Four goals to keep in mind.
- Have Fun
- Educate Your Customers
- Introduce Your New Product
- Reduce the number of days it takes to be profitable
An important first step is the decision to trademark, register, copyright and obtain industry certifications for your new product or service.
The first seven steps in a 14-step new product introduction process
- Identify a market
- It should offer proven benefits delivering at least a 20% increase in efficiency or productivity
- Patent and trademark registration. Yes or No? Certifications?
- The message: Who, what, why, where?
- The training: The first customers - your sales force
- Industry presentations, Your first presentation, Continuing Education Unit Seminars
- Refining the message for each market and segment
The creative marketing team - keep it small
The more people who are "in the loop" to review a marketing piece, the more its completion will be delayed, and the greater the chance of quality degradation of the final product. You, your company's sales manager, your company's sales reps and as needed the chief engineer. Timely execution is always better for your company's marketing program than delaying the execution of deliverables to achieve perfection.
Sales experience will help you understand the human motivation behind prospects’ reasons for buying or not buying your products. Through effectively addressing the needs and wants of prospects, you do a better job of defining and developing the major sales benefits. This understanding can be leveraged in ads, brochures, and all other company marketing deliverables. Because sales reps present and sell your company's products to real, live prospects on a daily basis, they know the most persuasive product features and sales benefits. They also know the best ways to present your products’ features and benefits to prospects.
Collecting and adapting these sales benefits for use in your company's advertising, direct mail, and other marketing programs provides you with the best sales benefit copy for your company's products. Other methods, such as focus group research or market surveys, yield less trustworthy and useful sales copy benefit information than real-world experience from your company's sales force.
It's all in the name - Product demonstration/use and features/benefits name the product. What does it do? Can you say it in a new and memorable way? Combine the benefit word with the feature word: FastTrax, VersaRail, EconoLine, QuikSet, EZ-Pour. The product above is called, "Insul-Deck." That says it all!
Your first installations and/or demonstrations will may make or break your new product introduction. Extensive photography and video needs to be taken. Testimonial statements collected. Who, Where, Why, What questions answered? And then write an application article for the trade journals. Describe the customer's production or processing problem. Provide information on the disadvantages or negative effects that the problem created, for example: reduced product quality, increased labor costs, equipment downtime, hazards to workers, etc. Explain how the problem was handled in the past - what the customer used prior to purchasing your equipment. Tell why this method was unsatisfactory. Personal presentations and testimonials enhance the communication of the important benefits, features and customer satisfaction.
Leads, leads, leads
The only purpose of creating marketing materials for a new product is to provide important sales support for the company's sales team. This involves executing lead-generating programs through advertising and targeted direct mail, as well as other marketing activities (trade show support, sales force support, and website development). The only goal of your marketing program is to generate sales with every marketing project. Establishing brand awareness or other secondary objectives is far less important than generating sales and meeting marketing ROI goals. Other objectives should only be achieved after sales are generated.
Two important steps after you have launched
- Get on preferred vendor lists for major corporations, state and federal projects. Many times it only requires that you obtain several letters from qualified contractors that your product is suitable for the “Fit and Function” of the application.
- Continuing education courses in conjunction with Lunch-N-Learns offer one of the best reasons for busy professionals to attend your presentation. Prepare a general presentation that is unbiased and educational about the manufacturing process that includes all types of technology options.
Measure Your Success
Requires a steady focus on reaching the audiences who are most likely to buy your company’s products. Center your marketing plan on the tasks of identifying and locating prospects and applying the best marketing tools to reach them. Budgets, strategies, assumptions and goals are secondary to the marketing manager’s main objective of creating marketing projects that sell the company’s products to the most-likely prospects.
Timely, competent marketing execution is the most important part of any marketing program. Poor execution, such as delays in ad placements, mailing dates, or poor coordination and implementation of printing projects and other marketing tasks, lead to missed selling opportunities in your company. Other objectives, such as reinforcing a product's brand image, are far less important than rapid, diligent, forceful execution on all of your company's marketing projects. While it is certainly important to meet company return-on-investment goals in your marketing program, this goal can only be reached after a marketing project has been successfully executed.
The second part of these blog posts will be published February 28, 2013.
- “You and the Law,” Editor: Henry V. Poor, Assoc. Dean, Yale Law School
- "Marketing Skills Assessment," Author: Rick Kean, Director, Business Marketing Association
- “Diversity in the Workplace - Unleashing the Power of a Multi-Generational Workplace,” Author: Janice Urbanik, Construction Process Solutions, Ltd., Global Lead Management Consulting
- “NPCA Plant Certification Program,” NPCA Web Site•"10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads," Author: Ed Lawler, Professor Northwestern University
- “How to Write a Case History,” Editors “Powder Bulk Engineering” Magazine
Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads