You’ve done the mind mapping, the user research, the sketching, the prototyping, the sample testing… But before you can breathe a huge sigh of relief, it’s time for the moment of truth: the product launch.
It goes without saying that you’re excited about your new product. But your consumers don’t have this same stake in it. You need to ask yourself, what’s in it for them? Why should they take a punt on you over your competitors?
We’ve worked on our fair share of product launches, so we know a thing or two about star power. Fundamentally, you’ll need a robust, multi-channel approach to stand out from the crowd. Not sure where to start? Read on for our top tips on crafting a stellar marketing strategy…
1. Create audience personas
Before you determine what your audience stands to gain from your product, you need to establish who they are. Ardath Albee, B2B marketing strategist and all-round content marketing expert, defines audience personas as “a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience”. By making an audience persona at the very beginning, you’ll be able to identify the specific pros and cons of your product, and therefore how to pitch it.
An audience persona would include their name, career, demographic, hopes and dreams, values and fears, hobbies, and the problem you’re solving for them. You may even need more than one persona – in fact, we recommend drafting between three and five for an accurate representation of your target market.
2. Find your audience’s platform
Once you’ve pinpointed who your audience is, your next step is to work out where they are. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do once you’ve already discovered things like their age and hobbies, but you’ll need to ask yourself a couple of questions to narrow down a list of marketing platforms.
Does your audience engage with brands on social media? Or are you more likely to access them via out-of-home advertising, like billboards, bus shelters or stadium banners. To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, we’ve crafted three audience personas, complete with where to find them, below:
- Abi – Student. Aged 19. Extremely tech savvy. Passionate about tackling climate change and creating a more sustainable future. Keen for adventure and travel. Much more progressive than older generations. Spends downtime on TikTok, Snapchat, Depop, and Twitch.
- Rachel – Data analyst. Aged 29. Spends a lot of time on social media. Entering prime spending years, but thrifty after living through the recession. Interested in home design trends and upscaling on a budget. Cause-driven and impressionable. Spends downtime on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest.
- Stephen – Engineer. Aged 57. Feels confident using technology. High disposable income and a big spender. Enjoys fishing trips, and has a season ticket for his football club. Places high value on useful products and information. Spends downtime on Facebook.
By stepping into the shoes of your target audience like this, you can see what makes them tick, and ultimately access them in a way that’s both personal and persuasive.
3. Invest in your ad spend
You know what they say, what you put in is what you get out. And in this sense, your product is no different to, say, a nice holiday. Making the most of it all comes down to budget. From building brand awareness and credibility to increasing cash flow, a lot can be accomplished by dedicating some of your budget to ad spend. What’s more, by meaningfully targeting your ads, you can reach people more effectively.
In terms of the size of your ad spend budget, there’s no fixed price for the cost of advertising on a platform. It depends on where your audience is, the format of your ad, and how long you want to run it for. Once you begin to see results, you can then go on to boost your budget for one platform while scaling back your spend on another.
4. Make use of industry influencers
Influencer marketing works wonders for a product launch. Consumers value relatability and authenticity, which is something that your business can’t necessarily offer on its own. So, explore your own brand’s channels and those of your competitors to get a read on who your biggest industry influencers (or micro influencers) are, and then reach out to them.
You could offer your product for them to try, or a code they can use to promote it where they get paid on a sliding scale. Alternatively, if you don’t have the budget for this, comment on prominent influencers’ posts to boost your account’s visibility.
Another great way to level up your brand’s authenticity is by encouraging user-generated content. You could organise a competition based on consumer testimonials or pictures of them using your product. You don’t need expensive prizes, either – try running a giveaway of your product. By making follows, shares and likes a competition requirement, you can increase your follower count and visibility too. It’s the modern-day word of mouth!
5. Don’t be afraid to be disruptive
There’s one place you’re guaranteed to find consumers, and that’s at the cutting edge. People like to be the first – it’s why we stuck a flag on the moon, and why gamers queue overnight for new console releases. They’re looking for something fresh. So, if your concept’s already been done before, think how you can spin it differently.
An iconic British example of disruptive marketing in action is the battle between Aldi and Marks & Spencer and their respective Colin and Cuthbert caterpillar cakes. Various rounds included the discount supermarket chain using tongue-in-cheek adverts to showcase its budget cake on vans parked near M&S stores, with fun headlines like “Colin all cake fans”.
The takeaway? Don’t be afraid to cause a scene. You may even manage to steal customers away from competitors who still have stale marketing strategies.
6. Get your friends and family involved
It doesn’t hurt to get your nearest and dearest on board with your product launch. You probably already sought them out for first-hand feedback during the development stage, so make sure they’re shouting about the results. There are plenty of brands out there that already encourage selling to family and friends – think Avon, Tupperware, and Boden.
One thing that’s important to bear in mind, however – and this ties in nicely with those personas we discussed at the very beginning – is that your target audience trumps all. Put simply, if you’re marketing a state-of-the-art surfboard refined by aerospace technology, people probably won’t buy into Great-Uncle Bernard raving about it on Facebook (unless he’s a regular in the line-up, of course!).
Looking to launch your new product?
The MYC team has the knowledge and expertise to send it skyward. See the difference a strategy makes, and get in touch with us today.