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It is always a challenge for companies to get their products noticed in the marketplace as many competitors are also promoting their products and new technologies to engineers. Our inboxes are cluttered with promotional information as are the websites we visit. Companies should always be doing some level of advertising and promotion to maintain their brand presence and promote their products, but how do you get your target audience’s attention for significant new products or capabilities?
Getting noticed and mentioned in the industry starts with leveraging something that distinguishes your company’s products from your competitor’s and developing an integrated strategy to promote it to the target audience. For some RF/microwave companies, that is typically a unique capability or process that provides better performance and/or lower cost than competing products. There are also companies that are offering a new capability or solution that is not currently available in the market where they need to educate their audience about it. Companies should always be striving to identify their market differentiating advantages and promote them widely in the industry as it allows them to raise the level of awareness of their expertise. This allows the company to rise above the normal level of promotion that others are doing and get noticed in the marketplace.
A good place to start is collaborating with a leading media company in the industry that can help get the message out (directly or through a PR agency). Engaging with both the editorial staff and sales account managers can help coordinate editorial coverage with paid promotional activities to raise the visibility of your message above the normal marketing initiatives that are going on in the industry. Media companies can help in the following ways:
· Editorial staff and account managers discuss marketing goals (awareness, lead gen, etc.), product positioning, global initiatives and targeted end-markets - conversation is typically a mix of technology overview and business concerns.
· Editors match information about a company’s new technology, product(s) or focus on a new market with audience interest and broader industry trends and advise on potential editorial themes and content. Propose editorial opportunities from a range of editorial types such as broad features.
· Editors and account managers can discuss available client resources (existing materials or potential authors) and client’s preference in media (print articles, white papers, webinars, etc.).
· An integrated marketing program combing editorial and paid programs (display ads – print/digital, white papers, webinars) is proposed to maximize exposure and number of customer touch points that lead to some action (i.e. register for download or attendance at an event) which generate quality leads.
In conjunction with editorial activities, an integrated marketing plan can be coordinated with the media company to deliver the messaging about the product’s advantages and features. The timing and delivery is most effective if coordinated with editorial and timed according to the program goals. The level of exposure is planned to rise over the planned marketing program timeline and hit a maximum at the targeted time. Sometimes this can be planned to culminate at a key trade show or occur at the time when the product is released to maximize demand at the appropriate time. Then the program can run for several months after release to maintain market demand.
An example of the components for a successful integrated marketing plan and timing are listed below:
· Work with editors for possible special report, perspective piece or cover story a few months prior to release
· A month ahead of product release, publish developed article about the process or design discussing how it obtains new levels in performance and/or cost
· During month of release, product feature article discussing the product’s features, applications and performance specs
· Press announcement of product at release time
· Earned editorial mentions in editor’s blogs, videos, etc., based on new products value to the market
· Interview with key executive to discuss product strategy, markets, geographical markets, etc.
· Print ad campaign covering product features and market differentiation over marketing campaign timeline (perhaps multiple pages at times to heighten awareness)
· Collateral piece that can be distributed online, at trade shows and enclosed with magazine to maximize distribution (can also be target via application and/or geographic location to target audience)
· Webinar series or white papers for direct lead generation programs
· Develop educational videos about how to use or design in product
· Custom content distribution via customer, targeted newsletters
· Sponsored newsletters, banner ads, etc., for online activity
· Promote to analysts as a part of their value proposition to the industry and investors
Most successful companies have a consistent integrated marketing and advertising plan in place to promote the company and its products. Then for significant products each year, they are able to turn up the volume using these types of tools and methods to get noticed in the marketplace. Give us a call to discuss your particular needs – that is what we are here for.
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