BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eighty-one percent of consumers in the recent Schneider/Stagnito/IRI Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey were unable to name a single one of the Top 50 products launched in 2006. Clearly, marketers need a new strategy for gaining consumer attention for their new wares. Joan Schneider, author of New Product Launch: 10 Proven Strategies, offered a new solution called Immersion Marketing™ at the 2007 IRI Summit in Las Vegas, NV. “Immersion Marketing™ is a creative, all-encompassing approach to launching new products that goes beyond the traditional marketing mix to create multiple touch points to motivate consumers to try and buy new products,” said Schneider, who heads a Boston-based marketing firm that specializes in new product launches.
On average, the 1,000 survey respondents reported they used 3.3 different media sources to learn about new products, a figure that was even higher for Early Adopters (4.5 media sources) and Younger Consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 (3.5 media sources). The new study, conducted by comSCORE Networks, also showed that free samples lead the Strength of Influence Index with 66 percent, followed by received a coupon 55 percent, and recommended by family and friends and television commercials or infomercials tied for third with 46 percent. “This information supports the theory behind Immersion Marketing™ which is manufacturers and retailers need to reach out to consumers in multiple ways to make a lasting impression and prompt product purchase,” said Schneider.
The 81 percent lack of recognition figure is at an all-time high --up from 57 percent the previous year, according to the 2006 Schneider/Stagnito Communications/IRI Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey. “The news that new product recognition is down significantly comes as a shock in view of the fact that advertising spending continues to rise,” said Schneider. “AdWeek numbers project that spending on advertising increased again last year to $285 billion, up from $271 billion in 2005. Putting a new product on store shelves and pumping in ad dollars alone will not ensure success. Launch tactics clearly need to adapt if new products are going to be able to gain traction and that’s where Immersion Marketing™ adds value.”
Immersion Marketing™ Key to Successful Launches
Companies are going beyond traditional marketing techniques to create buzz among consumers. In-store TV was an awareness factor in 2006 and results from the 2006 Schneider/Stagnito Communications/IRI Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey indicate promise among these newer strategies, with more than half of consumers saying they sometimes or often purchase products featured on in-store TV and 64 percent reporting they were somewhat to very likely to visit a Web site after viewing a TV commercial.
Emerging digital technology, such as online videos and online communities, need to be included in the new approach to product launches, recommended Schneider. “Across all age groups, two out of ten Americans polled said an emerging digital technology influenced them to purchase a new product last year. These media are growing in influence among younger consumers, with 28 percent of those between ages 18 and 34 saying that such sources influenced their decision to buy new products in 2006,” Schneider concluded.
Marketers still need to conduct traditional campaigns to reach the 60 million U.S. Baby Boomers, who control 50 percent of the discretionary income. However, marketers need to use digital tactics for 24-30 year-old consumers, who don’t read newspapers or watch their favorite TV episodes in the traditional way, using OnDemand or Tivo to avoid commercials.
“We assumed the newest forms of digital media would make a bigger impact as a source of information on new products, but it hasn’t happened yet,” said Schneider. “TV commercials continue to dominate as the medium where people first learn of new products. This is why products from manufacturers with huge TV ad budgets dominate the list of Most Memorable New Product Launches. The message for start-ups and small manufacturers who can’t afford TV exposure is that you have to surround your consumer with marketing messages in cost-effective places.”
At www.schneiderpr.com, marketers can find more information on Immersion Marketing™, including 10 Tips on How to Successfully Implement an Immersion Marketing™ program.
Author Joan Schneider wrote New Product Launch: 10 Proven Strategies and is president of Schneider Associates, a Boston-based marketing communications firm
Stagnito Communications, an Ascend Media Company, is publisher of Stagnito’s New Products Magazine www.stagnito.com
*ADWEEK projected statistic **Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)