Launching something new is tougher than it once was. You once issued a few press releases, talked to some focus groups, and answered a few reporters’ questions.
But, as FastCompany says, “Today, the pace of news is limited only by the speed of light. The new media landscape incorporates far fewer major outlets; rather, it is made up of a smaller number of slimmed-down publications and an inordinate number of specialist bloggers.” It may be easier to get your product mentioned, but placing it where it counts is another matter.
Launching a new product today requires a strategic and orchestrated approach to playing your cards right. Here are just four effective tactics.
1. Get your plan straight
Before you throw postings on the wall, send out emails, or start a word-of-mouth campaign, you need a detailed strategic plan. That means you must start early. The people responsible for the promotion launch must be part of the product development from the earliest stages. They need immersion in the processes and outcomes if they are to communicate them well.
Different products and services have different promotion paths. Each has its appropriate communication channel. Some must anticipate seasonal changes, and others must shoot for emerging markets. So, you need cross-functional collaboration from the earliest phases of research, development, and marketing.
2. Build an influential team
It may take a village to successfully launch a product.
First, you must optimize your internal influence pulling together those internal stakeholders who are most excited about and committed to the project.
Second, you must reach externally to pull in those loyal branded fans to try the product and spread the word.
Third, you should reach farther to recruit those thought leaders and industry leaders who are willing to trust and promote the item on their own familiar channels.
3. Multiply your social media presence
Text messages are never enough. You must maximize your presence on social media early and consistently. If Facebook is already your business’s go-to option, you can start “leaking” the word there.
But, you want to diversify your product visibility. You should build these plans into your strategy. For example, you should make personalized videos using influencers, authorities, or customers offering testimonials. You need videos showing how to use the product or how effective it is. Or, you might demonstrate accessories or additional parts.
4. Educate your customer service
No product should hit the market unless your customer service staff is fully informed. If they are expected to explain applications, fixes, and replacement, they need to have full experience with the product.
They must know the size, color, specifications, and more if they are to serve and retain your customers. With early participation, you can rely on their buy-in to support the launch.
Playing your cards differently
Of course, there’s another way to go. You can make the process more managed and effective with professional support like VioletPR.
Inc.com suggests you ask yourself four questions:
- How should you position your product?
- Where should you distribute your product?
- How should you price your product?
- Where and how should you market your product?
You know best if you have the time and talent to answer these questions or need help to pull a product launch off on your own.