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A Thing

Get People Talking About Your New Product

By Nancy Drexler and Sam Neuman

People talk; it's a fact of life in this industry. This talk is a bad thing when your company does something wrong that you'd rather not have repeated, rephrased and posted on GS Online's MLS Forum. It can also be a very, very good thing.

People talk, but as a marketer, your job is to give them something to talk about. When launching a new product, the number one way to guarantee success is to generate conversation about the product.

Call it chatter, word of mouth or buzz, this talk is also an extremely important tool to use to get your audience interested in what you're selling.

If You Build Buzz, They Will Come

The strongest product launches work like a pyramid, from the top down. The few people (or businesses) at the very top of the pyramid are the most influential in the industry. They're retailers with household names, corporations with instantly recognizable logos and editors of the news that industry insiders read and trust.

These decision makers are the most significant people to target at the beginning of a launch because they exert the most influence and therefore generate the most buzz. A product launched by the media is a product with a major leg up.

Landing a few top clients at the beginning of a launch is almost always more important to the overall success of the campaign than signing up a hundred unknown users.

Having these people on board also functions as a branding tool for future efforts. A testimonial from a well-known business that raves about your new product is far more convincing advertising copy than your unsubstantiated claims that the product is innovative and superior.

Remember that influential people demand influential campaigning. One-on-one contact is the way to go to reach people in positions of power. Make contact over the phone at the very least, but ideally do it over a meal (your treat). Save the impersonal contact for the masses.

Two Companies Are Better Than One

Many people resist the idea of partnerships because they want full control and often all the profits. Partnering with another company doubles your chances of getting a new product out faster and to the right market.

It also doubles your financial and human resources. If you're fortunate enough to find someone you know and trust, and if both sides recognize how they best complement each other's strengths and weaknesses, you will benefit by having more of the following:


Familiar ideas are a great way to sell familiar products; however, when selling something new, having more input is never a bad thing.

One caveat: Make sure to define the limits of the partnership before the first brainstorming meeting. Also, establish yourself as having the final sign-off on all ideas before execution. Nothing is more unpleasant than a partner with a bad idea who won't back down.

Potential Clients

The bottom line is selling more product to more buyers and expanding the customer base in the process. A viable partner must deliver a market of customers who are likely to show interest in the new product. If a partnership doesn't significantly increase distribution channels, then its value decreases dramatically.


Through the partnership you'll have more feet on the street. You'll also have more hands to stuff envelopes, create ads and give the product wider distribution and greater exposure.

Plan carefully and set clear rules for collaboration. You'll reap the benefits of the partnership while skipping the headaches. When sales are four times higher than what you could have generated on your own, you won't mind not keeping 100% of the profits.

Get Information Online Early

Far too many businesspeople ignore this component of buzz-building until it's too late. Get a product-specific Web site, or a page on your main site, up and running and tested before the official launch.

Have materials ready to mail or e-mail. If you're comfortable sharing detailed product information, add it to the site. Where else but the Internet can you generate interest and sales without doing anything? By collecting all the information about the product in one convenient location, you'll make it easy for potential customers to learn more.

You'll reach people that your sales agents won't be able to contact one on one. Make it as easy as possible for those who read about you to reach you.

Start this part of the process early to spare yourself the frustration of finding out the week before the product is supposed to launch that a competitor owns .

Also, starting early allows buzz to grow organically. This buzz will generate interest in the product before your other marketing plans take effect.

To keep the specifics of the product quiet until it's time for the official launch, consider a teaser campaign. Create vague but compelling ad copy focused on the benefit the new product will deliver, and tie it in to the launch date.

Think, "A terminal so sophisticated, you'll wonder how you ever did business without it. Launching Nov. 1, 2005. "A well-written, concise teaser tagline will build more buzz than 1,000 words of ad copy.

Make the Product Front-page News

If concerned about the competition stealing your ideas, make sure that at least a few people know the details of the product before the launch date, namely, the journalists who cover our industry.

Send a few of them a product sample along with a detailed fact sheet explaining exactly how the product works and benefits the end user. Strictly limit the date journalists publish any articles about the product by specifying that the materials and information are "embargoed." This will prohibit journalists from giving away the details of your product before a date that you specify.

Ensuring that everyone involved, including journalists, adheres to a timeline will help prevent hassles such as having consumer interest wildly exceed current inventory.

Use these proven techniques for generating new product buzz. Next time your ears are burning you'll know that people are talking about you and, for once, they're saying all the right things.

Nancy Drexler is the Marketing Director and Sam Neuman is the Communications Specialist of Cynergy Data, a payment processor that distinguishes itself by relying on creativity and technology to maximize service. Cynergy offers its ISOs VIMAS, a cutting edge back-office management software; Vimas Tracking, a ticketing system that makes responses to customers fast, accurate and efficient; Brand Central Station, a Web site of free marketing tools; plus state-of-the-art training, products, services and value-added programs all designed to take ISO partners from where they are to where they want to be. For more information on Cynergy e-mail Nancy Drexler at .

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