Marketing is a multi-faceted career that involves problem solving, thinking on your feet, and making decisive choices even when you’re not sure of the outcome. I have to remind a lot of new marketers that a lot of our work is forging ahead even when the going gets tough. Marketing a new product is one of the most challenging tasks you’re ever likely to face in the business world. There are many obstacles ahead of you that at first may seem insurmountable. How you manage these obstacles is going to determine your long- and short-term success as a marketer. Keep at it; the more practice you get at marketing new products, the better able you’ll be to develop new strategies to implement in the future. Here are seven tips I’ve developed that that will help you accelerate this next stage of your marketing career.
1. Make meaningful connections. Networking is one of the fundamental skills in the business world. However, it’s not enough to just meet new people and get to know them. Meaningful networking is meeting the right people, the people who can help you achieve your goals. Talk with production companies, retailers, the owners of manufacturing plants, and other people who are directly concerned with the creation, distribution, and use of your product.
2. Use the resources you have. Just about everyone is connected to at least one popular social media site. For the most part, these are free to join; accounts are free or cheap to maintain. These outlets are excellent ways to spread to news of your new product and to continue networking with other people who can help you in the future.
3. Plan your strategy. Launching a product requires a planned effort. You need to have an entire media packet that will allow you to connect with multiple outlets at once. This includes press releases, relevant video, newspaper and magazine ads that are ready for submission, articles to be sent into industry newsletters, samples and demos to distribute to your affiliate businesses, and so much more. You’re going to be very busy once the product officially launches so don’t put off having everything in place before the announcement is made.
4. Follow through. Return phone calls, supply material to interested people, and be consistent in your effort. Successful promotion and marketing aren’t based on one-time efforts. You’ll have to keep at it for many months before the long-term effects of your effort become obvious. Not every product is greeted with immediate interest; it will take time before people become fully aware of your new offering. Some new products generate rapid interest. It’s tempting to sit back and congratulate yourself but this high will eventually taper off. Stay focused on your work instead of getting distracted with this initial success.
5. Document your effort. If at all possible, keep a record of what you’ve done during your product release. Map out the points that you have achieved and plan to achieve in the different stages of this long-term effort. For instance, make note of the day you send your press releases to different news sources. Follow up that note with the results that come from that particular source. Did the press release submitted to one news source generate more interest than the release submitted to another? This information will come in handy the next time you are working on a product launch.
6. Keep in touch with your team. Even small teams need to be kept informed of everything that’s happening. Make good use of your email mailing lists and group meeting times to review the progress of the launch and get updates from other members. If many people have been involved, consider communicating directly with representatives from each team that contributed to the product’s development. They will communicate the news to their respective teams. Also, ask for feedback from your team members. They may have additional suggestions with regards to news outlets to contact or social media networks yet to be tapped.
7. Think about the future. Even the most innovative product is going to become old news someday. Popularity will turn into familiarity and competitors will release products that draw inspiration from yours. You need to start thinking about the future before this happens. In the midst of a product launch it might seem contradictory to start thinking about what comes next; you’re busy managing the developments of your current release. A good marketer knows that success and novelty are fleeting. Use the current momentum to drive your next big development.