Introducing New Products in the Age of Social Media

Introducing new products in the age of social media requires innovative marketing and a tactical strategy to reach your target audience. Large ad spends were once the go-to strategy for introducing new products to market.  Streaming services, cable television, and free HD TV channels are all competing for the same eyes. The days of buying commercial time on popular tv shows that commanded large audiences are quickly set into the sunset.

In the past, a handful of networks, both on TV and radio commanded a lion’s share of the total viewers and listeners. Today with streaming television and radio, the market and audiences are fragmented. In the era when a few shows and sports attracted the largest audiences, it was easier for marketing and ad agencies to decipher the demographics and use targeted advertising. 

A ratings-leading show is only watched by a small fraction of viewers. The NFL and MLB, the two that at one time attracted the most ad dollars have been losing viewers. The last Superbowl in 2022 showed a glimmer of hope that viewers were returning, however the number of channels offering paid subscriptions cuts into the advertising possibilities on commercial broadcasts.

Marketing Dollars Moving to Social Media

As commercial broadcasting advertising spending was shirking across all industries, social media ad buys were growing. The largest advertiser by industry in 2021 according to Insider Intelligence on their eMarketer website was retail. A deeper dive into the shift in marketing dollars shows that social media through influencers is attracting a significant increase in advertising attention. According to Statista.com, “During a global 2021 survey of marketing agencies and brands, 38 percent of respondents stated they invested 10 to 20 percent of their marketing budget into influencer marketing; 11 percent devoted more than 40 percent to this type of digital marketing activities.”

What does all this mean for companies trying to introduce new products into the marketplace? It means a fresh look at how new products are introduced to consumers. In the past couple of years, influencers on social media have been driving sales for brands and products. 

The success of Influencers in driving sales means that they are now able to command stipends for endorsements. Big names with millions of followers command big money. Social media is losing in grassroots influencer appeal. Influencers are now replacing corporate broadcast ads with money spent. 

Circling Back to Grass Roots New Product Introductions

In the early days of social media, marketing departments and ad agencies were unsure about its influence. Larger account holders were contacted and offered “free” samples of new product introductions in return for reviews. 

Before the recent success of the Influencer with hundreds of thousands and millions of followers, Companies realized the power of word of mouth. The early days of social media were the digital version of word-of-mouth advertising. It was so successful in rolling out new products that it created the network of influencers who command ad money today. 

As social media users become suspicious of big tech and paid influencers, circling back to the beginning of free product samples is about to bloom again. Gathr is returning to the grassroots of word-of-mouth advertising for new product introductions. Consumers sign up for free, provide their demographic info and product preferences, and interests. They receive periodic curated boxes of free samples and new product introductions to try and review. Members who receive products will share them on social media. They may not have a hundred thousand or a million followers, but they are connected to a core group of people who trust their opinions. At the grassroots level, a million people who are trusted by a few hundred people each is a better ad buy than one person with a million followers.