I was talking to a friend the other day, and she was totally miffed when she told me, “I was at the grocery store, and the new state laws are allowing them to sell alcohol starting July 1. They have this entire section of rows already filled with wine bottles, ready to sell. Why would they do that? Why wouldn’t they just wait until July 1 to put the wine on the shelves? Seeing the wine makes people want it, and then it’s frustrating that you can’t buy it yet.” And VOILA! The beauty of marketing!
I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of potential clients. Of those clients, the vast majority are small business owners who don’t have a budget to compete against larger brands. Social Media levels the “field” for brands, because there are ways to build a substantial brand presence over time, without having to compete with major brands and their large marketing budgets.
I’ve worked with numerous start-ups and organizations that have new products that they’re releasing. The problem is that many of them come to me with the product already produced, sitting on the shelf (so to speak), and now they need a marketing plan to achieve sales. They’ve had no brand development, they have no online marketing initiatives, and they need to make money fast because they’re paying for warehouse space or they owe on net-30 terms.
I won’t go into my thoughts of entrepreneurs who produce mass quantities of their product without having any sales, that’s for another topic. But what I will say is that when someone has a product, event, app, grand opening, or almost anything else that has a “launch” date, there is a window to market the product BEFORE it is launched, that most small businesses miss.
There are 3 windows of opportunity to market your launch: Before it Happens, As it Happens, and After it Happens. If you don’t spend some time creating a buzz about what’s coming, then when you have your actual launch, you don’t have anyone to market to AS it’s happening. So out of the 3 available windows, you’re now left to market in only ONE window, the After It Happens.
Many business owners don’t consider the investment on the front end to build and begin engaging an audience before their product or service is launched because they’re solely focused on the product, and understandably so. But truly successful launches that move at a high rate of momentum often happen because those brands focus on their audience over their product.
If you can step back and allow some time to build up the “buzz” around your brand, product, or service, BEFORE it actually launches, then the day that it’s available, you will have a real audience to announce what you’ve been working on so hard to bring to market! And then you open the opportunity to use all 3 windows for marketing.
Take the time to build, develop, and engage your customer base before you launch. Even if the gathering is small, it will give you the opportunity to bring people on the journey with you, so when you launch, your followers and supporters will be there to buy AND help spread the word.
Start a little buzz, strike a spark…that’s how you get a blaze started.