New Product Marketing – Promoting Before the Product Launch
By Scott Hepburn
The Challenge: Your company is launching a new product, but you don’t even have a prototype. For the new product to succeed, you need to generate buzz in advance of the release. How do you market a product you can’t show to your customers because it doesn’t exist yet?
The Solution: You’ll need a multi-faceted approach to get customers excited about something they can’t see. A logo for the new product is a good place to start. Your logo needs to convey the values associated with your company’s existing brand reputation, as well as something new and exciting that customers won’t want to miss. Remember, you have to make them hungry for more.
A Web site is also a must-have for your product launch. We’re not talking about a Web page….we’re talking about a complete, standalone Web site. You’ll need a place to explain what the new product is, how it will improve your customers’ lives, and why it’s so exciting. Don’t be afraid to try an animated Flash page. Most importantly, be sure to include a form for site visitors to request more information. You’ll want to gather their contact data for other phases of your marketing campaign.
To drive traffic to your site, consider a multi-pronged approach. Brochures and flyers are perfect for sales reps. Tiered inserts are an option, too. A simple e-Blast is a great way to notify existing customers and other audiences about your product launch. Other Web tools, such as paid Web advertising, blogs, and press releases distributed via PR Newswire will generate Web traffic, too.
Finally, consider going big. Real big. Think billboards or TV ads, even radio ads. Make a PR push, too. Public relations tools such as press conferences, guest appearances, articles in trade magazines and general publications, and conferences and events are great ways to spread the word.
Keep your marketing objectives in mind as you set up your campaign, and remember that each phase of your campaign is one part of a large-scale, sophisticated marketing program. Pay attention to short-term and long-term tactics.
Pulling off a large-scale campaign like this takes coordination. You want to be sure your message is consistent, your branding is consistent, and the timing of each phase of the media campaign makes sense. In short, you want every piece of your marketing to integrate seamlessly. Having a single point of contact to plan and execute your publicity push will allow you, your sales team, and other stakeholders to focus on your roles in the business.
Scott Hepburn is a veteran copywriter for PRstore, a full-service retail marketing franchise with 40 stores in 19 states. PRstore makes professional marketing accessible to small- to medium-sized businesses by offering affordable marketing solutions and eliminating the pricey retainers often required by traditional marketing agencies. For more marketing and business tips, visit the PRstore blog. To take your marketing to the next level without busting your budget, look for a PRstore near you.