Eight Rules for Marketing a New Product
Back in the day a launch was pretty straightforward, varying only by scale: put out a press release, get your media prepped, coordinate your advertising, mailings and coordinate customer updates, trade shows, collateral. There were natural gathering points for announcements and people waited eagerly to see what was new and exciting.
That was then.
Now, a marketer has to cut through the fog of information, find the audience hiding inside, and figure out how to get the attention of the attention-challenged long enough for it to register in their consciousness. In a few hundred words I can’t guide you through the intricacies of building out a multi-channel launch plan but I can share what I’ve learned to help you off in the right direction:
Know Your Target
Not only must you define your audience, but you also need to understand why they will care about your product – that way you can position yourself to fit in their life.
Know Your Space
Don’t make it hard for people to understand how your product relates to them. This is not the time to create a market. Find where the product lives and tout its value and advantages over the competition. Stand out, don’t break out.
Know everything about your target. What they read, where they look for information, what events they attend. Not only must you understand their habits, but you need to know what blogs they read, who they follow on Twitter, what groups they are apart of on Linkedin, and more. The world is just as much online as it is off, so know everything you possibly can. And that’s a lot. Once you think you know enough, find more.
Message Frequently and Briefly
Adjust your message to different audiences and invite dialogue. No one likes to be bombarded with spam, so use your social media wisely.
Give a select few bloggers and journalists a sneak peek to generate some buzz before release. That gets people talking, and you’re looking for any noise you can get. Plus, you can incorporate their feedback to make sure you’re offering the best possible product before it’s too late.
Go Back to Basics
Email isn’t a dirty word. When used well, it’s a key vehicle for reaching a large audience of targeted customers. With spam rules in mind, work your lists and database thoughtfully.
Also, don’t be afraid to clean up your list. A database of 20k names may seem full of potential, but when 15k have never opened a thing you’ve sent them, you’re not getting the most out of your marketing effort. It’s better to have a clean, targeted database of 5k interested parties and grow from there.
And don’t be afraid of opt-outs. They’re telling you they’re not interested so save yourself the trouble.
Use Customer Information
Whether it’s a case study, a testimonial, or even just a single quote, it adds dramatic credibility to your efforts. Regardless of how much or how little, find someone other than your own people who will say something about what you’ve brought to the market.
Keep it Relevant
Make the new product relevant to the issues it serves. Familiarity breeds interest, so the more your target knows and the more they are involved with the content you share, the more they will care about your product. Build a community around your product, and more importantly, around your brand.
Alan E. Gold is the Chief Marketing Officer at TradeStone Software, Inc. Follow him on twitter @alanegold or email him at email@example.com or reach him on skype by his handle: alan.gold