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Marketing any genuinely new item that meets an unrecognized need or demand is an especially “interesting” problem.
When you are launching a genuinely new product, you want to focus on influencing the influencers. Those are the people that insist on being on the cutting edge of your particular industry. The people that stand in line on opening day for the newest iPhone launch (and actually both tell and care about the differences between a iPhone4 and an iPhone 4S).
These rabid influencers exist in every business. They are the people that are potentially willing to take the time to really learn how your product is different and better: For me, and I’m a gamer, I always look forward to PAX and Gen-Con because I ENJOY learning about upcoming board and video games, play testing early, buggy versions and loving every second of it! And my friends listen to and care about my recommendations on which games are worth their time playing. Not every game is, many are painful to try, but the joy of finding a great game that I can pass on to my friends is worth the pain of wading through sewage.
These early influencers are in every industry. They WANT to learn about your product (because they are slightly crazy) and you want to teach them. A good public relations strategy is to work to appear in the blogs and other media of what the influencers read/listen to/watch. In this process, a fully developed calendar of content and tactics Is your friend. And you will likely need a bit of manufactured luck regardless. Paid promotion, like advertising will likely not really help (though can supplement) a launch.
As an influencer, I don’t care much about ads. What I want is the juicy 1 to 2 minute preview to know whether it’s worth my investing and additional 1 to 2 hours of education to decide if I like it and am willing to recommend it.
A good public relations program will generate the interest. Inbound marketing will convert their interest into the actions that you want. And those actions will lead to the income or traffic to appease the investors (depending on your goals). Providing the education that the influencers are seeking is the job of inbound marketing.
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