When Marketing a New Product-The Right and Wrong Way to Get a Good Review
First of all, let me say that I am not the Expert on product reviews…at least not from the marketing/blogging point of view. Though, I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night so I’m ready to tackle the world today.
Say you’ve got a new product you want to promote, how are you going to get the message out there? There are the tried and tested ways- traditional advertising, press releases, website launches and social media blitzes. Many smaller business ventures turn to bloggers like me to help promote their product. A quick look across the blogosphere will reveal many examples of blatant promotion, often without a disclaimer about free product or services. There are also a lot of well-written blogs where you’ll find product recommendations, tastefully and ethically provided for consumers. The concept is a great one for drawing a buzz for new products and seeking relevant endorsements.
Last week I was given the opportunity to try out and write about a new product for dating singles. The request came specifically through a blog I write for occasionally, a blog for midlife women. Obviously the company wanted to focus on this demographic…assuming they’d done their research.
I’m not going to do the review. And, here’s why:
I don’t think the product is a realistic option for singles in their 50′s and up. I certainly wouldn’t try out this product-it feels contrived and potentially unsafe. Secondly I couldn’t figure out an angle for writing the review. So, I wrote the person in charge to say I’d received the product but that I was struggling with how to proceed. I asked if she have examples of other reviews. Her response was, “let me know what you decide”. That’s all she said, period. Truly.
This company needs a new marketing person!
- There were no blurbs, other reviews or suggestions offered for reviewers to use.
- This woman ignored every direct question I asked and only responded with useless information, as noted above.
- There was no ‘thanks for helping us’ or ‘do you have any questions’.
- There were no conditions, no product disclaimers or specifications for how the reviewer should proceed. Leaving them wide open for a nasty review or who knows what.
If I am going to review a product I want more information. And, I want it given to me before I ask for it. After all I’m writing the review for you, essentially for free. If you don’t count the free sample I got, which I presume comes with a free six-month membership, but even that wasn’t made clear for me. The company should be down on its knees trying everything it can to get a positive review for their product.
I’m being nice. I’m not mentioning the product by name, though I could as there are no restrictions. And, I’m not going to write the review I want to write-about how silly and contrived this product is. I won’t talk about the overt sexual message in this product or sex gone awry in our culture today.
She’ll get a polite, “I don’t think this product is suited for our market. We appreciate your invitation to sample and review your -insert name- but I don’t feel we can honestly give it the type of review you seek”.
The lesson: Be prepared. Do your research on your potential markets and remember you are asking for a favor- you have to earn it. This is a competitive market. Make it easy for me if you want my review. Don’t make me work for it…unless you’re willing to pay my going rate.
image from Auburn Business