Advertising a new product represents a high risk for a small business. New products are essential to the growth of revenue and market share, and they are the end result of a long process of research, development and marketing that incurs significant investment in time, money and resources. Advertising plays an important role in the launch and success of the new product by making customers and prospects aware of the product and generating a high level of interest and demand to support the sales and marketing effort.


Developing a new product gives you the opportunity to sell more to existing customers, win business from competitors or enter new markets. Your choice of marketing strategy also influences your advertising decisions. If you are aiming the new product at an existing market sector, you can focus on communicating product benefits. If you are entering a new sector, you have to make prospects aware of your company as well as your product benefits.


You have a wide choice of media in which to advertise your new product, including newspapers, magazines, local radio and television, and online media. Media owners provide research information on the audiences they reach, together with the costs of different advertisement slots. Choose a medium that reaches the largest proportion of your target market at the lowest cost. You also need to take timing into consideration by checking that you can run advertisements to coincide with your launch date. Monthly magazines, for example, may offer the best audience coverage and cost, but if publication date is before or after launch date, your advertising campaign may lose some of its impact and immediacy.


The benefits of a new product may not be immediately obvious to customers and prospects, particularly if the product is the first of its kind in the market or features innovative technology. In addition to communicating the features and benefits of the product, you may have to explain why the new benefits are important. If you are advertising an engineering component that requires little or no maintenance, for example, you will have to justify your claims. Offering prospects a briefing paper or an invitation to a technical seminar on the new product can help to educate the market and gain acceptance for the product.


Advertising is just one of the tools you can use to launch a new product, so it is important to integrate your campaign with other elements of the launch program. Including a response mechanism, such as a telephone number, email address or website link, in the advertisement will encourage prospects to provide contact details that generate leads for the sales force to follow up. Make the sales team and your retailers aware of the advertising campaign to motivate them to push sales of the new product. Announcing your new product through social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, helps to create interest and reinforce the messages in your advertising campaign.