You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s only new once!” If your business brings out new products or services (most do), please take it to heart.
An introduction is the time to pull out all the stops. Go for a big splash. Grab attention while you can. If you don’t tell people about your new widget, thingy, or whatever, they won’t buy it. If you’re not excited about the new addition, no one else is going to be.
An integrated introduction program hits your audience from multiple directions – getting your message across quickly and cost efficiently. Here are some tactics you might want to include in your intro program:
- WEB SITE
An engaging, informative web presence is essential. You can even set up a separate site for your new offering and link it to your main site. I recommend keeping site designs similar so it looks like you’re the same company.
- TRADE SHOWS
If your new product or service needs to be experienced or demonstrated, the trade show environment may be right for you. Look for proven shows that draw the right audience. Then plan your trade show activities – pre-show to build traffic; at-show to maximize your presence; and post-show to follow up on leads.
Ads can get the word out FAST. For an important introduction, run print ads that are larger and more attention-grabbing than the norm. Consider running a multi-page ad or even an insert at the start of the campaign and down-sizing later.
Internet advertising like banners, buttons, and search ads can generate click-throughs to an introduction landing page or separate site. Start by thoroughly researching sites and key words.
Use an advertising consultant or agency to help you evaluate options and set up results measurement.
A news release is a must, but if this is a critical new offering, think beyond the basic. If you’re introducing at a trade show, a media kit and one-on-one editor interviews can get you more in-depth coverage. Or you may be able to work out an exclusive intro story with one publication.
- DIRECT MAIL
Use a pre-show mailer to build booth traffic. You can usually get a list from show management. Sen to THIS YEAR'S attendees for best results.
If your audience is small enough, you may be able to use direct mail to spread your product message and generate leads.
A brochure on your new product or service can be a great sales tool and serve as a lead follow-up piece, too. Include it in your media kit, too.
- OTHER STUFF
Premium items, newsletters, and more can be part of an introduction. Your objectives will point you towards the best things to do.
Premiums can work at trade shows and with direct mail. The best give-aways tie into the introduction's main message.
Newsletter are great education tools, but try to steer clear of self-serving content.
About the author
Claire Cunningham, president of Clairvoyant Communications, helps companies jumpstart their sales with increased visibility. She shares her expertise on her web site http://www.clairvoyantcommunications.com Sign up there for her monthly e-newsletter, Communiqué. Contact Claire at 1-763-546-0479, 1-612-709-6845 or