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Launching a new product can be a daunting project for any manufacturer, so when the R&D is finally complete, the testing is done and part numbers are finally set, it’s important to implement a strategic marketing plan to ensure  optimal impact on the market.

Follow these best marketing practices to guarantee your product launch receives the attention it deserves:

  1. Identify the “Lowest Hanging Fruit”

First, ask yourself “Who is most likely to buy this product, fresh off the launch?” After you identify the largest audience demographic likely to initially engage with your new product, contact media vendors that specifically cater to those readers/viewers. For example, if you see large sales conversion potential in the late model Ford market, approach magazines/websites that create content geared toward Mustang enthusiasts, Street Performance and Drag Racing.

Remember, you can always change marketing strategy to focus on new audiences as the product sells. When launching a new product, pay attention to the audience that is most likely to buy the product with the least amount of hesitation to grow sales in the early stages and build momentum.

  1. Create a solid budget

Make sure to set a solid marketing budget for any product launch. This helps ensure the marketing strategy is decisive, efficient and, most importantly, gets results.

The usual rule of thumb is to dedicate 3-5% of sales to marketing. With a new product launch, however no sales metrics are available to create this baseline.

Most performance aftermarket manufacturers look at similar products’ sales for a basic advertising budget guideline.

  1. Negotiate media buy

After you have identified your advertising budget, contact the magazines/websites from Step 1 and request media recommendations. This information should include frequency (number of insertions/impressions), issues (specific months) and size (ad specifications). Compile the recommendations to lay out your ad plan based on your budget. Keep in mind, you will need to provide creative (ad artwork) to the vendors, which may increase cost and therefore should be factored in to your overall marketing budget.

  1. Develop creative campaign(s)

While paying careful attention to your audience, utilize internal or external creative experts to develop an ad campaign built to the specs negotiated in your ad buy. Keep marketing on message with your overall brand but focus on the product launch with at least 70% of the real estate of the ad layout.

  1. Editorial Outreach

When launching a new product, editorial outreach is just as important as advertising. Product releases should be composed (in both long and short form) and released to appropriate media vendors for inclusion in upcoming issues/posts. In addition to disseminating product news, astute marketers search out new and original content to bolster the launch. Reviewing editorial calendars and providing parts for builds are great ways to increase editorial exposure well after the product is launched.

  1. Reconcile/Analyze/Adapt

Always keep in mind: Marketing should be dynamic. Continuously identify weak areas in your marketing strategy and adapt to better reach your audience by the most efficient means. Just as your brand/company has changed over the past year (or even six months), your advertising should change.

New product launches are an exciting time for any manufacturer. But even the best new products need the right marketing support to be popular. Following a few best practices can be the difference between a successful product launch and a failure.

But just as your customers come to you for the best parts, sometimes it’s best to trust the experts. An advertising agency can take the guess work out of marketing your new product, especially if they focus in the automotive aftermarket.


Without a doubt, email marketing is one of the most efficient and targeted ways to reach consumers. And while companies that sell direct-to-consumer have been utilizing email marketing for more than a decade, companies that sell through distributors and retailers must approach email marketing with a more nuanced strategy.

It’s much simpler to create an email marketing campaign focusing on sale pricing, promotions and discounts. When a manufacturer can’t rely on the call-to-action of a discount, it must get creative to keep the attention and engagement of its audience.

When a consumer signs up to receive emails from your company, it’s important you respond initially with an email welcoming them to the community. The welcome message is a great opportunity to tell the story of your brand and entice readers to engage further with your company. Original content, high-impact graphics and creative copy are paramount for welcome messages to be successful in cultivating active audiences instead of passive recipients.

Welcome messages can tell the company story, encourage readers to follow the company’s social channels and point them in the direction of the closest reseller. Furthermore, companies can send multiple welcome messages, although there is a clear point of diminishing return when consumers are inundated with content from a brand. Industries such as automotive should focus on better content, delivered less often, to optimize their email marketing tactics.

After a consumer has signed up to receive notifications from your company, it’s safe to assume they will welcome interesting and/or useful content from you. Don’t hesitate to deploy blast campaigns to your marketing list on a regular basis to sustain engagement and disseminate information to your audience.

Blast campaign creative should have a clear call to action above the scroll. It is also wise to utilize different graphics in each marketing blast to keep your audience intrigued. Make sure to test your blast campaigns on several email platforms (Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.) in order to ensure your creative is represented well regardless of which email provider your audience uses.

If you are having difficulty creating new and interesting content on a regular basis, consider reaching out to series or events that have a strong social media presence. Chances are, people are already writing and posting content about your brand/product, so there is no need to tell a story that is already written. In the world of digital marketing, sharing is selling. It may be wise to utilize content that influencers have already created in your own email marketing strategies. Let your customers tell the story.


There is a dichotomy in social media marketing which has become more apparent as what was once considered a niche of overall marketing strategy now controls the lion share of companies’ advertising budget.

Since the beginning of modern marketing, there has been two forms of advertising, what we now call “Paid advertising”

For the sake of clichés, the history of modern advertising comes down to a typical “Chicken or the Egg” scenario.

Which came first, paid advertising or earned media?

In the advertising world, there have typically been two types of content you buy. Either a :30 spot, print page or digital banner ad dedicated to your companies’ message, straight from the horse’s mouth, or a sponsorship, endorsement or product placement within content that your audience is likely to watch.

But there is also media you don’t buy (at least outright). Earned media is the editorial coverage you receive from media vendors when you have a new product, supply product for an awesome build or – for better or worse – spend advertising money with them.

But with the onslaught of social media, and the power it has put in the hands of astute marketers, there is a third type of content at companies’ fingertips: Influencer Marketing.

Influencer marketing is more than 2017’s hottest marketing buzzword. A recent survey by Inc. revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.

So what is influencer marketing? It’s that grey area between an official product endorsement and a subtle product mention, almost done in passing but deceptively controlled by brands.

Imagine you are at the race track. You see the driver/car/team that is always in the winner’s circle and you hear them talking about how XYZ exhaust is the best they’ve ever used.

Soon you find yourself Googling that exhaust company. You feel like you are in on a secret that no one else knows.

Now translate that trackside exchange to the internet, and you have the Genesis of modern Influencer Marketing.

Influencer marketing is just the natural progression of behavioral marketing. Instead of targeting your ads to people through what they search you target your ads through who they interact with.

But it has to be nuanced, and it has to seem organic. If a company’s influencer marketing strategy seems forced or paid for, both the influencer and the company will lose.

The best example is to imagine that you are back in high school. You walk down the hallway, backpack straps pulled tight. And suddenly, you stroll past the “popular crowd” of girls—who, metaphorically speaking, would be Kylie Jenner on Instagram.