One of the most shocking things launch gurus won’t tell you about the launch is… There is no launch. Because it is not one moment in time, it is a process that requires time and energy. We talked to Simon Solotka, Chief Marketing Officer at IdeaPros, about ways to do it right and get the results you want.
The goal of the coordinated marketing activities is to rise above the noise, show your potential customers who you are, and what you can do for them. It is your moment to shine. At the same time induce consideration to buy or purchase by consumers. When you launch a new product, you do business operations like pre-sales, sales, and delivery. But your marketing operations start way before that and end way after that.
“When you are new, you are more newsworthy and often consumers have an interest in who you are and what you’re doing. Take advantage of that special moment in time.” – Simon Solotka
You can do that by creating awesome messages, visuals, broad reach, and a clear call to action. All these activities should have a lasting impact on the minds of potential buyers. Otherwise, their benefit will be short-lived and the money will be wasted.
You build your network, mailing lists, SEO, social media followings, and engage audiences. In marketing, we call this sequence of events rolling thunder, as you want to create thunderclaps of noise through time associated with your product. Ideally, build momentum in additive ways: making your channels bigger, audience more engaged, and product better. Everyone knows to go to you when they need a solution to a problem you are solving because you are the best and are easily found.
The most important thing you can do is write your plans down. Once you write them down, share them with marketing specialists and your target customers, and ask them for feedback. You start with the end goal in mind but your goals may be wrong. Also, you don’t know how your customers are going to respond to the product. The only way to find out is through feedback.
“The best kind of research you can do is just go talk to people.” – Simon Solotka
When you are too secretive about your idea, you rely only on how you think your customers will respond. Sometimes be dead on and visionary, but more often is dead wrong. Once you’ve done formal and informal market research, you have a prototype of the product then you can create a landing page to see if you can generate any transactional interest. Will people go there and provide their email addresses? Now you have something out there for your customers and investors even before the product exists.
The late pre-launch stage is all about capturing audiences on Facebook, through email marketing, and communities of interest. In communities of interest, you will try to build an early reputation and underscore it by things like social video, YouTube, website, blogs, reviews, or people talking about your product, either in the social media or in the press. When you are ready to pre-sell or sell you have people ready to buy.
“People rarely buy products that aren’t reviewed.” – Simon Solotka
Getting people to review your product is one of your earliest goals. Once you get to a critical mass of reviews, you reduce the purchase risk, and get people to click and buy. Influencers are a great way to get feedback and reviews in a controlled environment.
Another thing gurus don’t tell you is that launch is rarely profitable. Marketing and production costs are going up, and the business is not generating revenue. To diminish this financial pain, you can try pre-selling or raise some money. It is not going to be easy. Once you start selling, things get good quickly, but the challenge is to provide enough working capital to follow your growth tail. Work hard in the early stage, build momentum, and the reward will be tremendous.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
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