Now I’m going to talk about marketing strategy in new product launches, so why do you need a marketing strategy for a new product launch? This is going to be a lot like my last answer because marketing is about the four piece and that simplified down means understanding your audience better than anyone else really going deep, like imagine your best friend or your mum or someone that you know intimately well, you know everything about them, you talk about things you like, things you hate, celebrities you have a crush on, all that sort of stuff. If I said to you I’m going to hold a gun to your head or there’s a bomb strapped your chest or whatever, you need to get that person to buy something from you, to give you financial gain in exchange for something. Do you think you could do it? Well, yeah, you could do it with ultimate ease because you know that person intimately inside out.

You know their favourite colour is blue, you know they love ponies and you know they don’t have any pens left Well, I think a blue pony laden pen that you sell for a good price that you know they can afford, you’re probably going to get a sale from that well, really good marketing strategy for a product launch is about knowing your audience so well that it’s like they’re your best friend. You know, you can see in their eyes when there’s friction and they feel comfortable to tell you because you’re honest and transparent and you’ve clearly created the product for them.

Can you ensure your product is going to be a launch success? Yeah, actually you can and it’s called The Three Hard. Yeses, it’s one of my favourite, favourite stories. The goal is to get any three people to say pitch to them however you want and get them to say Shut up and take my money. I am so enamoured with what you’re telling me that I don’t care whether you’re doing it or you’re going to do it, I want them.

Now, this is going to sound like a gargantuan task and that’s because it is a huge task, but that’s what good marketing is, it’s taking the time and the effort and having countless conversations or at least researchers testing, to see if you can really thoroughly understand your audience and then create things, both products, promotions, content that explains why you’re an expert that will answer everything for them and make them say hard yes, there’s a really good story about I wouldn’t name his name, but one of Australia’s richest people under 40 years of age and he got into the electronics game really early. He recognised that there were these new cutting edge electronics coming into the market and they were very expensive, but he knew that most of them came out of China and probably the same factory. So he tracked down the factory and he asked them how much to custom make me one basically sell me someone else’s, but let me put my badge on it and they gave me a huge price. And it’s like, okay, well, I know that it’s cheaper than they are selling in the market. Now, here’s my question.

If I was to do this, would people buy it? So he didn’t buy the thing, the electronics. What he did was he had a render made. He paid $1,000 or something to make a bang on render, and he put it up on ebay and he just let the market go crazy. He explained it really what it was really.

Well, he did a really good writeup, and he kept refining their pitch until he got the maximum consistent bids people would pay, say, $3,000 consistently for one of these. So he knew roughly what the market was willing to bear. Now you’re going to ask me, hang on. Why were people bidding on a lender? Well, they didn’t know they were bidding on a render.

They thought they were bidding on a real insert electrical device here. But he was then just either over bidding them over on the last second or he was cancelling the order and apologising saying there’s a production problem. The point was he used digital marketing technology to get a hard. Yes, on would they buy my custom made device at this price? And I guess in doing so, what we’ve really explained is the role of research in a successful launch.

The problem that a lot of companies run into, and in fact, most companies, they make a product and then they try to shoehorn people in because, well, this is the product of service which has helped me to solve my problem. And their issue is that they are an N of wand, so scientific term meaning they’ve built it to suit themselves, but they haven’t bothered to take the time to understand if anyone else has the issue that they were trying to solve or if they see things the same way. And the truth is, they almost certainly don’t. That’s the whole point of good research in digital marketing and using digital marketing to generate that research. If you’re not a great communicator, which most of us aren’t, and you don’t want to talk to people or you want to talk to people on scale, that’s what good digital marketing is about, spending a lot of time before the product launch to understand, is there an audience for this?

Are we solving a core problem? What are their fears? Anxieties and frictions. Now, I know where the question is going is saying, well, how does marketing launch a product successfully? Let’s say we are trying to crowbar people in and we’ve done a bit of research we’re like, yeah, look, we think they would like it if they could understand it.

Where does marketing come in? Well, first of all, you should always be continuing to test if you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket and saying, yeah, run some ads and it’ll work. You are not a good business person. You’re not diligent enough, you’re not thinking the bigger game if you’re just talking about advertising and you’re saying, can advertising help my product launch? Well, of course, because advertising can do two things.

It can make great awareness so that more people are aware of the opportunity to this and it can help people to remember things about the product. What I mean by that is we’re very myopic, we’re very forgetful. And so we can use things like remarketing or just seeing the same taglines over and over and over again to really drill home that, oh, yeah, that’s right. I remember that Volvo’s are reliable. Advertising has always been the same that way.

Pr has always been the same, repeated enough times, and it must be true. But as a product launch, I really wouldn’t be getting ahead of myself. I think products fail because they didn’t understand their audience in the first place. So a silly example of a poor product launch was, I made this system that showed you where in the world you were a millionaire and a billionaire. And it was simple.

You just put in the amount of dollars you entered onto a website, the amount of dollars you had in your bank account, give or take, and then you press to calculate and it showed you how many countries in the world that would bank you a millionaire or a billionaire. It was kind of fun. It was just a silly competition thing. There was no money involved. Well, no one found it interesting.

And you know why? Because I was the only one who was really interested in that and I wasn’t going to put their money behind it, so I wasn’t going to put a lot of promotion into it. And so it just kind of died a poor, poor death. In contrast, we helped a second hand mobile phone dealer go from $50,000 a month to over a million dollars a month in revenue. And we help them to do that by really understanding their audience, understanding their fears and their fears really revolved around.

Is this true? Can I really buy the phone that I want at half the price of buying it new? And am I just going to get ripped off by another one of these shady back market deals and instead giving them confidence that, wow, look at all these people who have absolutely raved about the experience. This is amazing. And then we use digital marketing to amplify that reach.

Once we knew that we had built all this trust with customers and we knew how to communicate it. And so that was a very easy way to broaden a business because we knew we had a model that worked, we’d done all the testing for them, we jumped through all the Hoops and as a result, it took off. And it is a fabulously successful business. Now, ten years later they’re still making a lot of money and doing really, really well and it’s still based on that same fundamentals that we launched it under so to reiterate if you’re looking at a new product launch the question you should be asking yourself is have I really understood my market? And if so then I can look at amplification and I can look at all the different channels we can write a Press release so that hopefully it gets picked up and we can talk about why this product is solving a need that no one else is solving that that’s something the media might actually write about instead you get product press releases that us are rubbish they’re just hey you buy a product because we’re nice no what problem are you solving for people that no one else does and this is newsworthy because no one else has thought about it in this way.

Likewise if you’re trying to get a journalist on board or you’re trying to get a business partner you’re trying to get a key stockist involved. Something like the Pixar pitch can be a really good way to do that and what’s interesting about the Pixar pitch even though this isn’t digital marketing it is still part of marketing and that is going and talking to people and saying hey do you recognise that there’s this problem and if we had this solution how do you think that might solve the problem? It’s opening up a two way communication which you can do in other ways through digital marketing as well and you can make them a brand ambassador you can get them to say oh I see where you’re going with it but it would be great if it was like this so they become invested in your success because they’re coming up with the solution well in them coming up with the solution they’re also giving you an insight into them as a customer and you’re basically giving you a hard yes if it was like this I would be a customer.

Joshua Strawczynski

An expert in influencing consumer behaviour online. Josh is an award-winning digital marketer, business manager and best selling author. He regularly appears in the media, providing insights into using influence tactics to enhance marketing strategy effectiveness.

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