3 Simple Marketing Tips For Your Next Product Launch

Are you planning a product launch? How is your marketing plan looking? If you’re looking for some tips, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve helped startups launch new products over the years, and today I’m going to share three of the most successful methods I’ve seen.

Deadly Sins (Snowglobes), Pure Products USA by See-Ming Lee via CC BY-SA 2.0

Focus on your core

Just for a second, I want you to think about your general fitness and strength. If you are a little out of shape, what’s the one thing you can do to improve it? Strengthening your core is the perfect start, because it affects nearly every other part of your body.

Now let’s apply that analogy to your business. You have to focus on your core audience when planning your new product launch. Talk to them — and only them — in a way which they can relate. Your target audience(s) will give your product launch the momentum it needs to succeed. After the initial excitement, the rest will come to you easier, and you’ll see more sales.

Organize an event

It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a physical product or a service; a launch event can give you the initial boost that you need. Get in touch with your state or city business department and find out if there are any empty premises available.

Look for something striking, perhaps with exposed brickwork or beautiful features. Contact your local steel suppliers to find surplus floor plates for a modern, urban look. They’re good for safety, look fantastic, and can lead people straight into your main sales area. Let the local press know, and invite all your friends, family, and social networks.

Hire a local DJ to set the mood, and a caterer to provide hors d’oeuvres. It’s amazing what a little music and food can do for an event! The bigger buzz you create for your event, the bigger buzz there will be about your product. A launch night is all about adding that extra bit of pizzazz.

Make people an offer they can’t refuse

My final suggestion is to entice people to take action. You should be doing this as early as possible in the process. Advertise your product online, and let people know when they can expect to see it.

Encourage them to sign up by offering them a better deal — 25% off for example — if they give you their email address. Keep in touch with them and offer early access to anyone that wants it. Or you could give away early or exclusive access as a prize to help drum up even more excitement ahead of your launch. Early adopters are always eager to try new products and spread the word to their social circles.

As you get closer to launch day, ramp up their interest with more frequent emails. Don’t overdo it, though. When the big day arrives, relax and enjoy the culmination of your efforts. Best of luck with your new launches, and let us know how your big day goes!

What tip(s) would you add for a successful product launch?

What has been your favorite product launch to date (by you or another brand)?

p.s. Are you planning on launching a new product or service? Let’s discuss a plan to make your big day a success!

Thinking BIG,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about product launches, marketing your services or otherwise):
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Amazon Turns Its Boxes Into Ads With First Of Its Kind Marketing Deal For “Minions” Movie

Recently, we blogged about taking your message to your audience instead of waiting for them to come to you. Well, here’s a great example. Universal Studios partnered with Amazon to promote its new movie, Minions, on the retailer’s shipping boxes.

What a great idea! You can’t miss these bright and cheery boxes, and everyone from recipients to postal carriers is sharing pictures via social media. Heck, some people are even ordering something from Amazon just to get a Minions box. On that note, we may need some office supplies…

If you are a Minions fan, Amazon has you covered. Check out http://amazon.com/minions for nearly anything with the little yellow guys that you could possibly want.

Have you received a Minions Amazon box?

Are you going to order from Amazon to get one?

Have you seen or been in a partnership like this before?

Poopaye! (Goodbye in Minion-speak)
Jaime

Let’s chat (on the Minions, brand partnerships or otherwise): 
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TechCrunch

Forget billboards or magazine ads, if an advertiser wants to put its brand in front of a big audience today, you may as well slap that ad on an Amazon shipping box. Or, at least, that’s the mindset behind the new partnership between Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment and Amazon, as the retailer has begun to ship customer orders in bright yellow delivery boxes featuring cartoon characters from the upcoming “Minions” movie. The deal represents the first time Amazon has ever allowed a third party to completely brand its delivery boxes.

The pairing between the movie makers and Amazon makes sense for this latest installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise of films. The popular movies, which to date have grossed over $1.5 billion at the box office worldwide, have already turned the film’s characters into merchandise. The “minions” have been translated into a ton of consumer products, including dolls and figurines, board games and video games, and other toys. They also…

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3 Ways to Encourage More Referrals (From Santa or The Grinch)

What’s on your list for Santa this year? A new computer? Fancy office digs? Or new business? Let’s go with the latter.

