Exercise 70 – If a smart scientist found a way to make teleportation work, how would you market it?

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Scott+Lin
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Scott+Lin

This is an interesting question. There are a lot of things to consider here:

What kind of teleportation device is it? Is there a distance limit? Can it teleport humans or could it teleport things only? We want to define the product and it’s uses so this is fairly important to answer.

I’m going to assume this product can teleport a person maybe across all distances but requires a “device” on both ends. So very similar to a Star Trek teleportation device. So this product is meant to save time in travel times maybe between airports and distances. In this sense, this teleportation device will mainly be purchased by companies that would operate these services as we may still want to enforce laws on cross border travel. Very rich people can still purchase this item, but legally they can only teleport within the country. Also, you can teleport up to five people at a time and travel time would be instantaneous. While you can teleport items as well, I am going to focus on teleportation as it relates to humans traveling great distances.

The price of the teleportation device will be compared to traveling through conventional means like a plane and the time saved. Because there are no real competitors on the market, we can upsell it and focus on a core group of more wealthy users before we bring it downmarket to the common masses. For upmarket sales, a first class ticket, or a private plane ride can get upwards of $10,000 per trip. This helps subsidize the investment in planes and in gas costs. If we say that everyday, there are 1000 people willing to spend on average $5,000 per trip, and with the time savings, we can upsell it to $20,000 per trip than the teleporter can make upwards of $20 million a day or $7.3 billion a year industry. I will also assume that maybe you have to take a 75% haircut because of interest and costs and that a company will look to pay down their costs within 5 years and that there are 20 companies that are interested in this system, than we can price the teleporter at $7.3*.75*5*1/20 or about ~1.5 billion per dual devices. (depending on the actual costs to manufacture the system). There are a lot of other considerations too like within country travels, this is just a pure estimation exercise.

Because this is a new and exciting invention, it should be fairly simple to promote through social media, through news reports. Every legitimate news organization will be at your doorstep looking to understand how the product works. I don’t think you really need to market it actively until the product has competitors. Perhaps, have a conference where the product is demo’d and make sure that the company is focused on safety and regulatory approval with governments around the world.

The place I would market this product is most likely through a website. Since I imagine most purchasers would be B2B and some of the most richest people in the world, it doesn’t make sense to have a store front. I would focus my energies on having a customer team and a sales team that can field these calls. Perhaps have some demos and most aviary trade shows. I woudl also have a team that can help people understand how to integrate this system into their airport or smaller business.

In summary, I would organically market this product. Being a new invention, marketing through news channels would be the best bet in getting the word out. I would price it high initially because most of the customers would probably be big airports, smaller aviation facilities, and probably the top 1%. I would sell all my products in a bespoke way with a full consulting team that will go to your facility to figure out how to integrate the system directly. I would also focus on having positive PR and gain regulatory approval from the government.

NabsPM
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NabsPM

Scott – Great answer
Here are some other things that I might consider adding here – When someone says – How would you market it? – Is it literally marketing via various channels or is it a “go to market” plan?
If the question was around marketing – I would still spend time talking about the customer segments and needs that this device would be most useful to because then you can cater the marketing spend and plan to that specific segment.
You have only covered travel as a use case here. While that is true, it would be good to define what kind of travel would this be most useful for and then outline those:
1. Travel due to rescue operations – Transporting humans or goods to and from a crisis situation/war situation. Customer segment – Military rescue teams, disaster victims, disaster relief teams, food, blankets, first aid etc
2. Regular travel or luxury travel – As you have mentioned here but go in to a little more detail. Traveling between countries for tourism or work. Customer segment – High end professionals/Rich luxury travelers – assuming that this device is expensive to produce.
3. Space travel? – Is this even possible- Ask the interviewer? Customer Segment – NASA or Space X
4. Transporting goods for trade – Is there really a need for teletransportation? – perhaps not. So eliminate this for now.
5. Transporting fresh food for restaurants – Fresh caviar, freshly farmed milk and eggs straight to the table etc Customer Segment – Very high end restaurants.

Then based on customer segments, you can prioritize the segments you want to market this to and what would be the best channel. Or if the question is “Go to Market” – come up with a test and launch plan which is least risky but is most efficient. I would choose restaurants and fresh food. This way I can truly test my devices without risking human lives. I would also test if people are willing to pay the price that I am setting for my product. I should think about – Should we sell these devices or should we consider a pay per use model? I would ask the interviewer about the costs associated with this product? Is it a one time build cost or are there ongoing maintenance costs that we have to keep in mind.
You might also consider the issues that come with scale. As you launch this product to market and more and more things and people start getting transported – do we start seeing glitches? Is there a potential that someone could hack it? Are there security concerns?
With these considerations in mind – you can create a go to market/launch plan or a marketing plan. I loved how you came up with pricing for the product. You used a “value” based pricing model which is great for this product.

onequest
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onequest

Yea it’d probly be best just to clarify…’Are we marketing the product?, going to market with the product/launching? The response would tell you how much time to spend on each area.

Aj
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Aj

Clarifying Questions
1. What does this teleporter do?
2. How many people it can carry?
3. Is it fully tested or it’s just an early prototype?
4. What are the limitations of the teleporter?

Assuming it’s a legit teleporter which can carry few people in it etc… then focus on

1. Company/Product: What are the strengths of the company, reputation and what are the capabilities or the product and it’s unique value proposition?

2. Customer: Identify the target customers. Since it’s early days, this teleporter could be for people hard press for time and willing to spend money. It can also be used by emergency services.

3. Competition: Understand the competition. Maybe there is no competition.

4. Climate: What are the govt. regulations around it? Is something like this approved or due to security or safety reasons it’s not approved. Does govt. regulations prohibits it to be sold in other parts of the world.

5. Marketing: Could be by invitation to high net worth individuals. Create buzz around it and make it a highly desirable product. Another angle could be paid joyride in it. That way you can make it popular in controlled environment.