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Think of the expanding power of the internet. Consider the unique behavior of B2B buyers.

Put them together for

12 New Rules B2B Product Launch

by Dan Adams
You may post this e-book to your blog or forward to others.
12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch


Marketing Advanced Industrial 2009 Advanced Industrial Marketing, Inc.

Why new rules? Why now? First, the internet is changing everything. Most B2B transactions now occur when the customer finds the suppliernot the other way around. If someone deep inside a prospect company cant find you, your new product just lost to a competitors. Second, B2B marketers have been following the rules of B2C marketers for way too long. Compared to their consumers, our business customers are more insightful, rational, interested and fewer in number. Advantage B2B but only if we follow new rules. Our rules. I worked inside large corporations for 29 years, mostly in marketing positions. It was great fun, but I believe the best is yet to come for B2B marketers. I hope youll find some new rules here that ignite your next product launch. Meet me at the end of this e-book for more ideas.
Dan Adams AIM, Inc.
12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch 2009 Advanced Industrial Marketing, Inc. This e-bookin its entiretymay be posted to your blog or e-mailed to others. 330-715-8709

Table of Contents

1 Be easy to find when your prospect is ready 2 Link early-stage to late-stage marketing 3 Get inside their minds with positioning 4 Help prospects advance along buying cycle 5 Use engagementnot interruptionmarketing 6 Customize for industry concentration & position 7 Build a keyword cattle chute 8 Use word of mouth to build buzz 9 Use powerful new online marketing tools 10 Integrate traditional media in your strategy 11 Make your sales force look like geniuses 12 Pull it all together in a launch plan Appendix: Training & Software from AIM

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12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch

Advanced Industrial Marketing


Rule 1

Be easy to find when your prospect is ready

Youre about to launch a great new product and your job is to hunt down prospects and close some sales, right? Well, partly but thats so 20th century. In 80% of B2B transactions today, the customer finds the suppliernot the other way around.1 What does this mean to you? For starters, you must answer new questions:
What will prompt a Google search by prospects, and what search terms will they use? How can you hold their interest? Its hard to avoid a sales rep, but good-bye now sounds like a mouse-click. Who are your real targets among the many job functions typically involved in B2B buying decisions? How do you meet prospects where they are?... Some just starting to explore others comparing specifications.

B2B transactions today

Supplier finds Customer Customer finds Supplier

The 12 new rules in this e-book will help you answer these questions and more. So happy hunting. And being hunted.

-112 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing

-2For business decision makers. B2B Lead Generation Handbook, MarketingSherpa, 2008, p 99.


Rule 2

Link early-stage to late-stage marketing

When Im asked to explain marketing, I break it down into early-stage marketingwhen you find out what customers wantand late-stage marketing, when you promote your new product to them.

Launch the Right Product with the Right Message using the Right Media to the Right Prospects:

Right Product
Satisfies most important unmet market needs

Right Message
Presses customer hot buttons in their own language

Right Media
Reaches prospects using the most effective venues

Right Prospects
Targets key decision makers & influencers within companies

Early-Stage Marketing

Late-Stage Marketing

Design Product
Front-End Work

Develop Product
Heavy Spending

Deliver Product
Product Launch

The latter is more glamorous, but without solid work in the fuzzy front end, youre headed for a new product belly flop. You really must do both stages well to win big. In fact, you need to link your early-stage and late-stage marketing by intentionally gathering customer information in the front end for later use in your launch. To do this well, replace the 4 Ps you borrowed from consumer marketing (product, price, place, promotion) with a new B2B model:
-312 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing

To get the Right Message, data-mine your front-end interviews to uncover customers hot-button language. For the Right Media and Right Prospects, add two questions to customer interviews and surveys: 1) 2) How does your company learn about new ideas? Who decides which ideas to pursue?

The first question tells you their preferred media use. The second helps you target key prospects in the company. Of course, theres more you can do, but these simple steps will do wonders for your next product launch.


Rule 3

Principle #3
Your goal is to be the first to occupy mind-space for your category.

Get inside their minds with positioning

Over 25 years ago, Ries and Trout brought us Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.1 Much of their thinking still applies today. Consider these principles adapted for B2B:

IBM WSJ McKinsey

If you plant your flag first in the customers mind, its easy turf to defend. Dont abandon your position by letting clever ad agencies stray from your core message.
Your Brand

Principle #1
Once a prospects mind is made up, it is very difficult to change it.

Hertz is #1

Avis is #1

Principle #4
If you cant be first, create a new category where you can be.

In B2C, advertising is too weak a force to overcome Principle #1. You can be more persuasive in B2B, but a direct frontal assault on a competitors position is costly.
Principle #2
However, prospects minds are usually open to new information.

