Radio Can Help Product Launches –
But It Takes More Than Ads

It’s not easy launching and marketing a new product.  So how do you ensure your product is among the ones that succeed?

If your product meets a consumer need, has a unique selling proposition with a clear advantage over competing products, and provides desired benefits to a viable target, you are already halfway to a marketing success story. Next you need to get people to buy, right?

Awareness, word of mouth and trial are top priority, of course. In terms of advertising, frequency of messaging is important. If your product is in a crowded advertising category, lifting your message out of the competitive clutter is crucial. Depending on the product, a shopper marketing program could help draw attention to your product in store.

Radio can help do all this--but advertising alone won’t cut it, especially buried five commercials deep in the stop set. You need people to pay attention to your message, relate it to their individual needs, imagine themselves reaping its benefits, and remember it at the point of purchase.

Here’s how:

1.  Tap into local influencers. If you want to quickly spread the word about your product at launch, you need to reach a lot of people in the right target. Radio station personalities can help you do this. But a bunch of ad reads by random personalities won’t deliver the best results. You need to find the right personalities -- those who are best aligned with your target and can give you high reach. When trained and coached correctly, station personalities are powerful endorsers, making the link between a product’s features and benefits, creating emotional appeal through engaging personal stories, and demonstrating the product’s relevance to your target’s needs, lifestyle and location. Visit our Influencer Marketing page to learn more.

2.  Distribute samples at station events. Stations are always out and about in their local markets, interacting with listeners and non-listeners alike. Stations are often amenable to adding event appearances to their calendar, as well. As with all marketing, though, context is important. You will need to find the right opportunities to reach your target in environments that both make sense for your product and attract a good-sized crowd. So, what does this look like? Here are some examples from the CRN files: sunscreen at beaches and parks; spices at food festivals; gourmet chocolate at wine festivals and tastings; health foods at charity walks and runs; and all kinds of products at retailer locations, where proximity helps convert trial to purchase. With or without that proximity, a coupon with a sample can also be an effective incentive.

3.  Reinforce key product benefits, features and USPs in memorable ways. Chances are your advertising covers a lot of ground when it comes to brand points. What is the one thing you want your product to be associated with in the minds of your target? Link it to other types of messaging vehicles and drive that point home. For example, sweepstakes and contests offer five inherent opportunities to communicate something about your new product: the name of the promotion, the premise or creative idea, the entry mechanism (what you do to enter), the prizes, and the brand language integrated into announcements about the promotion. For more tips, read our blog on creating successful radio promotions. Sweepstakes and contests can even motivate consumers to take a desired action by tying that action into the entry mechanism. And even for those who don’t participate, sweepstakes announcements act as a “prop” for delivering your message in a way that piques interest and boosts recall. Either way, you win.

4.  Gain distribution and performance at retail. If shopper marketing is a key element in your launch plan, you may be able to defray the cost by making your radio budget do double-duty. You can even use your radio budget to gain new distribution without slotting fees. How? By integrating your key trade customers into your radio campaign. Read more on our Channel Marketing page.

Check out these staggering findings: 66 percent of new products fail within two years, according to Booz & Company, and 96 percent of all innovations fail to return their cost of capital, says Doblin Group. With the deck already stacked against you, consider some of the ideas above to help tilt the odds in your favor.

 

 

Cynthia Conrad
Marketing Manager