It is possible for a group of developers and engineers to spend months or years on the development of a new product that performs exactly as intended only to have its potential squandered due to an insufficient and ineffective marketing program. This limited effectiveness can have two failure points: 1) a poor message, and 2) poor delivery.
Printed collateral is still important. Regardless of the industry you are in, selling and marketing at their core, deal with human interaction. Regardless of the advancements in display technologies, it is still easier to read a printed sheet than an LCD panel and much simpler to hand a spec sheet or brochure to a customer than it is to boot your laptop or find the right icon on your tablet computer.
The level of importance depends on your industry but you still need good quality, printed assets.
This one is completely obvious. You must have a web presence for your products. I do not mean just a website about your company. I mean a series of pages that define, demonstrate, and promote your product. The branding standards used by your company may not allow you to modify the layouy to meet your product’s needs. However, the content is yours to create and content is what sells your product, so use it.
This may seem redundant if you already have a website, but it is not. These electronic marketing assets are typically highly technical details comprised of specifications that are too detailed to place on marketing style webpages. These can also be sales tools, typically technical, that can be shared with customers via e-mail or portable USB drives.
A good tool for your sale forces is to give each of the them a USB drive containing all of the marketing assets and sales tools. You could also e-mail a link to a download site but I’ve found that if your salesmen travel extensively, their access to your download center via your firm’s private network (VPN) can be difficult using some hotel internet connections. Be safe and accommodating, send them links to the download site and the USB drive.
Live events are the best opportunity you have to present the message to your sales team and your customers. The chance to have direct conversations with these key constituents is rare due to continual restrictions in travel budgets so do not squander it.
As you prepare, I recommend you talk to key members of your audience and learn which types of information they think they need to be successful. Use every opportunity to learn your audience and then spend plenty of time practicing your presentation.
Webinars are simply a live presentation but presented via an online service. Since the presentation is one-dimensional with the audience only hearing your voice, be more expressive that during your live events. I also recommend these webinars be recorded and made available your audience for viewing at their convenience.
The products you develop and the marketing messages you create are useless to the business’ results unless they are effectively communicated to their target audiences. Spend as much or more time on delivery of the content as in creating it. The creation may be the interesting and enjoyable part, but delivery is what generates results.