Referrals. We all want them, but how do you encourage your clients and supporters to provide them?

The Grinch Brings Back Christmas!

How can you entice more referrals from Santa (or the Grinch)?

Gift Cards – It’s no coincidence that gift cards are the top gift year after year. Starbucks, iTunes and a plethora of other options are available, including local spots. Be creative, and deliver with a hand-written note of appreciation. A cup of joe for referring Bob Smith. Referrals are music to my ears.

Freebies – Free trials, add-on services and swag can all entice folks to keep your business top of mind. Offer a free design consultation, month-long trial membership into your VIP Club or imprinted promotional items. It’s amazing how you can tie a product into what your company does, so you come to mind immediately when needed.

Loyalty Program Points – People are familiar with loyalty programs and enjoy ‘earning’ prizes. Reward referrals with points — more points based on how much business the referral does — that recipients can redeem for cool prizes. Make sure to offer a decent selection of prizes and point levels. If participants have to earn an unreasonably high number of points, they may not feel motivated. You can also tie other actions into your loyalty program, such as reaching specific milestones (i.e. 1 year as a customer, $1,500 in business).    

Join the Referral Conversation

How do you encourage and/or reward referrals?

What would encourage you to refer qualified prospects to a business?

Gift cards or swag: what do you prefer?

p.s. CCC appreciates all of our clients, customers and supporters. Thank you for working with us in 2014, and we look forward to doing more business in 2015. If you’d ever like to refer someone to us, check out the contact us page.  

Cheers,
Jaime

Writing, social media, marketing and more! Join the discussion:
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Wristbands: Carrying Your Message for Miles (and Years)

When the Livestrong Foundation (formerly known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation) launched the iconic yellow silicone wristband in 2004 as a fundraising initiative, I hoped it would raise some money for a worthy cause. I had no idea that it would catch on across the country — and around the world — as one of the hottest promotional products around. To date, over 80 million Livestrong bands have been sold, inspiring countless other charitable organizations, companies and brands to share their message in this popular manner.

silicone wristbands

Silicone wristbands are so popular even Elvis has his eye on them.

 Like so many others, I thought this trend would never last. Who would want to wear these promotional wristbands? Nearly everyone, it turns out. From young to old and red to blue, people of all ages, nationalities, genders, political beliefs and lifestyles want to rock a wristband. That’s one of many reasons the silicone wristband is here to stay. Ten years later, this staple promotional product is produced in a plethora of colors promoting metro parks to marathons and everything in between.

If you’re interested in promoting your company or brand with a reminder around the wrist, keep the following variables in mind:

  • decoration method
  • imprint location
  • imprint colors
  • band sizes
  • band colors
  • packaging options
  • quantity
  • in-hands date

All of these factors can affect your pricing, and different options make sense for different objectives.

In addition to exposure, silicone wristbands are also helpful at events. Hand them out to attendees at concerts, conferences and sporting events to easily identify who should be admitted and who shouldn’t. They’re durable, easily spotted and can be kept long after the event for continued exposure and as a keepsake.

Whatever your message is, it’ll go far on a silicone wristband.

Weigh In

What silicone wristbands are in your collection?

Are you surprised at this product’s staying power or did you think it would be a hit?

When did you get your first silicone wristband?

Have you promoted your brand, company, cause, organization or event with one?

Rockin’ the wristband,
Jaime

We don’t have wristbands, but we do have social networks. Connect with CCC!
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What You’re DOING is the Story

Clearly Conveyed Communications is pleased to welcome its second guest blogger, Roger Burnett, CAS. Read on for Roger’s expertise in the marketing arena, specifically content marketing, which is a hot topic today. You can learn more about Roger at the end of his insightful post.

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What's your bulls-eye?We’re a new business within an existing company: a start-up within an established, proven organization. While it’s thrilling to get the chance to conduct experiments on how to successfully market oneself with a disruptive, never-been-done-before concept that meets a hugely underserved market need, I’m acutely aware of the fact that I am essentially a charity of my employer until our business unit routinely pays for itself.

