Tis the season to start something new! It’s no secret everyone gets a little looser with the purse strings in summer time – the happiness index is simply higher when everyone is getting their Vitamin D. So it’s no wonder why you see so many product launches in the summer… which means you should be too!
I’ve launched websites with thousands of unique visitors on opening day. I’ve launched brands that landed fans in the thousands on opening day, and in the hundreds-of-thousands within the month. My point – I know what it takes to have a successful launch, and I’m about to give you my secrets for a consistently stellar launch, time and time again.
Start at the End
Before you begin putting together marketing materials, you first have to develop the new offering after its users’ image. If you don’t start at the end like this, your campaign is doomed before it even begins.
In short: Do the market research. I know I probably sound like your mom, but moms have some pretty classic advice – and for good reason. Good practices never go out of style. Knowing your audience is a prime example.
Here’s where most people drop the ball though: once you find your players, go play in their court – starting that day.
Said another way, let’s say someone in your target market has a blog.
If you feel inclined to add something really relevant – comment. Every. Single. Day. Until. Launch.
If you’re not dedicated to your customers, then why should they be dedicated to you?
If you’re not genuinely alive to add value to their lives, then why should they value what you offer for your livelihood?
Plant Many Seeds, and Water Them All
Those experienced with good advice might be wondering now why I haven’t mentioned going for “influencers” or “super star A-list elites” or whatever buzzword ya’ll want to use these days for the supposedly audience-gifted.
Rich soil, say we say.
Let me get it out now; when you do it right, the existing audience for your venue doesn’t matter. If you do it wrong, no supposedly perfect demographic match will net even a single sale.
It’s true even in non-digital reality – the well-adapted seed becomes a sturdy plant, regardless of conditions. A bad seed won’t grow even if absolutely everything else is perfect, right down to the pH.
So you learn of your environment by “Starting at the End” and listening to your customers. Then, you adapt to what you’ve learned and work to solve your audience’s every problem in subtle and pleasant ways that – now here’s the catch – you can readily replicate.
Why? You need to be omnipresent – visible and available across many platforms, venues and networks – for your audience in an unsalesmanly fashion, but rather in a service kind of function. Often.
Of course this means you shouldn’t venture too far out of your comfort-zone routines, or perhaps have someone personable dedicated to this aspect of the work.
Why? So that it works, silly! Nobody likes doing what they don’t like doing, you know. That kind of a starting point makes it awful hard to be genuinely happy to help – and that’s what it takes to cultivate fans.
Germination: The Makings of a Virus
At first you’re serving yourself in a fashion; heaping helpings of human hopes if you’re still on my ethics train, or reams of personal details obtained from corporate savings cards if you’re a part of what’s wrong with the world.
Once you gather a sense for the very real people in your “markets” you can then go about one of several forms of marketing, two of which are probably very familiar to any student of so-known propaganda.
Which is really all of advertising, so it should be easy – but I digress…
You can either:
- Make it all about their current lack of your product, nevermind they’re not silver-spoon-fed supermodels; eg “lifestyle marketing” most typical of perfume and apparel brands. Yes I’m talking about the fact you’re not going to live like Elizabeth Taylor no matter how much you bathe in White Diamonds, and nothing, flat nothing you put on will make that time of the month any better.
- Make it all about something admirable but nothing or little to do with your actual product; eg “values marketing” most typical of soft drink and durable goods brands. If you Do the Dew, don’t expect it to make you into a super athlete and that car made from “green” materials chugs another gallon of gas every 10 miles – like ordering a diet soda with a couple Big Macs.
- Make it all about massaging humanity’s various mommy-daddy issues brought about by modern society, such as the need to feel heard and loved; eg “feel-good marketing” most typical of sanitary and financial brands. Of course the wolves will smile sweetly to get you in their den, and the soap is still loaded with chemicals – your idea of “natural beauty” is somewhat skewed if you ask me Dove.
- Make it all about you genuinely trying to help them; eg “information marketing” most typical of Real Estate agents, and sadly very few other commercial entities.
Ah-ha. I see the lightbulb is on now.
But my actual experience with effective information marketing is somewhat different from the currently circulating concept. Reason being – I use it for more than just winning the business of that recipient.
Win Their Hearts and You Win the Market
Those players whose courts you’ve been playing in for the last few months leading up to the launch – they’ve taught you how to play their game by their rules.
Now build an omnipresent web estate that really serves their hopes and wishes, and you’ll attract more customers than you know what to do with. E-books. Newsletters. Websites. Profiles on every social network. Active accounts on every relevant forum. Bookmarking networks. Guest spots on blogs, podcasts and syndicated entertainment. Everywhere your customers live. Everywhere.
All of it made to stellar quality for one thing – helping your customers reach their dreams.
We already know talent only sticks around when there is a shared passion. The next generation of customer will be equally as demanding – but it definitely doesn’t hurt to jump on this train now.
Of course all this means nothing if you don’t follow it up with excellent omnipresent customer service after the launch, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention now that everything in this article is something I can help you build and staff.
I’ll elaborate more on how to effectively network in a digital world in another post. Until then, I think you’ve read enough 😉