Making Product Launches That Sizzle

Consumers are bombarded with a continuous flood of information, receiving some 610 marketing impressions every day with that number predicted to rise to 950 per day by 2005, says Jupiter Media Metrix. Given this barrage, it seems most of the information people receive is perceived as peripheral — even irrelevant — to them and ignored rather than absorbed and retained.

Facing an increasingly noisy world, many companies are looking for ways to have their messages reach more focused audiences with more impact, hoping for higher retention and ultimately prompting people to purchase a product or service. The challenge of moving audiences to action is particularly acute when launching a new product.

According to Winning a Product Launch, a market research report documenting product launch successes and failures, companies launch anywhere from one to dozens of products each year. Companies studied for the report spent an average of $3.5 million to develop a product and $700,000 to launch it in 1999.

Communication with key audiences is vital for successful product launches, and companies employ a variety of methods to achieve this goal. Trade shows are popular venues for launching products but attendees and press are often inundated with a slew of competing announcements. The use of "road shows" — live presentations to sales offices and partners — increase the impact of product launch information. But the associated costs of travel and accommodations delay the launch date for a product, both of which have negative impacts on the product’s time to positive ROI.

Despite these challenges, everyone would like their product announcements to reach audiences in a timely way with consistent, engaging information that is personalized for their needs. For an increasing number of products and audiences, streaming media is an attractive option to communicate memorable messages inexpensively to audiences of any size.

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