A typical marketing mix for any business consists of core elements that fall into either inbound or outbound marketing categories. When it comes to launching a new product, finding synergies between these respective strategies can amplify brand and product awareness and cultivate an engaged audience on launch day and beyond. So, what exactly is “inbound” versus “outbound” marketing?
Inbound marketing can be thought of as marketing that encourages people to come “in” to (i.e. engage with) a brand via mediums such as websites, blog posts, social media, display advertising or search engine marketing. To stimulate this engagement, inbound marketing typically offers an element of value to prospects – information, tools or content assets – designed to address the individual’s problems, needs and questions. For inbound, it’s the prospect that initiates the conversation. Conversely, outbound marketing refers to any kind of marketing where a company initiates the conversation through channels such as telemarketing, event marketing and direct mail.
The best way to think about these two approaches is through a complementary lens; when done right, a solid balance of inbound and outbound marketing strategies will drive brand awareness and spark interest and engagement with your target audience. Though the perfect marketing mix will vary based on factors such as your company’s budget, bandwidth and unique product, this blog explores top inbound and outbound strategies that can be tailored to your meet the marketing needs of your next product launch.
Generate Awareness with Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing tactics commonly serve as awareness-drivers for product launches and can bring about high-quality conversations with your target audience.
Emails are a simple and direct way for you to provide prospects with information on your upcoming launch, as well as educate them on the unique benefits and capabilities your product has to offer. Email marketing is also an ideal platform for integrating a variety of marketing efforts, whether sharing your upcoming event presence, valuable blog posts or up-to-date details about your new product. To design an effective email marketing campaign, make sure you know exactly who you’re speaking to through your emails. Does your email list consist of busy executives that prefer direct, concise highlights, or mid-level managers that want detailed explanations in order to accurately petition your product’s value to their superiors? Keeping your recipients at the forefront ensures a high-quality customer experience and boosts your chances of engaging with potential buyers.
Events are an excellent way to spread the word firsthand on your upcoming product launch. Regardless if you are an attendee, speaker or hosting a trade show booth of your own, events present countless networking opportunities and face time with target buyers to dive into details on your new product. In order to successfully leverage your attendance, come prepared with key messages in mind, such as how your product solves your target’s pain points, what differentiates your product within the market and details around your launch. You can also exchange contact information and add them to your company’s nurture stream for continued updates and communication.
Direct Mail Campaign
Direct mail campaigns offer compelling and creative options for getting your brand in front of key prospects and igniting interest around your product launch. Look for unique ways you can highlight your company personality and your product’s unique solution, while also recognizing the individual needs of your prospects. Consider including a handwritten note to each target that emphasizes your understanding of their key frustrations. Empathetic and personalized touches can open the door to future conversations and opportunities to further explain how your new product can meet their needs.
Engage with Inbound Marketing
The ultimate goal of inbound marketing is to get your target audience to engage with your brand. Again, this is typically achieved by offering content or information that your prospects and customers deem to be of value.
With approximately 2.77 billion users expected in 2019, social media is a cost-effective tactic that enables connection with a large audience. In order to magnify your presence, focus marketing efforts on the platforms your target buyers are most engaged on. Use these channels to promote your content and consider social media aggregation/management tools that enable you to publish posts across multiple channels at once.
Your company website forms an important digital impression on prospects that can shape how likely they are to engage with your brand and pay attention to your product launch. To design an informative and easy-to-navigate website that generates awareness and leads, keep your buyer personas in mind to craft direct and personalized messaging that immediately speaks to what these individuals are looking for. Consider adding in a press page where you can showcase important details and updates surrounding launch day. If you already have some high-value content such as whitepapers or expert industry articles, consider gating these assets to assimilate an email list for launch day. Ultimately, your website should act as a digital hub of valuable content that keeps potential buyers informed and engaged.
Blogs have become a B2B marketing staple for their simultaneous ability to connect with target audiences and demonstrate thought leadership. In order to reap these benefits, your blogs should center around your buyer’s primary pain points, as well as expert insight that speaks to your industry knowledge. This approach dually points to your reliability as a seller, and prompts interest from potential customers around your approaching launch.
The right blend of inbound and outbound marketing efforts can propel your organization to product launch success. While finding the perfect marketing mix can seem daunting, maintaining a steadfast focus on how your new product solves the needs of your target buyer and what the best mediums are for distributing that messaging will inform a successful strategy for your launch.
Looking for a deeper dive on crafting an effective product launch marketing strategy? Read How to Build an Integrated Marketing Plan for Your Product or Service Launch