New Product/Service Introduction:
Project Management Checklist & Planning Guide
B2B Marcom Insider
If you are in the midst of planning, this 6-page guide serves as a convenient checklist of marketing actions that should be considered when introducing a new hardware, software or service product. It should be updated as the project continues and included with funding requests and when submitting projects for management approval. Download a copy by clicking here.Marketing Facts and Myths
As you wade deep into your marketing plan, here are some items to consider. Some are good, some myths:
- All purchase decisions are made by the subconscious mind. Winning marketing requires that your favorable message gets through the layers of the mind to the subconscious. The easiest way to do this is to have a non-offensive, positive message repeated to customers.
- Repetition is the secret to accessing the unconscious mind of people. The most important rule in marketing is repetition. Too many marketing
programs give up too soon. On average, you have to repeat your message seven to nine time before you will see any results in your marketing program.
Any less than that just wastes money.
Remember too that some customers only occasionally buy your product or service. When that need arises, repetition will help them recall your company when the time comes.
- Your marketing can be twice as effective if you aim it at both right-brained (emotional, aesthetic) and left-brained (logical, sequential) people. The North American population is about evenly divided, so if you use only one approach, half your advertising budget will be wasted.
- The more data you have, and the more you know about your customers, the better your marketing results will be. This data is available from many published sources, or you can collect your own data by asking your customers lots of questions.
- However, you can’t always rely on customers to provide accurate information on their buying behavior. They don’t always do what they say they will. Therefore, be careful in interpreting customer surveys from your company. For best results, have a respected third party conduct the survey such as a trade magazine, research company, professional association, etc.
- There are two bonds to make a sale — the human bond and the business bond. People would much rather conduct business with a friend than with anyone else. So become their friend. Create “you” and “us” messages in literature, ads, website, email, direct mail, etc. Of course, social media can optimize this bond.
- People are human beings and like to be treated as such. Don't treat people as prospects — don’t treat them as demographic groups.
- People have a basic need to belong. Let them belong to your club — your Elite Club, Gold Club, etc. Recognize the 20% of your customers that give you 80% of your business and act accordingly.
- Getting a person to say yes to a sale works best if you establish momentum first with lesser questions that are easier to answer yes to. Your customers will be buying a lot more than merely your product or service. They are buying your personality, your reputation, your service and your status in the business community.
- Remember, that your B2B customers are not buying products and services for themselves to personally use. They are making these decisions to make themselves look good to management and peers.
- People will remember the most creative and fascinating part of your marketing and not necessarily your product or service. That is why you need to be very careful and not be too cutesy or obtuse when developing creative messages. Always tie creative to the benefits your products and services offer.
- Always make sure that your commercial messages are enveloped in quality. Remember, the messages you send are a reflection of your company, products and services. You want to that reflection to be positive as possible.
And the Myths:
Myth: Print is dead, long live the Internet.
Fact: Not yet. There is a decline in print, but it is not going away yet. There are still a lot of people that like ink on their fingers.
Myth: Sell the sizzle and not the steak.
Fact: The easiest way to sell a product is to offer it as a solution to a problem your customers may have.
Myth: Great marketing works instantly.
Fact: Great price-off sales work instantly, as does giving away product. Great marketing to achieve profitability takes time.
Myth: Marketing should entertain and amuse.
Fact: Show businesses should entertain and amuse. Marketing should sell. Winning advertising/marketing awards for your advertising does not mean more profits in your pocket.
Myth: Marketing should be changed every few years to keep it fresh and new.
Fact: The longer your marketing promotes your product or service, the better, e.g., Things Go Better with…?
Myth: Public relations stories have a short life span.
Fact: Only if you let them. Make copies and use it a part of your other marketing strategies such as reprints or white papers.
Myth: Bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.
Fact: Bad publicity is bad for your business. With the Internet, millions of people can get to know about bad publicity — instantly. Have an action plan in place for such contingencies.
Myth: Word-of-mouth marketing is all a great business needs.
Fact: Not any longer, unless you have a 50-year marketing plan. Businesses need to be marketing all the time with a variety of tools.
Myth: The purpose of marketing is to generate maximum sales volume.
Fact: The purpose of marketing is to generate maximum profits.
Myth: Quality is the main determinant in influencing sales.
Fact: Confidence in the business is the main determinant — quality is second.
Myth: We can save money if we create marketing materials in-house.
Fact: Unless you have a professional marcom staff, it wastes money. It overburdens staff that have other duties. Personnel productivity declines and quality suffers.
Myth: Once your business has a solid customer base, it can cease marketing.
Fact: Perhaps you can cut down on general marketing, but you must maintain contact with your customer base or competitors will take them away.
Myth: Repetition of a marketing message is boring.
Fact: It may be boring to you, but it won’t be boring to your prospects and customers.
There are also some common misconceptions or myths about marketing that you should be aware of, and should avoid.