Marketing and PR can be more effective than advertising?

By: PalviBhagta

Following a recent article on planning successful business events, a reader contacted me about New Product Development (npd) launches for help visit They had a unique product - new and very different - and asked for my thoughts on their overall marketing strategy generally.

Here was my reply:

You have an interesting challenge, or should I say "opportunity", here. To answer your question fully I could write a book. But, here are some broad tips:

Firstly, you have an unusual product but it is still a product. You might do well to look at how other people have launched other products in your marketplace to see what lessons you can learn.

You will need to be clear about your answers to the following standard questions:

Into what market will the product be launched?

What customer segments will purchase the product?

For what applications will the customer use the product?

Into what geographic segments will be sold?

What are the benefits for the customers?

What is the price/performance ratio relative to the competition?

Who are the principle competitors?

What will make your product unique in the market?

What percentage market share is targeted at end of year 1 and year 3?

What percentage of the customer base currently uses this product?

From what distribution channels do customers purchase today, by percentage?

What influences the customer's decision to buy?

How will competitors position themselves against this product?

What is your sales strategy?

What is your marketing strategy - and budget?

What Measurement of Performance will you use to track success?

I guess you need to start with publicity. Articles in the media, especially coverage on radio and television, will reach huge audiences for help visit Your product is unique so that will help but maybe get some celebrity or academic endorsement for it. Publish some articles and distribute your press releases across the internet to raise your product profile.

Publicity & PR is much less costly, and can be more effective than advertising. It can also create a situation where customers and distributors are looking for you rather than you have to find them!

If you have a budget for advertising then plan a year ahead but do leave some cash for some last minute bargains or an offer you cannot resist!

Your online presence needs to impress people to reinforce the brand, give technical information about the product, make your client easy to contact and maybe be a useful resource for educators and students.

Think about the brand name. Vacuum cleaners are still often referred to as "Hoovers". Promote your brand name at every opportunity and guard it well. Think about your logo - how can you maximize its reconcilability?

The bird flu aspect is interesting. Maybe, someone from the company could be promoted within the media as some sort of expert on bird flu - and how their product is an answer for caterers etc.

If you have a trade association to which you belong, ask them if they have any support for members with and they were offering consultancy and training for members and non-members across a wide range of sectors from engineering to horticulture.

My final suggestion is to think about a launch event for the product. A carefully planned event can be the building block for success. My recent blog entry about planning business events attracted a number of responses which all had one theme - everyone agreed that a badly planned event creates huge problems for future relationships with customers. Conversely, a well planned event leads to improved customer relationships and very positive media coverage.

As I say, these were random thoughts off the top of my head. To give a comprehensive answer would need a full consultancy session - or for me to write a book maybe!

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