new product marketing plan

Creating a New Product Marketing Plan from Scratch

Using a Digital Marketing Strategy to Launch New Products

I’m often asked to help design and build products. The process is intense, and most of the focus is on the thing we’re creating. But what happens after the new product is finished and produced? It must go to market, and to have successful sales consumers must find out about it first That’s where a comprehensive marketing plan comes into play. In this article I will outline an effective digital marketing plan for any new product.

new product marketing plan

Below is an anonymized client plan for a line of powered outdoor gardening products developed in part by my team and covers the following areas of digital marketing:

  1. Social Media Setup
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Real-Time Marketing
  4. Social Media Promotions

Leveraging Social Media to Launch  a New Product

Community Management

The Community Manager serves as the day-to-day online representative for the brand. He or she takes on the responsibility of cultivating relationships with consumers and influencers within social networks. In doing so, the brand is able to meet United States consumer expectation of social media presence while identifying key opportunities to extend the brand message. As media and brand awareness increase, the scope of this role increases as well. As brand is launching with national media and that of Home Depot a daily Community Manager presence that is closely tied to other agency messaging will be required.

Social Account Alignment

Social networks have specific requirements to represent a brand visually while providing users with clear cues as to appropriate interactions. By identifying which types of accounts, copy and creative assets required to meet brand goals, The Marketing Team will extend the brand into the social space while setting up communities that attain business objectives.

  • Creation of accounts in key social networks as directed by brand and agency
  • Placement of social network-specific creative assets to maintain consistent brand look and feel across various social networks
  • Periodic strategic review and recommendation based on dialogue with consumers

Monitoring and Management

The Marketing Team utilizes brand-monitoring techniques to collect and store consumer dialogue in social networks. This daily activity allows for a process-driven approach to interacting with consumers while driving awareness, preference, trial and sales.

  • Community Manager monitoring protocol documentation development in line with brand requirements
  • Social media monitoring software setup per target audience and brand direction
  • Daily monitoring for brand opportunities by agency Community Manager
  • Daily dialogue with consumers and influencers through social networks on behalf of the brand brand
  • Content placement per the editorial calendar outlined in the Content Marketing section of this document
  • Daily engagement with consumers and influencers to address questions, complaints and praise
  • Proactive identification of opportunities to extend brand awareness, preference, trial and sales in the online space
  • Escalation of key issues to brand employees as needed

Blogger and Influencer Outreach

Working with the Earned Media team to collect a comprehensive list of online influencers, a Community Manager will build relationships with the goal of influencing brand awareness. Influencers may be defined as those consumers who have an above average following within the brand target audience within social networks.

  • Supplement Earned Media influencer list through research and ongoing community management activities
  • Daily dialogue with key influencers based on Content Marketing opportunities, Real-Time Marketing opportunities and Promotions
  • Influencer tracking and database management

Community Management Reporting

The Marketing Team will measure impact on the brand and include a report as a part of regular account reporting.

  • Social Media metrics achieved through Community Management activities including reach, impressions, follower count, web traffic, leads and sales
  • Engagement metrics including number of positive, neutral and negative brand mentions, outbound and inbound messages

Using Content Marketing to Tell a Deeper Product Story

Affecting many areas of the brand, content marketing acts as fuel to leverage awareness, organic ownership (taking organic search share away from Home Depot) and act as a continuous permission to have dialogue with the brand target audience.

Mission Development

The Marketing Team will utilize research data and experience to craft a content mission. This qualifying statement will be the lens through which all social media content is developed to ensure brand objectives are moved forward each day.

  • Research and ideation around significant unmet needs or pain points within target audience addressable through online content
  • Creative development of content-focused mission statement
  • Ongoing application of the mission and refinements based on consumer response to content

Content Audit

As a company, brand has produced content for internal and external stakeholders. The Marketing Team will inventory existing content and make recommendations to build efficiency through repurposing that content. Agency and brand will work together to identify ongoing opportunities to make resources generated for marketing and non-marketing purposes extend into the social space.

  • Content review with brand team
  • Content analysis and ideation for repurposing
  • Content editing and creative development based on identified opportunities

Editorial Calendar Development

As brands develop new ways to connect with American consumers, it has become apparent that a journalistic approach is required to online marketing activities. The Marketing Team will create and maintain a comprehensive editorial calendar covering planned messaging several weeks in advance. The editorial calendar serves as a point of collaboration between brand and agency, allowing all groups to identify what messaging is being communicated when and where. The editorial calendar also assists in identifying gaps in communication and opportunities to further enhance messaging.

  • Create editorial calendar in shared environment
  • Incorporate all communications and messaging into a single view, with breakouts for channel-specific messaging
  • Daily management of editorial calendar including changes and proactive identification of integrated opportunities

Content Development

In line with the editorial calendar, The Marketing Team Content Developers will create blog posts, images, infographics, videos and copy to populate blogs and social networks. Content will be held to the content mission while working to engage consumers and lead to product trial and sales. By crafting relevant and engaging content, brand will effectively take control its online brand, earning highly valuable organic and social media traffic to the brand website.

  • Evaluate keyword opportunities with input from Media team and content development best practices
  • Create regular blog posts for the brand blog to reinforce brand position and increase search engine traffic
  • Create regular visual content for use in social networks with attention to engagement factor and viral opportunity

Content Reporting

The Marketing Team will measure impact on the brand and include a report as a part of regular account reporting.

