Going to market with a new product or service
is expensive and can have a significant effect
on the overall well being of the company.
The success of your company depends on
knowing how the market is going to respond to
your new offering.
In most cases companies rely on what they
know already – rather than viewing their perceived
market with fresh eyes.
One company that we worked with understood
the need to revisit their market. This is the
story of we helped them achieve a 10% takeup
for new trial and over $1 million in new sales
with a marketing cost that was
a mere 3.5% of new revenue.
Our client was a mid-sized Canadian
data information provider
that was seeking to introduce
a new web-based application.
The application was designed
to be more affordable
for both the client and for the
company. This meant that
there was a larger potential audience
that went beyond the
cream of corporate Canada that
the company usually worked
For this new product the average
sale price would drop from
$35,000 a year down to $3,500
a year. They didn’t know how
their sales staff, who were used
to several face-to-face meetings,
could possibly sell at such a low price and
earn decent commissions.
We provided an integrated approach that managed
the entire marketing and sales process to
We did analysis of companies that had dedicated
marketing and media departments.
These companies would be seeking ongoing
sources of market intelligence. That determined
q Size of market q Who the potential opinion
leaders and decision makers
were in each company including
Our market analysis included
reviewing the competition and
pricing to ensure that the
product had clearly definable
attributes that separated it
from the competition. This
analysis fed nicely into a benefits
analysis the sales staff
used when dealing with potential
clients. It also provided
the product development team
with a set of improvement objectives
for future versions of
Based on the above research, we developed
a positioning statement that clearly outlined
the Brand Contract or offering. This became
the basis for the product’s slogan and became
the benchmark for all marketing and
sales materials that we produced.
After reviewing their target audience we developed
a marketing program that would create
a significant amount of exposure in a
short period of time. This ensured that the
target audience would see something on the
new service in several places and generate
interest. The plan included:
· Print Ads in selected newspapers
· Media Releases for trade publications
· Direct Mail piece to opinion makers in target
Test Before Launch
Normally, we recommend that our clients do
some form of market testing such as focus
groups or surveys, however the company felt it
had enough feedback from its sales staff that it
didn’t want to spend any funds in this area.
Because we had done a detailed market analysis
we were able to determine the potential size
of the market and develop a sales estimate.
Artwork Based on Positioning
Our communication concepts focused on a new
product logo and a web site design that was
used on their existing application. The designs
were based on promoting the Positioning of the
Marketing & Communicatio ns
This was a significant step for a company that
hadn’t needed to market itself too significantly.
We developed a complete budget that would
cover the cost of:
q Strategic Planning
q Logo & Web Development
q Advertising & Direct Mail
q Media Release writing, distribution and
This complete approach gave them confidence
in the total cost of the product launch.
The strategy was to have the inside customer
service team contact the direct mail recipients
and sign them up for a two week free trial. At
the end of the two weeks, the customer service
team called a second time to gauge the usefulness
of the application and to potentially sign
This process worked well as it brought focus to
the target audience’s mind about using the
product. It assisted them by having knowledgeable
staff helping them to set up the trial
period. This worked so well that 10% of the direct
mail recipients signed up. At the end of
the two-week period, the target audience was
able to get questions answered about some of
the features they were having difficulty in using.
The result was enough signed up for annual
subscriptions to generate over $1 million in
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