- by Rory Ramsden
May be you’re thinking that there’s only one way to do a product launch effectively? That there is one set of tools for the job?
You’d be wrong if you answered YES because a product launch is just a sequence of events leading up to the big moment when you reveal your offer and open your shopping cart. You can spend 3 months or more planning your ideal launch but frankly it’s got nothing to do with you and everything to do with your prospects expectations. One way may work brilliantly with one product in one market and bomb in the next.
Of course, you can do a product launch using traditional channels like print media, reviews, the postal service, TV and radio interviews and of course advertising to promote an offline event. This is what I call an Analogue Launch. It’s old. It’s slow and it’s lost its power to amaze. Even the big brands like Ford or Burberry are finding that doing it the Apple way is more effective.
That’s a hybrid. They use online channels with offline to pull in key influencers before launching the new product at a big off line event from which attendees tweet and blog to their followers
When Burberry stage a fashion show showing their latest collection in one city, it is beamed LIVE to their shops all over the world. They leverage the power of technology to reach as many of their customers as they can. All at the same time.
You can do that too using these 3 primary digital channels…
#1. Mobile – According to the Mobile Consumption Survey nearly 40% of respondents used mobile devices in response to TV ads during the Super Bowl to discuss commercials, get more information about an advertised product, or watch TV ads again. 45% estimated that they would spend 30 minutes or more on their mobile devices during the game.
If you’re customers are constantly on the move then it makes sense to include a strong mobile marketing element in your product launch.
Back in 2006, ‘The Secret’ a film produced by Prime Time Productions, was distributed through DVD, and online (through streaming media). Dan Hollings used mobile to launch the film using a mobile marketing campaign that teased and stirred people to want to discover more about the secret within The Secret…
That was 5 years ago. Now tablet computers and smart phones are everywhere…
#2. Social Media – 5 years ago almost no-one had heard of Facebook. Social media was in its infancy. Now it is a fact of life and an essential in any product launch campaign especially in the ignition phase of a launch where your aim is to make people in your market aware that something is about to happen.
Guy Kawasaki used social media in an inventive way to launch his book ‘Enchanted’ . So did Michael Stelzner when it came to launching his book ‘Launch’. But social media marketing is not just for authors. You should use it in your launch too by building a keyword targeted list of followers on Twitter, by creating a business Page on Facebook [watch out the for new business Timelines coming soon] and integrating social media buttons on your launch blog so that people can share stuff they like or want to +1
Combine these with a few online training sessions or webinars to engage your prospects and you have a stand alone launch vehicle for your product.
#3. Online – This is what I call the traditional online launch where you rely heavily on email marketing and video events. They work like gangbusters so don’t let your head get turned by the latest trends. The key is to bring your core strengths to the party. This is the secret sauce that will ultimately be the difference between you and your competitors. It will also be the one thing that your prospects pick up on in your posts, your podcasts and your videos. It will come through strongly in your tone of voice
If you really want your product launch to take off like an intercontinental ballistic missile, you’ll combine all 3 of these strategies and make sure that you can reach out to all of your prospects all of the time. And more importantly, they’ll be able to engage with your content wherever they are too…
There are a lot of moving parts in any launch just like there are in any jet propulsion system. You want to tune your launch engine so that it will deliver the maximum ROI. This does not happen on the first time you do one. How can it ? The first time you do anything you find lots of things you could have done better. That’s why you want to plan on a whole series. Stacking launches, whether they be mobile, social media or traditional online launches compounds the results.
Which of the three you use depends on your market. All you have to decide is which channel they will be most receptive too.
Have you done a social media product launch? Or did you stick withe the traditional online strategy? How did it work out for you?
Leave a comment below and tell us what you learned…