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You get this great idea to develop a product. It is perfect! You are excited. This is going to be the key for you and your family’s prosperous future. You get a vision of press releases, media interviews, your debut on shark tank and getting that big deal with your favorite Shark.
This enthusiasm will drive you forward into a new world with no navigator. Enjoy the path and keep your head up. There is a way to navigate this new found enthusiastic stroll with consistent success.
My experience has shown me a lot in growing a brand or product to market. This article discusses a few of those points.
How to “Correctly” Market a New Product
There isn’t an easy way to tell you this so I am going to be blunt. You are probably making a few mistakes when you start with your new product. The challenges everyone faces when they are marketing their product is the fact that they think people actually care about the product. This is the basis for most mistakes and can easily be solved.
This problem of having a product first is where the problem was created. When you begin thinking of making a product you have to think of the end user first and foremost. You have focus on exactly what they are going to get from the product. You have to enter the mind of your target audience.
Becoming 1st – Market Your Leading Product Effectively
In order not to make this an entire book on proper product marketing and branding I will keep this post in list format.
I spoke with a water brand the other day. He was enthusiastic as the example above. Great guy that was just getting started in the market place. I explained that I would look for a way to brand the product in conjunction with something that was already branded and in the minds of his prospects.
So instead of being fitness water… Been done and products exist. Why would he then not be the first water made exclusively for the Paleo Diet or some other type of stringent eating style that promoted water consumption? He could obviously add in some digestion and electrolytes that would help with the functions of this caveman diet. He could then also target a whole new segment of the market.
After You Are 1st – Promote the Promotion
So now you have a new category and something to talk about. Let’s continue with the example.
You now can approach writers, promoters, and others to create content for you. Things such as infographics, you tube promotional videos, blog post, magazine articles, and press releases. You have something to talk about. You are the first and have a new idea.
Now you take your new found content that is amazing and explains the diet, the water, and the reasons to consume the two as well as “your” branding story on why you created the product and where it can be found. Often times this is your website. You can approach site like Nerd Fitness – Paleo Diet Beginners Guide and ask if he would like to cover the story and offer a special promotion to his readers.
This formula can be done multiple times and multiple ways to drive demand before you are ever in stores.
I call this step “Promoting the Promotion” because you are promoting your new found space in the market and promoting your offer to those that already have a following in the space. You have something to talk about. You can hype something to no end that is legitimate, already present in the audiences mind, and focused. Trust me this space is welcome for something that is focused on them.
Promotions a Stir – Let’s Make Some Money
Now you can utilize your stir to create a space for a retailer in your plan. You can now approach a number of retailers showing your following, successes, and email subscribers that you can drive to their locations. This also demonstrates that you can gain attention from new users via other advertising that you haven’t explored yet.
Your message works, you have demand, and when you sprinkle on some extra promotions or larger reach in audience through national advertising it can be more widely adopted by more targeted followers.
In our example it is a perfect position in order to gain a spot on a website like www.bodybuilding.com. The new found space can then convert into money that can then be turned into multiple advertising platforms as well as a sales force out preaching the good word.
Starting from Scratch – Boot Strapping is A Great Thing
If you are starting out in a market then don’t hesitate to reach out toa professional to help you. I use a team that can do everything from write your articles, approach select accounts for first time inclusions, create a website either ecommerce or blog style, and Search Engine Optimize your entire portfolio. We have also done press releases, packaging, and market research.
I am not promoting myself as a service so let’s understand what I mean. When you start out you are boot strapping. This is essentially the best thing you can do for your business. You are learning how to do every step along the process so that you can create training and hire someone else to do it later. This is important as you gain expectations that are realistic for the next person in that position. Granted they will not be as good or have as much drive as you but they should be competent.
With that said, often advisors will do nothing more than give you the empowerment and understanding of exactly what you need to do in order to market your brand online. There are options where you can just “buy” or “pay” and get the results. That is for those moments where you don’t have time to do it yourself. Promoting your product is your job. You need to understand and gain wisdom on every step of the process that will be important on doing this. This is the life blood of your business and if you don’t do it you are out of business.
Test and Test and Test – Find the Formula
The first thing you do may not work or may not be a good fit. Your product may be too far outside the space you thought it would fit into. That is why promoting some content and testing the market through some internet driven sales is a great place to test first and foremost. You can drive targeted traffic using Google PPC and see which message the audience picks up on more.
This process called A/B testing in web development saves you a lot of time and money. These small type of test can help you identify what colors, prices, wording, key terms, and all other sorts of important information your target market identify and purchase more because of.
Example: You set your site up and offer two different pages at random. One page has a red logo and the other has a blue. You judge based on the clicks and the purchases.
Another example is the price. You set one price at four dollar per unit and the other page that is delivered is offered at six dollars per unit. Watch the data tell you which your customers care about more. Does dropping the price get you less orders? Is it enough that the extra profit doesn’t make up for it?
This A/B Testing is another great reason that pre-marketing branding or promoting the promotions is such an important step when you first start out with a product.
Marketing Too Soon – Complete Product Marketing
This last point is important as we wouldn’t want you making a terrible mistake first thing out the gate…
I don’t how you could market too soon. If you have customers begging for your product and you can’t sell it to them, this may sound terrible, but in reality it is not that bad of a thing. You obviously have to be able to get it in their hands soon but having raving fans that want your product pre-launch is a set of high class great problems. You can easily at that point figure it out as well.
The other side of that formula is having a new product that no one wants and you can’t sell no matter what you do, offer, or try.
Look For Other Influence and Spaces
In the example from earlier with the water. If you take the diet approach and it works after you test it then it is a perfect time to not only to grow by contacting more authority influence professionals in the target market as well as look for similar gaps in the market that you can fill and gain sales in.
Example: The Paleo Diet was a great fit. Was it because of your promotion or the fit of the product?
Now can you introduce another product to the same market or grow by making a product for a similar market. Is there another diet type that you could gain influence in and make a new label and new product in and gain penetration that results in profit?
“We said new and improved last year… This year we actually made a better product and don’t know what to say?” – Ad Exec at a Large Ad Firm
Demand – Market – Sell
When you are approaching retailers, when you are looking at your early promotions, when you are finding out how to market your product, and when you are rounding out the promotional points of your product then you should keep your focus on these points and think through the example. This is a simple scenario that can make or break your product. Getting out in front of you launch and gaining ground is vital as you navigate your new product and your new brand.
Your promotion and efforts have probably made you a bit more understanding, humble, and ready to have a real conversation with a buyer as you understand their point of view.
Jason Kulpa is the CEO of Underground Elephant, one of the nation’s premier customer acquisition solutions companies for leading brands. Underground Elephant is a performance-based provider of online-marketing technology and customer acquisition solutions. By leveraging proprietary next-generation marketing automation technology, Underground Elephant is able to provide the highest quality, direct response solutions at unprecedented scale.
Servicing multiple industries, including auto insurance, post-secondary education, health insurance and home services, Underground Elephant provides cloud-based SaaS marketing technology and platforms that deliver qualified calls, clicks and inquiries.
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry.
Skilled in Negotiation, Customer Acquisition, Advertising, Sales, and Entrepreneurship. Strong entrepreneurship professional graduated from Harvard Business School.
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Dates EmployedAug 2003 – Jul 2008 Employment Duration5 yrs
LocationGreater San Diego Area
AdAuthority builds programatic software which provide services such as optimization, tracking, API integrations, marketing automation, real-time bidding, and attribution reporting.
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