The self-imposed bulls-eye I’ve created keeps me focused on the task at hand. While the fact that ours is a needed service makes it easy for me to generate leads, I have to be mindful of ways to amplify my reach beyond my own efforts and the goodwill of our brand in the market we serve in order to get to the next self-imposed bulls-eye.

We won’t be successful for the long term without some marketing Sonic Booms: the kind of campaigns that send our inside sales team in motion with a flood of activity. Knowing full well that a significant part of what’s necessary to create a pipeline of Sonic Boom moments is my responsibility, it keeps me looking for ways to create them.

“We won’t be successful for the long term without some marketing Sonic Booms: the kind of campaigns that send our inside sales team in motion with a flood of activity.”

I’ve studied content marketing as a principle for a while now. For the majority of the last two years with my former employer, I challenged our marketing team to create things that solved specific problems for our clients and package them in a way that allowed our salespeople to immediately understand:

1)      To whom to deliver the message, and

2)     How to execute on the client-facing call to action.

Once proficient at doing so, the transformation we saw with both our account teams and clients was nothing short of remarkable. Suddenly, our clients became more collaborative with us as we set them on a defined road map toward their stated objectives. Because of the attitude change in their clients, our account teams quickly picked up on what was working and started expanding the reach into more accounts. Good salespeople are smart enough to know how to repeat success; if they see a client nodding their heads yes to a solution, good salespeople immediately identify similar buyers that will ALSO nod their head.

“If they see a client nodding their heads yes to a solution, good salespeople immediately identify similar buyers that will ALSO nod their head.”

That early success fuels my content marketing philosophy in my current role. I’ve been steadily building a library of information that serves a similar purpose for this new client base of mine.  I’m fortunate as my prospects and clients are mainly former competitors and co-workers, so I have an intimate understanding of how what we’re doing solves problems for them and can speak to them as if I am one of them, as I was for a significant part of my career. Our solutions are built with them and their specific challenges in mind.

Expertise is wasted, however, if people looking for the kind of information you have don’t know how to find you, or that you even exist.

Sonic Booms fuel your marketing campaigns.Hence the need for those previously mentioned Sonic Booms. Nothing fuels your Sonic Boom pipeline better than content, and we’ve settled on a rotation of 12 potential touches with our suspect and prospect base, one per month. The rotation consists of a number of things, some of which are of our own creation and some of which have been curated from the sources that we most closely watch for information, in a variety of formats and delivery mechanisms. Remember, just because it’s not new to you doesn’t mean it won’t be of value to someone else. We are always on the lookout for new and relevant information, and seek new sources for the kind of information we believe would be valuable to our client and prospect base.

Our content is meant to help people looking for answers better understand how to be successful; if they choose to work with us as a result of our sharing the things we find that can make people better at what they do, then that’s a great way to start a new working relationship.  If not, no harm, no foul.

“Remember, just because it’s not new to you doesn’t mean it won’t be of value to someone else.”

When the content we publish resonates with the right audience, the results can be remarkable. Consider the following statistics that followed some of our content marketing efforts this year:

1) Our monthly webinar was filled to capacity in less than 24 hours after it was announced for the first time in company history. We had more requests for recorded versions of that introductory webinar than for every other webinar we’ve done – COMBINED. Clearly our business concept was of interest to the community we offered it to.

2) Our e-mail marketing campaigns are sent from the personal e-mail addresses of our team members so as not to appear to come from a robot. On TWO occasions this year, the response to our e-mail call to action was SO overwhelming it literally shut down my e-mail account. We have an internal goal of replying to all e-mail we receive the same day…. I was up until two in the morning to be sure that I responded to everyone personally.

It’s my belief that we’ve reached Sonic Boom four times so far this year, and our ability to grow our prospect and business pipeline has been exponential. We’ve got a ways to go, but what we’re doing so far appears to be working as the statistics show.

As you consider what I’ve said, know that our touches are nothing more than ways for us to share with people the interesting things we’re doing as part of our day-to-day activities. We’re just taking the trouble to document them in new and interesting ways and finding ways to share it with the people that might want to know about what we’re doing. It’s not complicated, as long as you know what it is you’re good at.

