Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Marketing and PR Tools & Tactics you can use to your advantage when exploring new markets

The Marketing Think Tank call hosted by BrightBlue Marketing and Big Noise Communications was facilitated this month by Andrea Lamarsaude of BrightBlue, focused on the topic of: Marketing and PR Tools & Tactics you can use to your advantage when exploring new markets.

We looked at several ideas including:
• Developing a marketing & PR strategy for penetrating a new market
• Creative low/no cost ways to market and receive some good PR
• Effective ways to use social media to break into new markets
• Marketing through partnerships
• Marketing through events

To start with, everyone agreed that a company should decide if there is a real need to get into a new market. The main reason to move forward with this strategy is to take market share away from you competitors. To do this you have to know what the competition is doing right and what they are doing wrong and find something you can do differently that will move part of their market share to your company. You can do this by attending their events and following them on their social media outlets or you can hire a competitor’s employee. Hiring an employee from a competitor can be tricky but, when you are able to do it, they can be a great source of information on how your company can improve upon what is already out in the market place.

You can broaden your market definition by expanding on something that is already offered. Adding a different service or product related to what is already out there.. One example of this was the launch of Vonage.. They were moving into a new industry and had to try and define what it was and what it was not. Vonage had laid a lot of groundwork via PR about quality, consistency, etc. in order to overcome some bad press they had received about quality. They did this in a three phase approach:

• Phase 1: 2-3 months prior to launch – sent releases to key writers in the industry with high readership to serve as Vonage “champions” and becoming an excellent test market to tell their readers that already trusted them what they thought of the product.

• Phase 2: Send releases to even more established resources like “E Week,” Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, etc. as well as well known analysts in the tech community introducing Vonage to them. These journalists started asking questions which in turn helped with the final development points.

• Phase 3: Product launch – Vonage incorporated tier one writers and industry leaders and hit them hard from a PR relationship standpoint.

The people Vonage started with in Phase 1 helped them to get to the higher level industry leaders and publications by gradually building credibility for them in a new market.

How do you do this without breaking your marketing budget which may be tight?
There are actually some low or no cost ways to market and generate positive PR in the industry.
• Find new networking groups that you haven’t attended yet and focus on your new market.
• Offer to participate in speaking engagements at events in your new market area.
• Use social media regularly and consistently with announcements of your new product or service (The Big 5: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, and LinkedIn).
• Guest blogging with other industry partners using and repurposing blogs you have already written for your site.
• Get involved with the community to promote yourself & your company as a good neighbor and as being actively involved in the community. This builds trust and when people compare apples to apples you stand out because you have been actively out in the community. Be sure you let news and media people know what you are doing and perhaps they might cover it as a story.

The Think Tank discussion focused on using social media to explore new markets, but how do you do that?
• Get involved with LinkedIn groups connected to your new market. Post promotions, discussions, etc. on these groups.
• Look to see what LinkedIn groups your competitors belong to and join those.
• YouTube – develop something that is uniquely you and bridges back to the value of your product or service in a slightly “nutty” way, but not just to be silly.

What are the benefits of building partnerships?
Partnerships can have huge benefits including:
• Providing access to a different set of contacts from yours that you will now be able to reach
• Giving the impressions of being more powerful and capable, going together instead of on your own.

However, you must be selective as to whom you choose as a partner. Be sure that they have the same vision and way of doing business as you do.

Another way of breaking into a new market is to produce marketing events. Events can be fun and a great addition as you work to get your business known in a new market. There are a variety of different types of events you can produce that have a range of costs including low or no cost options as well.

• A launch event, if done well, can bring a lot of attention to any new product or service you may be offering.
• A webinar virtual event to give a demonstration of new product or service
• Speaking engagements at other’s events that would have the right audience for your product or service.

Marketing events can be large, live events that include the entire community or something simpler you do that involves the virtual community.

As you start marketing to branch out into a new market the most important thing to remember is to be consistent while using multiple marketing and PR avenues. Studies show that customers need an average of 25 – 30 touches before they will purchase complex high tech services or products. So get out there and stay out there!

We would love to hear some stories from you and what has worked or hasn’t worked as you tried to break into a new market!

Here are links to further info about finding new customers in new markets:

and How to Penetrate New Accounts in Tough Times:

and Secrets of a successful entry into a new market:

No comments: