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So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Case studies from famous public shamings and insight into how the affect the psyche.
Great insights into public relations pickles and strategies; fascinating case studies and learnable warnings to always think before speaking... or tweeting.
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Burden of Proof
Congratulations! You’ve pushed innovation and initiative to the max, just like the pros tell you too. You’ve disrupted the industry. But there’s a problem. You’ve got skeptics. Big brooding swarms of them.
This is a problem for your marketing budget, because you don’t just need money to entice people to buy your product. You need money to educate people on what your product is, then why they need it, then to go buy it. This is a big undertaking, and likely why almost half of new products invented never make it, and about 20% fail prior to even reaching launch. So what’s a startup to do?
- While you may be anxious to start making money, spend more time up front getting your ducks in a row. As our Greek friends would say, “Know Thyself.” Know exactly who you are, who your product is, how can it best be described in a single sentence, what does your brand look like, what does your ideal client look like? A solid brand identity upfront is huge to launching a new product.
- After you know who you are, spend some time thinking about who your customer is. Dig into as much detail as you can- where do they live, where do they shop, what do they look like, what big problem do they have in their life that you product solves? Think niche. Starting with a targeted, small group can help you optimize your marketing budget.
- While we advise all businesses to spend time on a solid, comprehensive marketing plan, it’s especially important for a new product launch. How do you plan to use PR, product placement, social media, email marketing, display ads, etc to get an unknown product in front of as many of the right eyes as possible? This is the time for some serious strategy because this will be expensive and there is rarely room for redos. Think about your ideal client and figure out the best ways to make sure you get in front of their eyes multiple times.
- Think negative. While it’s great to focus on all the possibilities for success and fame and a retirement home in Fiji, you’ll want to think about all of the negative things people could say. With a new product, there will be skepticism. Beat your skeptics to the punch and pre-address their concerns.
- Eat, sleep and breathe your baby. Part of good marketing is authenticity. A favorite example of this is Rohan Oza. He is famous for marketing unknown startups and turning them into huge, billion dollar successes. Part of how he does this is by actually truly believing in the products he works with. He mentioned once in an interview that when he started with Vitamin Water (talk about a foreign concept and skepticism) he would carry Vitamin Water with him everywhere, handing them out to flight attendants, store clerks, anyone he encountered that he knew had high public visibility. Generally speaking, the more someone sees something, the more credible it becomes in their mind, even if they literally know nothing about it.
When you have the burden of proof in disrupting an industry, turn it into an opportunity to make some noise.