Device manufacturers and PR reps dedicate huge resources to making us want their products. They do studies, gauge metrics and still, many of them can't figure out why one device is considered lustworthy by the masses, while others can't even be given away.
Google may have the key to that. If research is a powerful thing, then the data derived from its vast stores of search data is truly epic. The company posted some research results that outline the steps that go into a hot smartphone product debut. Device makers will want to pay particular attention to these seven tips, as well as anyone who's curious about the hype machine surrounding this wacky thing we call smartphone launches.
How to Design A Hot Smartphone Launch
1. Pay attention to the searches
Follow the search trends like your (product) life depends on it… because it does. According to Matt Seitz, senior analytical lead at the Google Agency Blog. searches are a big predictor of smartphone sales "with over 90 percent correlation throughout the launch cycle."
2. Launch at the end of the week
Open product availability on a Thursday or Friday, as they tend to do the best.
3. Do not procrastinate with the marketing or approaching the media
Many a fanboy has chalked up the success of that other, more inferior platform to media hype. They're not wrong. What's critical is to generate buzz before the launch. For every 1,000 additional pre-launch news stories, there is a 9 percent increase in sales. And more than half (52 percent) of purchase-related searches are happening prior to the product debut. PR pros have all manner of ways to deal with this, with the most straightforward being press previews and early marketing campaigns. (Of course, the more circuitous tactic is agencies or reps seeding stories to "anonymous sources" who then tip off reporters. Thus, we see the origins of many a leak or rumor.) The point is, the earlier the press and marketing campaigns go out, the better.
4. Video is crucial
Views for smartphone videos skyrocketed 60 percent from 2010 to 2011. Why? Because $100 to $200 or more is big money for consumers these days, and they want to see what they can get before plunking down that cold hard cash. (Sure, photos are nice too, with their filtered lighting, artistic aesthetic and Photoshopped elements. But my guess is that people want to see unadorned videos for a more realistic view of the real-world handset. This way, they can see how it performs with their own eyes, which is better than any reviewer's second-hand retelling of their impressions.)
Companies can push out videos of their soon-to-launch handsets — or even prototypes — to generate buzz. Ideally, the vids will hit during launch week, and if they nab a million views during that time, the smartphone stands a great chance of selling 1.2 million units in the first three months.
5. Watch those ad clicks
Search ads and sales correlate closely. The more clicks, the more sales. A smartphone that gets 100,000 paid clicks over the first 12 weeks in the launch phase is likely to sell more than 1.3 million units during that timeframe.
6. The user research cycle — know it, live it, love it
This is how most smartphone shoppers conduct product research: Pre-launch, they explore and compare brands, to get the lay of the land. During launch week, they want more details, so they start hitting up reviews. Right after launch, they start digging into the nitty gritty, seeking out specific features. This is also the time when product issues start to come out. Building the marketing, promotional pushes and ad buys around this, so you can make sure the info people want is delivered just when they want it.
Buying one screen on many screens: As smartphone retailers know, screens are blurring and campaigns are becoming integrated.
7. Know that many smartphone shoppers are already smartphone users
During launch week, "an extra 25,000 searches for smartphones, from smartphones, predicts an increase in sales of 17%," writes Seitz. So if you've been ignoring mobile optimization of your ads or dedicated webpages, then shame on you. Not only is that embarrassing — particularly if you're hawking a smartphone product — but it's just not smart to irritate or discourage current smartphone users.
For more in-depth tips and research results, check out the Think With Google "Smartphone Launch Predictor."
Smartphone users, do these results and tips seem spot-on to you? Or does your experience differ from the research findings? Let us know in the comments.
[Via Google Agency Blog]