeal of Dropshipping for Product Placement

Websites are transitioning from personal and individualized spaces to something that resembles a personal space but actually hides marketing and advertising attempts. The very nature of the Internet itself and the idea of net neutrality has come under question in recent debates due to this encroaching commercialization. An article in the Washington Post notes that: “It has forced Internet companies and users to confront the consequences — both positive and negative — that two decades of privatization have brought on our digital public sphere. Commercialization has brought the digital world to the masses.”

Regardless of the outcome of the decisions surrounding net neutrality, it is an undeniable fact that the Internet is transforming into a commercial medium aimed primarily at matching people’s desires with what’s available on the market. Advertisers have gotten wiser and more subtle in the delivery of their marketing information, frequently weaving advertisements for sites into content produced for websites. Instead of seeing an ad for an insurance company in the sidebar, you may now be reading an article that links off to consulting for life insurance.

Dropshipping manifests as a natural consequence in the progression of commercial methods for product placement. Businesses are now considering cutting out the middleman in the supply chain in favor of an approach that funnels customers directly to the supplier through a website. Dropshipping is a multibillion dollar industry where the person doing the selling does not hold any of the product in supply.

Instead, orders for specific products are received by the people or organization managing a website and the responsibility of fulfilling and shipping an order is offloaded to a supplier or manufacturer of the product. In this way, a great proportion of the Internet is turning into a mall, where websites now represent various boutique shops across the world. Getting on board with this phenomenon of dropshipping will allow you to access a greater market by devoting more of your efforts towards outreach rather than on things such as management of inventory.

Product Placement and Dropshipping

Dropshipping is ingenious because it further specializes the function of different businesses. Instead of having multiple businesses responsible along the way of a supply chain, it reduces the number of suppliers to only the necessary and essential members of the transactions. Websites that tend to become hubs for certain interest groups now become de facto stores for products that appeal to those interest groups. Due to the relatively new nature of dropshipping, many businesses have not fully utilized it or understood it to the point of incorporating it into their marketing model, meaning that there is a lot of room for pioneering opportunities.

As a brief example, consider the idea of any website that satisfies or attracts the members of a specific niche. Bodybuilding.com is famous for its forums on fitness and advice for beginners, and the site has taken advantage of this by hosting a number of popular models and their featured workouts and meals, along with marketing a number of products geared towards fitness. From reselling a number of health and nutritional supplements, Bodybuilding brings in a revenue of nearly half a billion dollars.

The end result of dropshipping is embodied in this above example. You want to cultivate a community of people that have specific interests and that are identifiable as a niche at first. Afterwards, you embark on dropshipping efforts by marketing the size and potential of your community to advertisers and markets in the space. Negotiating deals that target the audience you have built is essential to obtaining this edge on product placement through dropshipping.

Doing Your Research On Your Community

Building a community is one thing. Leveraging its economic potential is a different ball game. Finding the best products for your specific niche is a very involved, multi-step process that involves investing into efforts aimed at getting a lot of insight out of the people that participate in the community you’ve created.

To sharpen your competitive edge and ensure that you’re making the best out of your products with regard to the scale and size of the community of users you manage requires quantitative observations over time. Observing group dynamics online and how the community comes to a consensus on social events represents one of the ways in which your business can refine and conduct research to improve its product placement through dropshipping.

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