Teaser CampaignAs a small business, there can be a lot of pressure to ensure a product launch goes well.

Sometimes the fortunes of the business are directly linked to the successful launch of a new product or service.

This can put a lot of pressure on a communications team tasked with getting maximum reach and reward ahead of a launch.

In the automotive industry, there’s a long and dubious history behind the protracted teaser campaign.

A ‘leak’ is almost always written with inverted commas.

And leading publications have a rendering specialist on hand to stitch teased images together into the final product, usually with mixed results.

Behind the teaser is the need for the brand to maximize conversation and reach through social engagement.

The Teaser Campaign Works for Some…and Not Others

The reality is, some industries are more open to a teaser than others.

But the industries that are open to a good teaser campaign may surprise you.

Cars, motorcycles, video games, books, films are all pretty obvious candidates for a half decent teaser campaign.

How many of us have stayed past the credits at the end of a Marvel film just to see the teaser for the next film?

(The Deadpool teaser is still one of my favorites.)

You may ask, what do all of these teaser campaigns have in common?

The answer is, they have dedicated fans that lap up the intimate details and enjoy the tease that only drip-fed information provides.

So if your industry has fans who eagerly await every announcement, no matter how small, then chances are a teaser campaign will work well for your brand.

From the outside looking in, some of these teaser campaigns look chaotic. But that’s not the case at all.

Teaser Campaign Pointers

Having been on both sides, I’d like to share a few pointers for maximizing a teaser campaign:

  1. Think in layers
  2. Be ready to rebuff
  3. Think about the future
  4. Message your channels
  5. Who to please
  6. Don’t forget the advocates
  7. Teamwork makes the dream work

Here they each are, with more explanation.

Think in Layers

A teaser campaign can last weeks or years. The hallmark of a good one is it builds momentum as it gets closer to launch day.

Knowing which content will be produced or available during the planning phase will help you get the most from each tiny morsel of goodness.

The key to this is to think in layers.

Build a central focal point for information, a Facebook page, website, or list.

Then add communication channels, but make it so the foundation remains the main source for official news.

Be Ready to Rebuff

If your industry is blessed with savvy commentators (like automotive), prepare to have every exploratory question thrown your way.

People with a passion for your industry will be desperate to read between the lines.

Even a slight pause by the CEO in response to a question will cause the phone to start ringing.

Have a robust response prepared that won’t damage the relationship.

The military favorite, “I can neither confirm nor deny…” may help you out here.

Think About the Future

Ultimately, a successful launch is about how many units sell.

Whereas, general ‘noise’ is fantastic, the purpose behind the noise should be well-known by the communications team.

Setting up a landing page where people can see official information and sign up for more will prove to be a valuable resource for sales teams once the product is in the market.

Massage Your Channels

Teasing releases is also a chance to reward publications and outlets that have been good to you in the past.

Yes, you need to engage new channels to tap new audiences, but you should also use the release of new information to thank those who already support your brand or product.

Who to Please

If you’re using industry publications to help tease the new product or service, then each will want a leg-up on their competition.

If you give one publication a sneak peek, there will be another who’ll want a photo or the first viewing, and another will want to demo the product first.

Work out beforehand which outlets can help you achieve your goals and which are best to help at each stage of the teaser.

Don’t Forget the Advocates

Every brand has a secret weapon in their customers who already love and support them.

Giving those loyal customers exclusive previews, under the condition of nondisclosure, will help build hype.

Dozens of car forums are ripe with VIP customers who share tidbits such as, “I was at the private showing, and although I can’t give details, all I can say is…wow!”

Potential customers trust these loyal and valued customers much more than a journalist when forming the decision to buy.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

It is frustrating when a multinational teaser campaign fails at the first hurdle because the company can’t provide information in a timely manner.

Clear communication, backup plans, and fall-back assets will help keep your brand’s teaser campaign on-track and consistent.

Get the teaser campaign right, and you’ll increase reach by thousands, if not more.

You’ll also harvest a good number of leads for sales to follow-up.

Hopefully, these tips will help you achieve a successful product or brand launch.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever put together, and run, a successful teaser campaign?

Thomas Emmerson

Thomas Emmerson was instrumental in creating international marketing campaigns for Honda Europe's motorcycle division and worked in PR and communications for Aston Martin. His passion for marketing and strategic planning led him to create several marketing training courses in NZ before founding the inbound marketing agency Vanguard 86. Thomas has contributed to the Marketing Association blog, been printed in NZ Business and campaigns he's worked on in Europe were featured by DRUM marketing, and shortlisted for marketing awards in the UK. In 2017, Vanguard 86 were announced as finalists for the New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards.

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