If you dont already own a category, look for an unoccupied category you can claim. BlackBerry, for example, claimed mobile business communications.

A ? B C

Principle #5
In an over-communicated society, use an oversimplified message.


This makes news a great form of promotion. Think news releases, presentations on new technology, webinars with new info, or (ahem) e-books with new rules.
-512 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing

Create a simple message and keep beating the same drum in every media you use. Think FedEx speed, Cisco connectivity or DuPont miracles of science.
-6Al Ries and Jack Trout, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981)


Rule 4

Buying Cycle Stages

Purchase Prospect agrees to buy your solution Prospect wants your solution under the right conditions Prospect actively evaluates best way to address need

Help prospects advance along buying cycle

In the good old dayswhen suppliers found prospects instead of the other way aroundyou knew how to pitch your product. There was a time to cultivate, a time to compare, a time to close. You knew what time it was if you knew how to listen to your prospect. But what if your prospect finds you on the internet, and you have no idea where his head is? He could be at any of these stages 1. Oblivious to the problem youd like to solve 2. Thinking about the above problem 3. Aware of your product 4. Considering buying your product 5. Ready to negotiate for your product A one-size-fits-all marketing message wont work, so what do you do? Let the prospect decide when to move to the next stage. Provide a stream of offers that prospects can accept when they are ready. Here are some examples
Price Estimator Calculator In-Depth Brochure Technical Consultation White Paper
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Consideration Product Awareness

Prospect is aware of your solution to his problem

Need Awareness Oblivious

Prospect recognizes a problem or opportunity worth addressing

Prospect isnt thinking about the problem youd like to help solve Time

Technical Paper Webinar Case Study Product Sample

3 2
Make it easy for prospects to move to the next stage by providing offers such as white papers & webinars.


Rule 5

Use engagementnot interruptionmarketing

Got an exciting product? Cant wait to tell prospects how amazing it is? Easy now: If your prospect is at an early stage in the buying cycle, patiently employ engagement marketing. Dont rush in with interruption marketing. Interruption marketing occurs when the supplier barges into the prospects world. Its an ad unrelated to the magazine article the prospect is reading an e-mail during the prospects busy day ranting about a new product. In engagement marketing, the supplier is invited into the prospects world. More than anything else, engagement marketing is useful content from the prospects perspective. Think how this works for you. You dont appreciate commercial hype. But how about a free white paper or webinar concerning your problems, your interests, your industry? And if the sponsor drops a slide or page in at the end suggesting how they might help you more, youre OK with that, right? Thats engagement marketing. Youll have time later in the buying cycle to tell prospects about the wonders of your new product. For now, its all about them.

Content Prospects Find Most Interesting1

Case study on how a company used a product New research on some aspect of your industry How-to guide for using a product better Top-10 list of ways to improve business Interview with top analyst on state of industry Interview with top executive on state of industry

# Prospect Responses

Prospects are interested in their problems & industry not you

-912 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing

- 10 Source: B2B Lead Generation Handbook, MarketingSherpa, 2008, p 315.


Rule 6

Customize for industry concentration & position

So which media will you use? How will you spread your limited budget between 8 traditional and 8 online media?

Industry concentration considers the number of potential buyers. Your industry position is determined by whether you are currently a key supplier to this market or not. While this oversimplifies the matter, think of four quadrants:1
Many Customers in Market Few Customers in Market
4 3

Industry Concentration

Existing Customers Find You

New Customers Find You

You Find Existing Customers

You Find New Customers

Youre a Leading Supplier to Market

New Market for Your Company

Industry Position

Four factors should influence your decision: 1) 2) 3) 4) Prospects media preferences Your resources Industry concentration Your industry position

Quad 1: Your sales force can easily reach prospects. Invest in sales training & tools; reinforce them with online media. Quad 2: This is easy for competitors to defend. Combine credibility-building content with well-equipped sales reps. Quad 3: Too many to reach with direct sales. Use news releases & search marketing to drive them to your website. Quad 4: Use your databaseand othersto build a community of users via e-mail and other online methods.
- 12 1

#1 can be easily determined in your front-end work. (See suggested questions in Rule 2). #2 is about your budget and existing capabilities (e.g., sales force vs. distributors).
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We use 25 scenariosnot 4in our product launch planning software (shown on last page of e-book).