What you’re DOING is the story.

burnett_headshot

Roger Burnett, CAS
Vice President, iClick

While Roger Burnett is Vice President at award-winning promotional products supplier iClick, he also proclaims himself Maintenance Supervisor of the Worldwide Negativity Defense System. A gardener by marriage that laughs too loud but never too often, Roger stays busy as a father of 3 boys and an active outdoorsman. He’s an occasional writer, and you can check out his work at promokitchen.com

Technology: It’s Not Just For Trekkies Anymore

Trekkies!

The Original Series Trekkies at BayCon 2003
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Technology has permeated all aspects of society from the workplace to how we order pizza. (If you’re still phoning in your orders for the popular pies, get with the program.) You probably utilize technology throughout your daily routine and don’t even realize it. Why? Because it works. You don’t have to understand why it works or how it works as long as it does. You may not realize just how plugged in you are until there’s an interruption (like last weekend’s storms / power outages).

The uninterrupted access provided by technology offers us increased flexibility – in how we work and how we live. You’re no longer tied to an office to get work done; smart phones, laptops and wireless technology allow us to log in from virtually anywhere.

Because of this virtual landscape, technology items cross over from work to play effortlessly, resulting in increased usage and visibility.

When you promote your business with a branded technology item, it will be seen – again and again – lowering the cost per impression (CPI) to a miniscule amount. When recipients use – and like – the item you gave them, they recommend it to others and associate your company with that good feeling. Who should I go to when I need a service? Oh, there’s XYZ company on my USB drive.

Also driving exposure and CPI is technology’s lengthy shelf life, so to speak. Yes, it’s constantly evolving, but items don’t quickly become obsolete.

Remember when everyone thought we would be driving flying cars by now?

New features are introduced and items are redesigned, but at the end of the day, it’s still a digital photo frame. It’s still practical, stylish and occupies prime desktop real estate.

Think technology is out of reach on your budget? With the continued evolution, prices become more and more competitive.

Remember IBM’s first USB drives debuting at $50 for 8MB of storage? Your dollar will go a little further these days.

And don’t discount accessories. The technology arena has expanded to include embellishments that make your life even easier, protect your gadgets or just make them look cool.

The important thing to remember about technology is that it’s ingrained in every aspect of life for most of us. So when you delve into this popular category, you extend your reach into places your company could boldly never go before.

Cheers,
Jaime

Sports & Leisure: Scoring Points and Creating Fans

sports fans

Fun times at the Kentucky Derby!

It’s no surprise that fan is the root of fanatic. People are passionate about their sports teams, so why not make your brand an integral part? From game day giveaways to local team tie-ins, you can elicit as much passion about your company as the home team.

Becoming a part of game day is a great way to get involved with the local community. Brand popular giveaways, such as noisemakers, signs, stadium cups or lanyards, to hand out at the gate or pre-game tailgating events. Help fans become the 12th man by giving away branded rally towels or shirts to create a ‘black-out’ effect – a sea of black across the stands (or use any team color). Shoot t-shirts with your company’s message into the stands during stops in the action to keep the passion and energy high.

Not going to the game? Bring the excitement into the office. Make your employees the MVPs of a celebration honoring the local sports team or a season kickoff, complete with branded giveaways and merchandise. Pair this special day with a cook-off or potluck to foster team spirit and company pride within your organization. Reward winners or all participants with prizes to acknowledge their efforts. Giving branded merchandise to employees that they’ll use outside of work is an unobtrusive way to spread your message and potentially generate new business.

Don’t limit creating fans of your company to the field or the office. Branching out into leisure time activities is an easy way to build rapport with potential customers, who are everywhere – shopping at stores, strolling parks, attending community festivals, etc. Sponsor teams or leagues, donate branded giveaways for fairs or partner with fellow local companies to create programs that will benefit the community and generate goodwill about your company at the same time. For example, a casual healthy eating restaurant could partner with a fitness center to promote healthy living. Both companies promote the program (and each other) by offering discounted products and services (15% off a fitness center registration with a receipt from the restaurant), helpful information (healthy living tips) and rewards to encourage participation (a free ‘healthy eating set’ after working out at the fitness center 10 times). Not only does partnering with other companies help promote your organization, it can also help with advertising costs. Split the cost of co-branded merchandise, so it’s a winning situation for both companies and the community.

Don’t forget the face paint…

Jaime