David Alexander, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at the
University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business
Ask the experts: Marketing a new concept
- October 28, 2012 - 7:11 PM
What is the most effective way to market a new product concept -- something that has never existed before so consumers do not know they need it? Social media? Print ads? Press releases?
Gaining market attention for a new product is challenging -- especially if the product concept is new. The natural tendency is to try and reach everyone in the market and hope exposure will lead to buzz and then to sales. Unfortunately, this strategy is often expensive, inefficient and ineffective. A better approach is to start with the realization that you can't interest everyone (really, you can't) and instead work to identify the people who are most likely to be interested in what you're offering.
To find this target market, break the overall market for your type of product into segments based on what people want (ideally), how they're getting their wants satisfied now and where the current offerings fall short. Then identify the segment whose unsatisfied wants/needs best align with what you want to offer. Do your homework to learn all you can about these consumers: what they value, where they shop, and how they learn about new products.
Then choose marketing actions that help members of your target market understand exactly how your product better satisfies their wants/needs. You need happy users of your product who will spread their positive experiences with others either directly or through testimonials, videos or blogs that you facilitate. Early in your product's life, look for ways to maximize your target market's experiences with your products. Staying focused ensures you spend your time and resources most efficiently and are most likely to catch the eye of people who actually will buy your product.
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