Rule 7

Build a keyword cattle chute

Many people think the reason to write a press release is so the press will write a story about them. But thats following the old rules. The main reason today is to attract prospects to your website. Heres how it works 1) You write a news release loaded with valuable content that the wire services pick up. 2) Your article is published on the web and includes your embedded keywords and links to your website. 3) The prospect Googles using one of your keywords, and your article appears in his Google results page. 4) The prospect reads your article, thinks youre smart, and hits the embedded link to your website. Ta-dah. The key is to write content that online magazine and trade journal editors believe their readers will love. Thats your real audiencenot the press.
So thats how it works
Heres when this clicked for me: I wanted to use the term B2B Organic Growth for my newsletter, and figured Id better Google to see if someone else was using it. Every single hit on the 1st Google results page belonged to me! Why? Most of the articles my publicist and I had written used this keyword phrase. I called her and said, OK I think we can start using some other keywords now! - 13 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing Links

2 1 You issue news releases

Your Website

Articles are published with your embedded keywords & links






4 Link takes prospect to your website

Prospect Googles using keyword and finds your article

How to boost your internet findability

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Rule 8

Use word of mouth to build buzz

Research by MarketingSherpa reveals that more business executives are impacted by word of mouth than anything else.1 Here are six tips for building buzz: 1) Identify and promote to industry thought leaders. Use communications to VIP editors & bloggers. 2) Promote to people already in groupse.g., trade shows & conferencesso they can discuss your product. 3) Seek opinions from industry experts: Commission lab tests seek evaluations create advisory panels. 4) Gain testimonials from respected early adopters. Get advance samples in the hands of willing customers. 5) Use front-end interviews to find decision influencers at prospect companies. Build relations with key contacts. 6) Make it easy for these decision influencers to tell their colleagues about your product, with Leave-behind presentations & sales aids E-mails with links to interesting videos, etc. Newsletters and literature rich in content

Let your prospects work for you: Be easy to tout (Rule 8) Be easy to find (Rule 7)

- 15 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing


- 16 B2B Lead Generation Handbook, MarketingSherpa, 2008, p 73.


Rule 9

Use powerful new online marketing tools

Online marketing has exploded in the last 10 years and not just in B2C. In fact, online marketing in B2B (especially IT, e.g., servers and web-conferencing) has outpaced B2C.1 Online marketing offers strong benefits:
Benefits of Online Marketing

White Paper: Rich in non-commercial, useful content. Often used to develop leads early in the buying cycle. Online Advertising: You pay per click, with search engine ads or contextual ads (displayed next to related articles). Web Micro-page: A part of your corporate website focused on the needs of one audience, e.g., your target market. Emerging: Includes proven & unproven methods for B2B: blogs online presentations podcasts viral marketing.

Lower cost per lead generated

Easier to measure effectiveness

Helps prospects find supplier

We cant do them proper justice here, but lets take a quick tour of these 8 online media
News Release: Used to be called a press release. Great for creating a cattle chute to your website (see Rule 7). Search Marketing: Everything you do to rank high in Google searches (aka Search Engine Optimization). E-mail: 21st century counterpart of direct mail. Theres a science to doing this well: Seek professional help. Webinar: Good for connecting with hard-to-reach prospects, e.g. executives and marketing. Efficient way to relay info.

- 17 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing


- 18 B2B Lead Generation Handbook, MarketingSherpa, 2008, pp 1-3.


Rule 10

Integrate traditional media in your strategy

Online marketing is powerful, but if you drop traditional marketing, youll lose 3 important dynamics: First, traditional branding breeds familiarity which prompts more mouse clicks. Second, word of mouth in face-toface situations is highly influential. Third, prior relationships make a big difference in buying decisions.
Benefits of Traditional Marketing

Direct Mail: Can still be effective. Many internet users have a printed publication in their hands while searching. Trade Speech: A well-delivered presentation conveys lots of complex info well and to an undistracted audience. Customer Seminar: Like a road show but your staff visits one big customer at a time, using multiple presentations. Sales Visit: Usually the most effectiveand expensive approach. Use disciplined lead nurturing & great sales tools.

Familiarity from branding

Face-to-face word of mouth

Prior relationships built

Consider 8 traditional media (and integrate them with online):

Print Advertising: Helpful for keeping your brand familiarand to popularize keywords for online searches. Trade Article: Articles and technical papers in journals now end up online as well so use keywords & web-links. Trade Show: Powerful but complex and costly. Make sure your staff is trained & your lead follow-up is strong. Road Show: A multi-city tour with your technical staff. Great for nurturing leads in fragmented markets.

