Launching a new service offering is exciting and rewarding, but requires strategic planning across your firm’s brand, marketing and communication strategies.
Not to mention, you need to have a strong digital strategy overarching your entire new brand, promise-building and client attraction goals.
Consider these seven factors before taking a new service offering to your customers:
1. Brand awareness
We know the significance of brand strength. Without it, it’s hard to stand out, and without a strong understanding of your target client your brand message will be weak and confusing.
Remember, trust is built on how you’re seen to be helping your clients, with expertise, reputation and experience that is relevant to their needs.
No more ‘random’ pushing out of information that’s not relevant.
2. Understand your typical client persona
To successfully target and attract ideal clients, you must first understand and know them. This helps to tailor your messaging and communications to appeal to the specific needs of clients.
Who are they? What are their pain points? What are their needs or problems? What are their goals and motivations?
3. Expertise, reputation and relevance
How is trust built these days? Especially when you’re trying to raise your business’ reputation as the provider of a new service offering?
Your clients already know about your skills and expertise in one particular field, but how do you inform them of your new areas of expertise?
By educating your clients on the new things they can turn to you for support on, through a strategic marketing and communications plan.
4. Communications strategy
In the ‘launch’ communication to your existing clients, you need to position your firm’s strength and expertise on how you propose to deliver on your new service promises.
5. Communications plan
Before the new service offering can be successfully marketed to existing clients and externally to new prospects, it must be clearly communicated and articulated internally.
Everyone in the business requires a clear understanding of the new service offering, and how it fits into the firm’s overall portfolio of services.
Everyone needs to be informed and armed with the knowledge of not only what the new service offering can do for their clients, but how the existing clients can use the new service to help meet and solve other problems.
This internal education, awareness and understanding journey will equip everyone in the business to successfully understand and promote the new service offering.
6. Marketing communications plan
Successfully launching and introducing the new service offering to existing clients requires a well-orchestrated marketing and communications strategy and plan.
What does an ‘educational’ marketing communications strategy look like? The basis of the approach will be centred on providing informative and helpful content to demonstrate your new expertise, knowledge and credibility.
By promoting, we are educating clients. We are not pushing sales, but rather informing and educating clients on how they can find solutions to their needs and achieve their goals.
How does a marketing plan help? It provides structure, clarity and direction on what should be done and how, who is responsible for what, and a time frame to manage expectations around capacity and time constraints.
This can be a key deal-breaker or -maker for the new service. As leaders of the business, and as the trusted partners of their clients, senior managers and business owners need to take charge and lead from the top.
A strong commitment and ‘buy-in’ is required by the senior management team, and they must become strong advocates of the new service offering.
Clients trust and expect their service providers to advise them not only on opportunities to enhance their current positions, but also on how they can strategically plan for their future.
If clients are not made aware of such new opportunities, the risk exists that your clients may seek services from somewhere else, and you could lose your trusted status.
Educate and inform existing clients of the new service offering and introduce your business’s reputation, expertise and experience to prospective new clients.
Execute a series of proactive educational marketing campaigns to promote the value and benefits of the new service offering. The goal is to position and accelerate the new service’s value proposition.
Jenny Lee-Koksal is the chief marketing and digital officer for Prime Financial Group, and has held senior management roles with major financial institutions.
Too many SMEs are making this mistake
By Adam Joy
Taking digitisation out of the ‘too hard’ basket for SMEs
By Jason Brouwers
The insanity of consumer expectations
By Jason Dooris