  • Content Marketing reporting integrated into brand report based on social engagement, web traffic and online sales
  • Specific focus on impact on organic search traffic to the brand website

Grabbing Real Time Marketing Moments as They Happen

Real-Time Marketing offers an opportunity to take advantage of national events that intersect with the brand target audience without resorting to expensive sponsorships. By producing creative and copy that appears spontaneous and placing within social networks at key moments, attention can be earned and focused on the brand. Real-Time Marketing does not typically involve travel, as creative is preplanned from the agency office much like other forms of traditional advertising. The real-time component is based on a timed release and availability to respond via social networks immediately.

Event Identification

The Marketing Team will identify one key national –level event per month for 2014 including social network markers like hashtags and key influencers. Events will be of great interest to the brand target audience and may include sporting events, television show finales, movie releases and political elections.

  • Research and ideation around significant events intersecting with brand target audience addressable through social networks
  • Capture of broad-view events calendar with suggested monthly events identified

Creative Ideation

Once events have been identified and outcomes predicted, creative assets will be produced in line with each event tone and audience. Creative assets may include images, videos, infographics or other digital media.

  • Conceptual development of social network creative assets for events on a monthly basis
  • Refinement of selected creative concepts based on feedback from internal and external stakeholders

Supplemental Community Management

During peak event times, additional community management will be required to engage with prospective customers, spread the Real-Time Marketing creative and respond to interest.

  • Second and third shift Community Managers assigned as needed around specific events

Spontaneous Event Monitoring

Not all opportunities for Real-Time Marketing can be planned. The Marketing Team will maintain monitoring around the brand target audience to identify opportunities to place content in moments that matter most.

  • Monitoring software programming for events and trends-specific focus
  • Management of workflows to quickly react when the brand target audience picks up on a spontaneous trend or event

Post-Event Reporting

The Marketing Team will measure impact on the brand and include a post-event report as a part of regular account reporting.

  • Real-Time Marketing reporting integrated into brand report based on social engagement, web traffic and online sales

Social Commerce Generates Sales Amplification

The brand website will offer ecommerce options for products in the brand line. It is important, therefore, to leverage a high-growth social media audience to keep this fact top of mind throughout 2014. By creating awareness of and participation in our owned ecommerce channel, brand can maintain a direct line of sales with customers, helping to maintain independence from Home Depot.

Social Proof

The American consumer increasingly utilizes social networks and review websites to vet products and services. It is critical for the brand line to provide social proof in the form of peer recommendations. The Marketing Team will align the brand website with social networks to provide a more trustworthy experience, lending credibility by showing customer Facebook friends who recommend, like or have commented on the brand line.

  • Work with brand web team to integrate social media opportunities

Product Reviews

Leveraging growing relationships with customers is another component of success for the brand line. It is efficient to manage these relationships through social networks. The Marketing Team will put in place protocols for management of positive comments and feedback in social networks, funneling those who have already endorsed the product to do so through formal review systems (Home Depot, Facebook, brand website, etc…).

  • Establish protocols and priorities for positive customer funneling to review websites
  • Daily outreach to key customers who have indicated they are pleased with the product line
  • Tracking of review websites for overall program efficacy

Point of Purchase Announcement

The Marketing Team will work to integrate point of purchase social technology into the brand website such that new customers are encouraged to share their transaction in relevant social networks. brand community managers may engage these users with further interaction, cementing the relationship and ensuring customers see brand as a different kind of company.

  • Work with brand web team to integrate social media opportunities
  • Daily outreach to web buyers to introduce the social media program while demonstrating attention to detail in customer service
  • Tracking of interactions with new customers

Sales Messaging in Social Networks

By placing creative and short-form copy in social networks, brand will ensure prospective customers who are introduced to the brand line through social media can easily access the ecommerce portion of the website. In addition, periodic push messaging through social networks directing followers to the brand website will maintain a direct link to sales outside of Home Depot.

  • Copywriting of periodic sales messaging in social networks
  • Creative assets for social networks (banners, tabs, etc…)
  • Periodic refresh of creative assets

Using Social Promotions to Excite a New Audience

Acting as a staple for continued engagement and as a reward for consumer social media interaction, Social Promotions include social network contests, giveaways and sweepstakes. The brand target audience will be regularly engaged with exciting promotions within key social networks. Ongoing promotions offer opportunities (but not requirements) for timely advertising messaging in other channels as part of the existing brand media budget as well as Earned Media dialogue with reporters and influencers as part of the existing Earned Media budget.

Promotions Ideation

Once promotional opportunities have been identified creative concepts will be produced in line with each promotion tone and audience. Creative concepts may include images, videos, infographics or other digital media.

  • Conceptual development of social network creative assets for promotions on a monthly basis
  • Refinement of selected creative concepts based on feedback from internal and external stakeholders

Social Promotions Rules Development

Online promotions in the United States are subject to specific rules and regulations in each state. To further complicate matters, each social network has specific rules and regulations as to how promotions may be administered. The Marketing Team will develop compliancy guidelines and written rules to govern each promotion and ensure the brand brand is in compliance.

  • Development of written rules for each promotion including privacy policy and opt ins for follow-up marketing from brand
  • Compliance checks with appropriate social networks

Promotions Programming

Each promotion will have programming and development requirements needed to ensure participants can quickly and easily opt in. These requirements may come in the form of web pages, Facebook apps, or other integrated technology. The Marketing Team will develop and test these requirements to produce functionality outlined during Promotions Ideation.

  • Development of participation mechanisms for each promotion
  • Testing of code for functionality and load
  • Deployment of code within required social networks
  • Fulfillment of prizes per official rules

Post-Promotion Reporting

The Marketing Team will measure impact on the brand and include a post-promotion report as a part of regular account reporting.

  • Social Promotions reporting integrated into brand report based on promotions participation, social engagement, web traffic and online sales

By following this marketing template, you will have a state of the art marketing program for any new product launch. This will ensure you have sales success, and go on to design many more new products.