Online Advertising Social Media

The role of social media in the product launch process

Social Media
Written by Jean Marie León

Social media has become something crucial for consumers. People use social media constantly, and as time goes by they give more importance to it. They use it to stay in touch with friends and family, to keep up with the news and everything that is happing around the world, but more now than ever, they use it to find out more about the products they want to buy and the companies selling them.

Just as people and consumers in general place more importance to what they see on social media,
brands are more aware of the powerful tool these channels represent, and therefore they have given more and more weight to social networks, not only when it comes to their communication efforts, but also by embedding social media into their business strategy.

With at least 2.3 billion people around the world actively using social media it is no surprise that when it comes to product launches, marketers are flocking to these channels because that is where their customers are.
In fact, so is the power of social media that it has already superpassed the influence of other traditional channels when it comes to this kind of initiatives. According to a study recently published by the agency Five by Five, brands are already prioritizing social media over any other kind of media -even television- to launch campaigns.

The numbers prove it:

social-media-product-launch

Not surprisingly, 74% of marketers say they give priority to social media in their launch campaigns, meaning for them it is more important to position their products in the digital space rather than invest large amounts of money on traditional media.

Sales promotion ranked second among the most important channels with 55% and email campaigns came in third with 53%. TV advertising, on the other hand, only ranked sixth with 36%.

Why social media is so important:

TV’s influence decreasing

There are several reasons why social media has become such a crucial tool for marketers and why they are taking distance from traditional channels and TV advertising. One of these reasons is consumer behavior and the fact that only 6% of consumers identified TV as a key factor for them when it came to buying new products. Therefore, if people are not paying too much attention to TV ads, why keep on investing on those?

Social listening to support NPD

On the other hand, brands’ presence in social media is on the rise, marketers want to know what people think about their brands, what they like, what they are expecting to see. Social listening is a great way to know the market, and 64% of the people surveyed said they use social listening to support new product development. Furthermore, many companies take advantage of social media to beta test their products and gain feedback to tweak them before fully launching.

Laser sharp targeting

Finally, with social media marketers can actually reach prospective clients with even more precision than before and for less. Almost every social media platform offers the option of market targeting to help companies reach the specific segments that maybe they wouldn’t reach using mass advertising.

Social media has undoubtedly changed the face of advertising for many companies, and using these platforms can either make or break a product launch campaign, but when used correctly, the results are really worth the effort.

References:
Image by Hans Vivek under Creative Commons Zero license
2017 Launch Marketing Report. Five by Five

About the author

Jean Marie León