…And I’m talking about right from the start
BEFORE you’ve even got a product.
You see, marketing should be the first thing you do, not the last – there are a whole ton of advantages, but most entrepreneurs allow conventional thinking to get in the way of a successful campaign.
One of the major stumbling blocks businesses have with the idea of early marketing, is that they believe they can’t market an unfinished product. Surely people will make their decision to commit based on their first impression of the product? You’ve only got one chance, so you’d better make it perfect – right?
Most people don’t commit the first time they hear about something. For most people commitment is a gradual thing that takes time, they need to hear, read and discover more about something many times before they take the plunge, so get them involved in your product process.
Involving people in the creation process of a product or service can be an extremely effective engagement tool – just look at how well teaser trailers work to hype up a movie and get people whipped up into a frenzy. Ok, so you may not be touting the next big Hollywood blockbuster, but you can still use regular updates in your marketing to keep your upcoming product front of mind. Use social media, video and ‘behind the scenes’ type content to make your build up as dynamic as possible and get your audience wanting your product as badly as they want Brad Pitt naked before it’s even released.
Ok, but won’t you waste your marketing potential and peak too early – before the product is ready to roll out?
There is never a point at which you should ‘run out’ of prospects. There will always be new people who will benefit from your product or service who haven’t heard about it yet. If interest seems to have reached a plateau and you experience some drop off, simply throw something else into your marketing mix to ramp it up. This is where social media scores big time – all you need is to get people’s attention and they will share the news of your upcoming release like it was a juicy rumour.
But what about all the time marketing takes up – I mean it takes effort and resources, right?
But consider this.
What if you invest all your time and money into developing a product? You commit to spending months refining it and making it flawless, you sacrifice your personal life to get it perfect… Only to roll it out and discover that no one cares.
Now THAT is a total waste of time.
Starting marketing early not only gives you the opportunity to gauge the overall likelihood of the success of your marketing strategy, it gives you a far more informed measure of how successful your product is going to be. This will SAVE you blood sweat and tears as well as time in the long run.
USE everything that you learn throughout the early stages of marketing to your advantage. Mould your marketing campaign, add narrative, find out what people actually want from your product – do they like the latest batch of improvements? Are they excited about any particular feature? Experiment and adapt your pitch AND your product to give your target audience what they really want and they’ll go crazy for it, your marketing will snowball, and YOU can’t fail to achieve those all important sales when it finally rolls out.
So wake up sleepyhead and smell the coffee. Get your marketing cap on and get out there early to catch that wriggling little chunk of success.
About James T Noble: James makes small businesses bigger. He’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and companies to market their products and services online – including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others. Find out more and read business growth tips at http://www.JamesTNoble.com