Promotions StrategyPromoting Your New Product or Service

The aim of promotion is to make the consumers aware of the product and service and encourage them to purchase/adopt the product and service at the rate of sales growth desired by the company. Promotion includes advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and publicity.

The questions you are looking to answer with your research and analysis are:

  1. Who are the target consumers?
  2. What is the product and service image?
  3. What is the message that has to reach the consumers?
  4. What promotion is needed to convey this message?
    1. Who are the early adopters, brand evangelists, thought leaders that could be tapped?
    2. Who are the media contacts that cover innovations in this space?
    3. What are the large sites and forums in your demographic that sell ad space?
  5. What promotional methods are available?
  6. What SEO opportunities exist?
  7. What budget is there?

For a SaaS and mobile app innovations, the consumer is typically made aware of the product and service, educated about its use and benefits, and encouraged to try it. Traditional online advertising can be used to generate awareness and the large sites and forums in your demographic that sell ad space can also be utilized. The early identification of these advertising outlets is essential. Although online advertising is often used for new mobile apps because it reaches a large number of consumers very quickly, it may not be the most effective choice.

Word of mouth marketing is the key strategy to promoting new SaaS product and mobile apps. Since the success of a SaaS product or mobile app relies so heavily on the number of people, the connections they have, and the interactions they have online, it is best when people find out about the SaaS product or mobile app from a friend/peer/colleague. Early adopters, brand evangelists, thought leaders, reviews, and endorsements can encourage the consumer to try the product and service and to remove some of their doubts about it because of its ‘newness’ or ‘sameness’. They can also provide a beta group to help seed the SaaS product’s or mobile app’s user base. You can create an influencer list by searching for profiles that have highly engaged followers on related social media channels.

Social media sites can provide a supporting promotional network. Once all social media profiles are obtained for the product and service name, they can be utilized to build a network of contacts that share interests and provide updates as the release day nears, invites are extended, etc.

Promotion is also an important intermediary on the way to the consumer. Because of the difficulty of persuading consumers to give time to a new SaaS product or mobile app, it is likely that media promotion will need to be given a larger proportion of the promotional budget. You should start on this strategy by identifying the right writers for your media list. These are writers/journalists who already write about your industry and have covered similar themes.

The promotional budget is the sum of money available for spending on the launch and is usually calculated as the amount needed for a given annual sales target rather than a fixed percentage on expected sales. Promotion as percentage of turnover may be as high as 30 or 40 percent in the initial stages of a product’s life; this may be justified as being necessary to achieve maximum distribution quickly. How much should be allocated to a new product and service for the purpose of the launch is difficult to decide rationally – there is seldom a model correlating sales with promotion for a new product and service. You will be looking to assess whether or not the product and service is worth such a promotional budget, taking into account the purpose for which the product and service is being introduced, and analyzing the promotional budgets of competitors.

Selection of the advertising mix presents similar problems to budget determination, and sometimes precedes it. The obvious prerequisites to the selection of methods of promotion are to know whom the promotion is aimed at and what it is trying to do. The people to influence are usually the purchasers and all those who affect their decisions, and of course, the final consumers who use the product and service. The aims of the promotion may be to produce immediate sales, to stimulate brand recognition and to ‘educate’ the consumer on a new type of product benefit or characteristic. When the target people and the reasons for the promotions are decided, logical selection of media can commence. Competitive advertising should also be analyzed to inform your advertising strategy plan.

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Karie Barrett

Creative Development Director at QAT Global
is the Creative Development Director at QAT Global. She has over 20 years diverse marketing, design, and business experience. Karie is responsible for driving creative strategy and execution to develop and produce quality creative web and marketing solutions that meet internal and external client's business objectives and goals. @KarieBarrett