One of the best movies of the 1980’s was Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This adventure of Indiana Jones ranks as a top ten movie of all time.  Today though it doesn’t matter how good the movie is when it’s stuck on a VHS tape.  If you get a chance to watch the VHS on grandma’s VHS player, you’ll notice the quality is complete garbage.  You’ll find a grainy image and poor sound quality. Things we never noticed in the past, but today stand out because of heightened expectations. 

 

Raiders

 

Imagine the expectations of buyers who begin to consume quality content.  Today’s content approach for most companies is out of date.  Your content is yesterday’s VHS tape.  As your target buyers begin to experience quality content, your content will no longer suffice.  Your new product launch is in jeopardy. 

 

No worries.  By reading this you are still ahead of the curve.  World-class companies are adopting new content marketing processes.  The cornerstone is a Buyer’s Process Map.  You have time, and the advantage is yours.  However, the adoption rate is staggering so don’t get caught.  Download the free Buying Process Map template.

 

Jeopardizing Your New Product Launch 

Is your product manager creating content the same way they did back in the 80’s?  

 

Step 1: Subject matter expertise is captured into product descriptions

Step 2: Product features are drafted and prioritized based on audience research

Step 3: Wordsmith gymnastics is applied to transition features to benefits

Rinse and Repeat. 

 

The art of transforming company self-talk into digestible content worked in the past.  The problem is that the content is typically uninspiring.  It seldom answers the most pressing questions of the prospective buyer.  Just like we put up with VHS tapes in the 1980’s, our buyers have put up with company-centric content.

 

describe the imageContent Marketing is in the process of a major transformation.  The emerging Buyer’s Process Mapping approach has changed everything.  Marketers have literally cracked the code on what to communicate to their prospective buyers.  It’s time to transform. 

 

What’s at Stake?

The content for a product launch is crucial to success.  Content is the backbone of the pre-launch introduction.  Essentially the priming of the pump requires quality supporting content. 

 

  • Internal pre-launch announcements
  • Momentum building teasers and presentations
  • Formal training materials

 

The launch involves significant content to generate awareness and interest.  The creative campaigns need to offer value points of interest.  The calls to action for the campaigns need to offer desirable content downloads.

 

  • Traditional sales support literature
  • Email-ready tackable content
  • Demand Generation campaigns
  • ‘Get found’ inbound marketing
  • Quality website content
  • Nurture campaigns

 

Content Marketing for Today’s New Product Launch

The foundation for a successful product launch is great content.  The key to great content is the Buyer’s Process Map (BPM). 

 

A Buyer’s Process Map consists of the phases a buyer goes through during a complex purchase decision.  Each phase has your prospect asking questions and taking action.  The phases represent major milestones in your customer’s journey to purchase. 

 

Content development requires delivering the right message at the right time.  Knowing what your customer is doing in each phase allows you to tailor your content.  Stale Features & Benefits are replaced with hard hitting content.  The new content addresses questions the prospect is actively contemplating.  No mental gymnastics are required to translate company-centered content to their questions.

 

Along the buyer’s journey your customers are asking themselves questions.  Based on research, identify the questions your customer is asking himself at each stage.  These questions provide insights into your customer’s purchasing needs.  Your content is then perfectly aligned with the needs of the buyer. 

 

The questions represent a mix of expressed and unexpressed questions.  For a new product launch, the content development may include website content that directly answers the question.  More sensitive questions are responded to with content developed as internal talking points for the sales field. 

 

Below is an example of how product benefits differ from Buyer Process Map questions:

 

Product Benefit Examples  

 

Buyer Process Map Examples:

 

  • Widget produces 3x more capacity
  • Widget requires 30% less energy
  • Widget uptime is 99.5%
  • Do I have other bottlenecks in production that keep me from realizing the 3x improvement?
  • Are companies really getting 30% less energy operating?  Will they guaranty the savings?
  • Do I need the same maintenance head count to support the new widget?

     

Content written to answer the questions on the right provide real value in the buyer’s evaluation process. 

 

In Summary

The time is right to start implementing Buyer Process Mapping.  Job Descriptions of world-class companies are beginning to require expertise in this area.  Your smartest competitor will be there soon.  Marketing leaders must guide product marketing content development in this direction.

 

As your competitors start to create great content, your prospects will see the sharp contrast.  Old type feature content will stick out like a sore thumb.  Embrace the Buyers Process Map to serve as a competitive advantage for new product launch content.

 

Vince Koehler

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Koehler

Brings deep marketing expertise to help clients make brands successful and drive strong marketing return on investment.
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Prior to SBI, Vince served as the VP of Marketing for Integer and led e-commerce Agency of Record account teams at VML, a full service digital marketing agency. During his tenure, VML became a market leader, growing from 72 to more than 700 employees. Prior to VML, Vince was the President of Propeller Interactive, a digital marketing agency with clients such as Koch & Sprint.

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