When an enterprise IT ISV public relations effort is equipped with a teleprospecting function, this function can be used to regularly verify the level to which products, and even a brand name are visible within targeted market segments. However, to ensure that the information produced by this type of telephone contact function is as accurate as possible, we think it makes sense to design these campaigns around broad benefits, features, and the actual historical performance of a brand than to do the same around the product brand name, or the company behind it.
The difficulty of building these public sampling efforts around the familiarity of targeted markets with products and manufacturers is that the effort becomes, over time, self serving, and, therefore, inaccurate. On the other hand, when the topic of discussion is a specific benefit that can only be achieved, within a reasonable doubt, with a handful of products, including one’s offer, then the results can be highly useful.
A side benefit of this type of teleprospecting campaign design is that the public relations function should be able to use the results of the campaign to inform product marketing about the likely level to which targeted markets have received the correct message about products. If the data indicates that the markets are not receiving the right messages, then product marketing (via the enterprise software marketing communications effort) can adjust, as required.
It should be obvious that receiving this information about market sentiment as early in a product life cycle, as possible, makes sense. After all, why should enterprise IT ISVs sit back and wait to collect incoming market reaction to products? As we have written at length elsewhere in this blog, in 2013 enterprise prospects will likely engage with vendors only after completing extensive product research. Therefore, waiting to receive marketplace contact, which will, in all likelihood, only occur once prospects have selected one’s product for further inquiry, can result in an unsuccessful effort to launch a product — a potentially disastrous event for very early stage ISVs.
It is, therefore, much better to design useful campaigns around discussions of targeted benefits with marketplace participants. Where possible, these campaigns must commence right after products are launched, and be maintained as a regular, funded activity, throughout the entire early stage of a product launch. In turn, other types of public relations efforts, like seminars (or webinars), can be designed around the same topics to act as a stimulus of incoming engagement with the same cross section of marketplace participants.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved