Friday, October 12, 2012

Engineers hate "Pre-launch" activity.

Never tell an engineer that you are doing "pre-launch" marketing.  You will get anger, pleading, and hatred in ways you cannot imagine.  Why is this?  Why do engineers hate "pre-release" marketing activities?  And why do marketers love it?

Engineers hate it for an obvious reason: "what if that feature doesn't work or live up to the hype?"  Fear of under-delivering is a healthy fear for your engineers, but it is also irrational.  If the product under-delivers, you've got bigger problems, usually, than the fact that you made bigger promises early.  My advice: deliver! Also commonly, engineers can't understand the need for pre-launch buzz and hype. 

Marketers want pre-launch buzz and hype.  Why?  Three simple (and one sad) reason.
1. Sad reason: because many don't know how to add much value in "pre-launch" phase.  It's sad because there is much that can be done: competitive analysis, pricing studies, etc.  Those are not the sexy parts of marketing however, so they get "not done", and pre-launch becomes the exciting focus.
2. Simple Reason: Economics.  Increase demand!  If you can get an early start on "creating unfulfilled demand" than when the product does launch, there will be a rush to buy and be proud you got one!
3. Simple Reason: Measure Demand.  If you do the buzz marketing, and get no buzz... you may have an issue (or need to tweak your marketing/positioning).
4. Simple Reason: Press.  Getting press involved early means getting 2 stories instead of just 1.  Without a pre-launch story, all you get (often) is the "launch" story.

Now get out there and "pre-launch" something!

1 comment:

  1. from my friend Lary:

    'watch the recursion. It doesnt "stack" well'

    e.g. Engineers get really frustrated when we marketers go over the deep end into "product 2.0" when "product 1.0" isn't even done yet!


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