Getting ready for a new product launch used to be so simple: Train the sales force, build the trade booth, have the agency create an ad… maybe send out some direct mail pieces. But the rise of the Internet has given way to a lot more choices… and the list is expanding every year.
To complicate matters, the old-school type of marketing job that was slow-moving and contemplative is a thing of the past. And according to Dan Adams, all of that means that it’s very easy to overlook a critical product launch medium.
“Make no mistake: The media you choose for your product launch could be the difference between getting cheers or yawns,” warns Adams, author of the new, free 26-page e-book 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch (www.b2bproductlaunch.com/
Adams speaks from experience. In fact, his company’s product launch training encourages clients to consider nine types of online media
“It would take an entire book to do each of these marketing tools proper justice, but simply learning what they are is a valuable first step,” he says. “As you continue to read, try to stash this list away in the back of your mind so that you’re at least thinking about all of them when it comes time for your next product launch.”
Online Media Tools
“Compared to traditional media, online media makes it easier for you to measure product launch results and generate low-cost leads,” explains Adams. “Most important, though, it makes you ‘findable.’ In 75 to 80 percent of B2B transactions today, the prospect finds the supplier—not the other way around. And no, those prospects aren’t looking in a Rolodex for your sales rep’s phone number… they’re doing a Google search.”
1. Online Advertising: You can pay per click (PPC) with search engine ads orcontextual ads (displayed next to related articles). Make your best product launch efforts first with news releases and organic search marketing… and then test with a small budget here.
2. News Release: Done well, this is incredibly powerful for directing Google searchers to your website. Send out news releases full of content that will appeal to readers (and editors) of online magazines, journals, and blogs. Include both a link to your website and the keywords your prospects will likely use in their Google searches. When prospects search, they’ll find articles that lead them to your website. And remember: This product launch tool is all about creating useful content from your prospects’ perspective, not yours.
3. White Paper: These should be rich in useful content and should be used as “offers” to develop leads early in the buying cycle. Make your white paper or technical paper four to six pages long, and ensure it’s completely non-commercial until the last page.
4. E-mail Marketing: The twenty-first century counterpart of direct mail, this is especially helpful when you have hundreds or thousands of prospects in your product launch target market. There’s stiff competition for your prospects’ inbox attention, so consider getting help from a specialist here. It’s definitely a science!
5. Online Presentation: Delivering slideshow and video content through your website is a great way to attract attention—for those interested in learning about a new subject area—and to persuade prospects that your solution is simply wonderful. Done well, this is also one of the most powerful ways for you to build credibility.
6. Social Media: This is still emerging as an effective medium for B2B, but it’s already proving helpful when suppliers take the time to build long-term, meaningful conversations with prospects. Some media, e.g., LinkedIn, are proving more appropriate than others for B2B marketing.
7. Webinar: This is one of the best ways to connect with hard-to-reach prospects (e.g., executives and marketing professionals). As with e-mail marketing, there’s a science to this… so consider working with a firm that specializes in setting up and hosting webinars.
8. Web Microsite: This is part of your corporate website, focused on the needs of one audience—your target market. It should be customized for the prospects of your specific product launch campaign, with the rest of your online marketing directing them here.
9. Search Marketing: This is everything you do to rank high in Google searches, and it should also be the glue that holds your online product launch campaign together. It all starts with understanding the keywords your prospects will use… which should start during customer interviews in the front end of product development.
Readers can download a complimentary copy of the e-book, which also includes nine traditional marketing tools, at www.b2bproductlaunch.com/ebook
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