Have you ever spoken passionately to someone, about your job, your politics, your new product - anything important to you, and then realized they didn’t hear a word you said? Sure, they were smiling and nodding, but they were being polite - they weren’t listening.
As a business leader in marketing and sales, you know what I mean because it happens all the time in sales. You have to approach marketing as a game of attrition, and use everything at your disposal. This is especially true when you’re rolling out a new product.
Achieving profitable sales with a new product in the laboratory market typically takes about one year. That assumes everything is in place, including a website or microsite, media coverage, promotions, sales programs, and distribution support. Innovative technology can take longer because now you’re changing established behavior.
Ironically, large companies with established programs rarely introduce new products. It’s the small companies, the entrepreneurs, who invent the cool stuff. Unfortunately, they do not have the resources for an effective marketing program. For marketers at companies large and small, here are a few insights to consider:
A picture is worth a thousand words, and people need to see how your product works. A stylish product illustration can increase media coverage. Produce a video or an animation if your product is really different, or if you’re selling through distribution and don’t have direct contact with the customer. If you’re selling to Big Pharma, record your new product demonstration so it can be archived.
Be sure to provide clear, easy to read operating instructions. If your new product changes existing workflows or requires new or additional equipment, let people know. It helps if you can find a clever way to stress the availability of your product support.
History offers many examples of new tech that languished for years until finally catching on. Transgenic animal technology is a great example: for years, scientists had difficulty gaining access to these tools, and the potential wasn’t realized. When someone finally figured out how to make them easily available, they became indispensible to drug development labs.
The world does not beat a path to your door when you have a new product. As a marketer, you are required to illustrate your product’s principle of operation, compare it to existing methods, provide instructions and show how it fits into the lab. And, when you need more sales coverage, find out how to partner with distributors.
There’s plenty of advice and assistance available. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll be happy to share some of the successes and failures I’ve seen.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamgrabek/6424464061/">AGmakonts</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>