- 19 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch Advanced Industrial Marketing

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Rule 11

Make your sales force look like geniuses

For a sales force full of new-product selling virtuosos, think 1) sales tools, 2) sales training, and 3) a lead scoring & nurturing system. right. When planning which to use, make sure you engage representatives of the sales force.
Sales training: Break your training into 3 categories: Sales tools: 24 popular sales tools are shown to the

Sales Tools
Company Presentation Product Background Sheet Product Specifications Product Brochure Product Presentation Leave-Behind Presentation White Paper News Release Reprint Case Study Product Video Web-Based Education Qualifier Form Company Profile Product Data Sheet Product Safety Data Sheet Product Reviewers Guide Presentation to Distributors Technical Report/Study Competitive Comparison Customer Testimonials Frequently Asked Questions Customer Evaluation Guide Selling Guide Proposal Template

1) Launch strategy include messaging, positioning, product overview, pricing, offers, media strategy, etc. 2) Measuring success describe sales goals, reward & recognition, tracking system, and lead scoring. 3) Using sales tools cover each of the planned sales tools; consider role-playing to boost effectiveness.
Lead Scoring/Nurturing: Dont squander your most

valuable resourcethe sales forceon the wrong prospects. Instead, create a matrix based on demographic scoring (how important is this prospect?) and behavioral scoring (how ready is this prospect?). Then agree whether marketing or sales owns each cell in the matrix. Finally, decide specifically how prospects will be advanced to the next stage closer to sales-ready.
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12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch

Advanced Industrial Marketing


Rule 12

Pull it all together in a launch plan

A great launch plangenerally started 10-12 months before your launch datewill do 4 things for you: 1. Collect: Keeps track of all your data in one place action plan, media contacts, budget, lead scoring, etc. 2. Plan: Provides all the tools and aids for your team to plan a great launch without reinventing the wheel. 3. Communicate: Informs key stakeholders of your plansmanagement, sales force, ad agencies, etc. 4. Measure: Provides metrics and a dashboard to measure progress and to build corporate learning. I like to see a simple 2-page Executive Summary that ties the whole plan together and communicates the strategy, team, activities and results.1 After this, the three most critical documents (created in this order) are: Prospect Profile reveals the mind of the prospect so you (& your agencies) can build a targeted campaign Message Brief includes everything needed for compelling media content, e.g., keyword hot buttons Media Guide provides tools for choosing the right mix of 16 traditional & online media for your situation
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Right Product
Satisfies most important unmet market needs

Right Message
Presses customer hot buttons in their own language

Right Media
Reaches prospects using the most effective venues

Right Prospects
Targets key decision makers & influencers within companies

Message Brief

Media Guide

Prospect Profile

Executive Summary
Strategy Team Activities Results

Linked Planning Tools & Aids

B2B Launch Plan

- 24 Our Excel-based launch planning softwarecalled LaunchStarTMcovers Strategy, Team, Activities & Results



Early-Stage Marketing

Late-Stage Marketing

Training & Software from AIM

All we do at AIM (Advanced Industrial Marketing) is provide training in B2B new product development. Thats not as boring as it sounds. Our focus on just B2B has led us to some exciting, new-to-the-world practices and a strong competitive edge for our clients. Everything youve read in this e-book is part of a 1-day course we offer. But training that is hard to apply or easy to forget is pretty much useless. So we include Excelbased1 LaunchStarTM software. This lets you
Create a 2-page Executive Summary (Strategy-Team-Activities-Results) Develop a Prospect Profile Send out the 2-question Launch Survey Optimize a strong value proposition Develop your Message Brief Answer key positioning questions Plan and justify pricing Plan using the Media Strategy Matrix Learn over 120 tips for 16 media Choose from 25 sales tools Plan comprehensive sales training Use a 150-line launch plan (Gantt) Utilize the Agency Screening Tool Develop & analyze launch budget Create a lead scoring & nurturing plan Move prospects along the buying cycle Monitor key metrics with a dashboard

Design Product
Front-End Work

Develop Product
Heavy Spending

Deliver Product
Product Launch

We havent talked about early-stage marketing so far weve just assumed youve done a great job in the fuzzy front end. Turns out this is usually a very bad assumption. For years, New Product Blueprinting has been used to improve B2B front-end work all around the world. With our training and Excel-based Blueprinter software, your team will
Learn fundamentals of B2B interviewing (avoiding the pitfalls of traditional VOC) Conduct qualitative Discovery interviews Use customer-centric probing methods Improve listening skills (PEAR method) Conduct effective customer tours Perform post-interview debriefing Conduct quantitative Preference interviews Get customer input on test procedures Set up competitive side-by-side testing Use 6 visual tools to plan the new product Calculate Market Satisfaction Gaps Identify over- and under-served markets Conduct remote, digital brainstorming Perform secondary market research Screen market segments for attractiveness Use KAI to build team effectiveness Build a 4-page, 12-point business case

How to Learn More:

12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch

visit E-mail Call 330-715-8709

Advanced Industrial Marketing

How to Learn More: Download free chapters (at above) Same e-mail & phone as at left

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