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Winners and Losers in the RFID Market
Here's how smart RFID companies will survive the current economic downturn.
Additonally, market more effectively. That's challenging for the RFID market. If you sell IT equipment, you could go to magazines, purchase lists and conduct a direct-mail campaign to select CIOs. But there is no chief RFID officer position. In many companies, it's the executive in charge of the supply chain, manufacturing, operations or security who runs their RFID efforts, so you can't simply select RFID people and market directly to them. And if you advertise in an IT or supply chain magazine, you’ll wind up paying to reach a lot of people who have no interest in RFID.
The key is to go where your customers are: RFID magazines, Web sites and events attract the people responsible for radio frequency identification, regardless of their functional area (full disclosure: I run a company that has such a magazine, Web site and events). If you advertise in RFID magazines, you'll build your brand, and that will pay off when the market picks up and every end user knows you but not your competitors. Link your online ads to giveaways that enable you to capture potential leads (hint: 45 percent of our readers say they learn about RFID applications and benefits from white papers).
Exhibit at events where you know there are potential customers interested in RFID (as opposed to those where there are a lot of people in a vertical you are targeting). Lure people to your booth by giving away a white paper that shows them how to use your product to cut costs or boost sales. And demonstrate that you can deliver value by encouraging one of your customers to speak at an RFID event.
I launched my RFID business six years ago, in the midst of an economic downturn, so I know it's not easy to invest when times are tough. But the cold, stark reality is that if you invest now, you might fail, but if you don't invest, you almost certainly will fail. You got into this business because you believed you had a product that could deliver value to your customer—and if you can deliver, you will make it through this period and be a stronger company as a result.
[For vendors of RFID products and services, I spell out, in my latest blog, some of the hard lessons RFID Journal has learned while marketing our products over the past six years. If you are interested in learning from our experiences, see How to Market RFID Products and Services in a Slowing Economy.]
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.
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