New Product Ideas Stir Up the Pot

New-Product Ideas Range From a Relaunching to a Repurposing

Here are 10 new-product development ideas to put on your gold-seeking plate (from SIPA 2010).

From Torry Burdick, senior vice president, Marketing, Mortgage Success Source

1. Webinars are not new, but they have taken on a new flavor at MSS. We have used free webinars in the past to provide content to our audience, but recently we began using them in our marketing. They are proving to be an excellent way for us to showcase our expertise to our prospect audience as well as cross sell our existing subscribers new products.(Examples: Legislative updates and trial promotions.)

2. Video – It’s the YouTube age. Why read it, when I can watch it. In both our marketing and content areas we are seeing an increase in the amount of video we are using as well as a greater diversity in use. I’m sure many of you are using video in your promotions and on your sites, we are too…both for marketing and for content distribution. One neat campaign we did earlier this year was to host a VideoOlympics where our subscribers and prospects could enter videos they are using to promote their businesses in conjunction with the launch of a video marketing platform we developed. (Example: MSS Promotions, content)

3. Send a continuation notice out at the end of the year to everyone that received a free trial that year. Last year this brought us in an extra $3,500. (You catch people at a different time, they meant to sign up and didn’t, etc.)

From Bill Dugan, vice president and general manager, StepByStepMarketing.com

4. Compare your product offerings to your competitors. When you take the time to make a grid of all the products you offer vs. your direct competitors, you’ll discover possible new-product test ideas. You should “grid” this so that you can easily see (visually) if all your competitors have a product topic … or product delivery medium … that you don’t have (and vice versa – which can then be used for Unique Selling Proposition purposes).

5. Test turning an existing product into another delivery medium. If you have a popular newsletter topic or special report, try converting it to an event (in-person, Webinar, or audio conference) or a recorded audio product. You can even try offering high-end consulting services for a particular topic, when you know you’ve had success with paid product offerings on the same topic. Such efforts can boost sales without a lot of content-development effort, but with some easy production efforts … and some marketing spin, of course.

6. Try re-launching an old product with a new name. If you have a formerly popular product that seems to have seen its last days, try re-launching it with a new name and a new marketing angle, to see if you can capitalize on the product’s content for a bit longer. Give product topics a longer life!

7. Turn a paid product item into a free item. “What?!” you say. How can this help? Well, if you have an active and aggressive online presence, taking a paid product’s success and creating a smaller, stream-lined, “teaser”/free version of it can help you be found online by searchers, so that you build your email list and have “qualified” prospects for selling paid versions of the same product.

From Adam P. Goldstein, associate publisher, Business Management Daily

8. E-mail append your subscribers and expires. Send your actives and expire files to Info USA or another e-mail append service. They only charge on the “hits,” so you only pay for what you get. We recouped a 4-figure investment in less than a month – and we haven’t even tried to reactivate the expires or advance-renew the actives yet.

9. Declare a holiday. Create “Widget Manufacturer’s Week,” sponsored by your website or newsletter (or an outside sponsor). Offer free white papers, webinars (limited attendance to the first 50 respondents), offer discounts on reports and subscriptions. Send media releases, create a logo.

10. Repurpose your webinar content. Some people learn best by reading, others by seeing, still others by hearing. Integrate video into your webinars, at the least via a PowerPoint slide show available on-demand. Transcribe your popular events into executive summaries. Of course, sell CDs post-event, and as part of a combo offer (ditto with video and transcripts). Use CDs and summaries as newsletter premiums. Cover your webinars as news events in your newsletters and e-zines.

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