My friend and YackPack client BJ Fogg has a really insightful post that I hope most startups will embrace: Launch Small. There's wisdom and economy in this and it should be one of the marketing fundamentals in the new Conversational Era.
In the old days of say 1999 and before, a launch was a moment when a press release crossed BusinessWire or PR Newswire, Before that companies were in stealth, keeping what they were up to so quiet a customer would not know about it, until some huge splash hit in a trade or business publication.
Now, software companies don't really launch. They go live, and they let a few customers try it. They get advice, make the product less buggy, perform more smoothly and then more customers come in. The product goes through harder and harder tests from more and more users, each of whom is making the company smarter about their products.
In fact, there is no launch anymore. Not really, there's just this widening funnel of customer participation. Companies save in PR costs. Customers participate and in so doing become part of a distribution system. It's all very efficient, and the money that YackPack and other companies are saving, can go back into products for user-recommended enhancements.
But what about all that PR they don't get from the big event and press release and tour? We they get it in new-and-old ways. BJ Blogs. So does my Riya client Munjal Shah. They generate word of mouth. Their ongoing efforts make them more discoverable in search engines. The press sees that. Riya is about a month older in the process and they've already been covered in Red Herring, Wired and elsewhere. But you know where they get the greatest response?
From bloggers who think what they are doing is cool. And bloggers just give their influence away, when they believe and trust in you. They are part of the new, small launch.