Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
There are many ways of marketing new products and inventions, depending on the industries you intend to serve. However, whatever market you are targeting, there are some basics to keep in mind.
As soon as you have an idea, begin researching the potential market. The intent is to find out how your idea works and what competition is already there. Don’t create anything on assumption. There has to be a genuine desire for a product if it is going to succeed. You should have a unique solution or improvement for already established need.
Get your house in order
Next, make sure your product has the legal protection it needs. Contact the patent office, make sure your trademark name is unique and create a robust intellectual property plan. It’s also essential that you make sure your product works. It doesn’t have to be perfect – particularly if you are releasing software. But, it will need to be bug-free and well-tested before you reveal it to the general public. Launching a poor-quality product dooms you from the start.
Find some help
As your product approaches completion, it’s time to get some help. Consider hiring a local marketing firm or submit an idea to new product specialists who have experience in launching an invention. Make sure you check for previous campaigns that the company has created, and also ask for examples of successes. In an ideal world, you should also choose a firm with experience launching similar products. They will already understand the market, which should help you save a lot of time in the planning stage.
Create a strong foundation
There will be some marketing tasks that you should do yourself. Tap into the power of communities and join – or create – forums or groups of like-minded people. It’s the ideal place for discussing your ideas – and those of others. Start networking in your local business community, too. All the while, you should be talking about your product and finding out who is interested. The idea here is to find early adopters or people willing to try out your new invention. It will give you a solid basis from which to move forward beyond your launch.
Contact industry influencers
Finally, make sure you seek out and contact influential people in your industry. You can find them on blogs, social media, and in specific channels like Linkedin. Don’t dive in with a sales pitch. Instead, get to know the person before sending a free sample or test product. Consider a contract requiring the person to post their review in exchange for keeping the product.