The 10 Best Ways Not To Launch A Product

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RANT BEGINS…

I came across this post on Mashable today and frankly if Beverly Cornell thinks that these are product launch strategies and not just 10 ways to generate new leads then I’m from Mars and she’s from Venus ! 🙂

The reason I’m so steamed is that she has given us a list of tools. Only one of them is a longstanding launch marketing tactic. Taken individually or collectively they offer no way to achieve a successful product launch.

Before tactics comes strategy.

In this case your product marketing strategy. Without this you have lost before you have started. You have no structure, no vision and no product launch goals. All you have is a mess of tactics with no strategic plan showing how they link together and inter-relate.

Anyway for better or worse, here’s her list…

  1. Traditional Methods
    Whilst we are all fixated by online marketing, a Friction Free Product Launch is one where you plan to integrate all the marketing tactics at your disposal. Traditional methods like advertising, trade shows, speaking opportunities, promotional events and direct mail might attract prospects to your sales funnel but it’s what they experience when they get there that will convert them into buyers.
    Tip: Make sure you have a well defined strategy that you have tested, tested and tested again. Focus on boosting your visitor value.
  2. Search Engine Optimization
    If you have a website or blog SEO is part of your daily life. It’s just what you do to keep a steady stream of traffic coming to your site. Distributing press releases is an effective SEO tactic.
    Tip: It may be one that you use in a product launch but it’s how the copy resonates with your audience that will engage them and draw them into your pre-launch conversation
  3. E-mail Marketing
    This is a ‘keeper’. All successful product launches use a well thought through email sequence as a marketing tactic to engage the reader and push up to 20 mental triggers during your pre-launch sequence.
    Tip: Poor copy will kill your product launch so make sure that your’s is written in the language that your prospects expect and that your ‘big idea’ is expressed in a way that resonates with them
  4. Online Advertising
    The best use of text or banner advertising is to test your market. Find out whether there are buyers out there or just tire-kickers. Second use it to attract prospects to your landing page and then offer them a valuable lead magnet in exchange for their email address. Through your email sequence, you can now start to build a virtual relationship with them
    Tip: Text advertising is a quick and effective way to test your headlines
  5. Social Networks
    Integrate your product launch blog with your business page on Facebook. Tweet and follow people in your target market. Keep a close eye on the topics that are trending in your niche and watch out for questions that you can answer on your blog.
    Tip: Use social networks to build momentum before you start your pre-launch sequence. Laser focus your advertising using Facebook to build your fan base.
  6. Geo-location
    This really should be rolled into social networks and mobile marketing. It’s designed for consumers on-the-move. Smart phones will out number feature phones in the USA by 2011 Q3. This is just another tactic to add to your product launch marketing strategy.
    Tip: Work out a strategy to encourage prospects to give you their mobile number. Do not abuse the privilege. Mobile marketing campaigns need careful planning but are a valuable addition to your product launch sequence as Dan Hollings proved during the launch of the ‘Secret’
  7. Group Buying Sites
    Facebook are considering moving into this market which is currently dominated by Groupon. From a product launch point of view I would steer well clear.
    Tip: Add value don’t discount
  8. Blogger Outreach
    This may be an excellent way to build authority in your niche. It also gives you the opportunity to attract more traffic to your blog so this is a useful for search engine marketing. Credibility is part of the triangle of trust that gets your prospects off the fence. However, blogger outreach is not product launch marketing tactic
    Tip: Inviting an established authority in your niche to do a tele-seminar with you is much more effective.
  9. Social Media Influencers
    Develop a strategy to encourage your blog visitors to comment on your pre-launch content. Some of them will be ‘connectors’ who influence the conversation in their social media network. It’s these people who provide the best social proof
    Tip: Focus on your product launch planning and let this take care of itself. There are, after all, only so many hours in the day
  10. Online retail sites
    This is all about focusing your advertising on the venues where buyers rather than tire-kickers can be found. It’s a traffic attraction tactic. Go where you find quality targeted traffic and advertise there. This is lead generation not a product launch marketing strategy.
    Tip: When these prospects arrive on your site they will be mildly interested so you may only have a few seconds before they ‘bounce’ out again. Use that time to them something they will value.

Don’t be misled in to believing that all you have to do is put these 10 tools to good use for your new product to miraculously launched onto an expectant market. There’s a lot more to it than that.

Having said that Beverly’s post has been tweeted 840 times so I’d be interested to know what you think about this… Are they tactics or strategies? Which ones have you used in a product launch?

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Rory Ramsden