I'm developing a proposal for a grant funding authority to produce a regional history documentary. Funding depends on the project's ability to make money back through DVD sales. How can I convince the funders the project will work without any market information to back me up? I have anecdotal information about similar projects that have made money. In fact, I produced one myself. If that's all I've got, how would you convince the funders this is a good move - what would you say and how would you say it?
The grant does not require you to pay it back, does it? That is not a grant, that is a loan. Perhaps the grant intends to stimulate business, thus the requirement for recouping costs.
What does the application require? A business plan?
You need to estimate your target market X number of potential customers, and describe your marketing plan, ie 30,000 pieces of direct mail 4 times a year. Average rate of return 1% per mailing, 1 purchase per response = 300 sales x 4 = 1200 sales per year. But then figure return will diminish over time unless new products are added to the offerings. Then out of the estimated gross revenue figure out your cost of goods to figure out the net. If this is one product it is an even tougher sell, since it is yes or no.
Same goes for other sales efforts - web sales, retail, etc.
Since it is a product of regional interest, this should help you narrow down your target audience, but keep in mind the demographics of the target audience. There may be 50,000 people in your region, but how many of those people buy DVDs, are interested in the subject matter, are employed, are not under 25 or over 65, etc.
You can throw a bag full of darts at 1000 balloons and probably hit a lot of them, but you will mostly just waste darts. Or you could throw fewer darts at fewer but bigger balloons (qualified leads) and make better use of your available darts.
If a grant is involved, presumably there is a public interest angle involved, even if that interest is education. If that is the case, perhaps your target can be area schools, social clubs, VFW halls, chambers of commerce, cub scouts etc. Put together a media kit and sell the DVD not as a DVD but as an experience.
Thank you - I agree, a targeted marketing effort will serve a much better chance of success than the shotgun approach. The trouble is that I am probably going to have to do that myself - and that's not very appealing. I believe that's where the agency and I part our ways - they want something "turnkey" and self-perpetuating - a beautiful concept, but the world doesn't work that way. They would have to offer an incentive for me to continue marketing the project beyond the terms of the grant/loan.