The latest and most popular format for delivery of “product” on the internet is what online marketers call the “continuity product”.
Because of it’s viral ability to grow internet marketing profits and income, the continuity product has become somewhat of a holy grail in the arena.
What Is a Continuity Product?
Essentially, a continuity product is one where the vendor receives a continuous stream of money in exchange for updating his or her product on a regular basis.
So, for instance, a vendor might have an information product that she updates with new trainings and strategies on a regular basis. Or he might supplement an information product by doing regular trainings in the form of a skype community chat session, teleseminar or maybe a webinar. These supplemental and regularly scheduled sessions might be organized as Q&A or additional training sessions.
The Vendor’s Consideration for Developing a Continuity Product
Continuity products are essentially digital products. Therefore, they’re quite popular with vendors on the internet.
There is no physical product that needs to be created or shipped. Vendors need only develop a process for putting information on a website and disseminating it to paying customers.
There is no such thing as a return of merchandise, because there is no physical merchandise. Most vendors simply stop charging a customer if and when they become dissatisfied with being a consumer of that particular continuity product.
Vendors also like continuity products for the most obvious reason.
They get paid on an ongoing and regular basis.
Unlike a single-use product where a vendor would get paid one time only, a continuity product requires a customer to pay on a regular (usually monthly) basis in order to continue consuming the ever-evolving and dynamic “product”.
There are several downsides to continuity products for vendors though.
One is that prospective buyers are more reluctant to purchase a continuity product because they know that they will be obligated to continue making payments on a regular basis.
Not only that, but the vendor must “maintain” his/her product. She must continually update and increase the value of the product, and cannot simply bank profits and walk away once the “continuity product” is sold.
The Buyer’s Consideration When Purchasing A Continuity Product
Customers are generally wary of continuity products because they are well aware of their obligation to make monthly payments.
In fact, I have actually heard quite a bit of buzz on the internet lately about continuity products from the buyer perspective. Many people equate the continuity product with some kind of scam.
The fact that a product has a continual evolution (in terms of content as well as “tuition” payments) however, is not in my opinion any kind of scam in and of itself.
Actually, the evolutionary features of the continuity product, and its dynamic nature, are precisely what make it more valuable to a consumer.
I suppose it is considered a scam by some people because they feel that consumers were somehow duped into making monthly payments.
I think customers are generally more sophisticated than that. I think people are fully aware of the requirement to make monthly payments. That’s exactly why continuity products are tougher to sell then single-use products in the first place.
I believe, further, that in order to become successful online people need to find some kind of community that is dynamic, evolving, continually growing. Very few people will get a single-use product, study it and immediately have the understanding and knowledge to implement it.
For the most part, people that think a continuity product and its spin-off community involves too much of a commitment. These same people probably do not really take the business of internet marketing very seriously. In fact, it’s probably not really a business for them at all, as much as it is a curiosity or a hobby.
The argument that continuity products are too expensive and too demanding of a person’s time, is the same one that could be made of getting a university education.
It goes something like this:
You want to have a great job as an accountant, but you have no intention of spending a lot of money for some scam-University that just wants you to spend a lot of money on “education”.
You don’t need to spend a bunch of money going to Harvard University just so that you can learn how to be an accountant.
You could do that for free just by the browsing the internet and picking up some hot tips and bullet-point strategies.
Besides, once you start taking classes at Harvard, they’ll probably just tell you to take more classes, then they will want you to buy overpriced textbooks, and probably recommend you pay dues to be a member of a professional society.
It’s all just an excuse so people running Harvard can make a bunch of money on you, and you’ll probably never get an accounting job anyway.
Not with brick and mortar education, maybe, but many people use exactly these arguments when discussing internet education.
The argument is, essentially, that if someone’s making money (be it a university or an online continuity product), then you’re getting scammed. If someone is convincing you to invest money, then whatever they’re selling must be a little value to you.
Now, some continuity products may not be very valuable, for sure. Some may even be scams in the sense that they try to get a lot of money from you for very little return value.
But if you want to succeed with internet marketing, I don’t think you can do it very easily without being involved in a professional community. And those are typically attached to one continuity product or another.
I suggest that if you’re serious about internet marketing, or making money online in any way…
make it your business to find a top quality continuity product. Then make it your business to get deeply involved in its professional and educational community.
I am involved in ongoing memberships and continuity products. I pay a pretty good amount of money for them.
But they’ve been, without any doubt, the single greatest asset to my growth in this industry.
This blog post is not about promoting a product or a community to you. So I’ll not divulge what exactly my involvement are.
But this post is about encouraging you to do your own due diligence to find the right continuity product and community for yourself.
Don’t get swayed by the do-nothings and get-nowheres who will always tell you that anything involving hard work, continual involvement and sometimes challenging monetary investment is a waste of your time and resources.
I’ve seen very few people succeed online without making an investment in, and commitment to professional communities and at least one continuity product that they maintain continual and enthusiastic involvement in.
I’d love to hear your comments and perspective. I’d especially like to know what your experience has been with continuity products.