I’ve never been shy about my love and affinity for professional wrestling in my professional life.
When I first joined The Juice we worked on “About You” documents and I felt like that was a good place to let all of my new teammates know about the childhood obsession that I just haven’t been able to shake 30+ years later. Two months into my role I even wrote a piece, Brand Building with The Rock and Killing Old B2B Marketing Habits. It’s got a hold of me if you can smell what I’m cookin’.
Over the years, I’ve grown a deep appreciation for not just the in ring performance, but the show. I look at the business from a marketing perspective and want to dig into the tactics that were used to not only suck me in, but keep me there decades later.
World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon is a promoter at heart and one of the best marketers in the world. He took the company from a regional promotion in the early 80’s to the global phenomenon that you see on television today. He did it by creating larger than life heroes (e.g. Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, etc.) and pairing them up against evil foes. The character development and stories are what sucked me in and are also the reason why I set the stage of a B2B marketing blog post writing about it.
As we prepare for our company launch over the next couple of months, I can’t stop thinking about the way Vince McMahon introduced new characters into my mind as a consumer and the tactics that he used. The most nostalgic and memorable was the use of vignettes or a series of short videos to get audience members to understand the purpose of new characters before they launched their careers on television. I can’t help but not think of the “Perfect Pass” when they were introducing the world to the Mr. Perfect character.
When I think about my role in the pre-launch version of The Juice it’s probably not too far off from what the early producers of the Mr. Perfect vignettes were trying to accomplish:
- Grab the audience's attention
- Leave some mystery on what exactly the audience can expect
- Create momentum for the launch
We have not created video packages that highlight the problem that we are solving….yet, but we have used blogs, weekly newsletters, and regular podcast episodes to accomplish about the same thing.
Over the next couple weeks I am working on the company launch plans for The Juice and I thought it might be cool to share with you the three foundational elements I’ll be using to make sure we have a successful launch.
3 Elements of the Company Launch at The Juice
Spotlight the enemy
Much like every Hulk Hogan needed an Andre the Giant to be successful, every product company should attack an enemy in their launch messaging.
The opposition doesn’t have to be another company. It can be as simple as shining a light on a negative experience that you know your audience goes through regularly and might not even consider.
Think about the last time you were working on a project at work that was related to your field, but adjacent to your skillset. Maybe you are a brand marketer who is working on a demand gen campaign to drive registration to your events.
You might understand demand generation in theory, but never executed it in practice.
What are you going to do?
You’re probably going to Google to try to find as many articles as possible to help get you up to speed on how to create kick ass winning campaigns.
Most of the top results are going to be posts written for machines and not people.
If you do find something interesting chances are you’ll have to fill out a form to download it.
You’re entered in another sales sequence and hammered with follow ups until you finally hit the “opt-out” button.
We are putting a spotlight on these experiences and want our audience to realize that your B2B content consumption experience can be frictionless and we are working on it.
Make it a “we” thing
The best part about creating content and building brand awareness in pre-launch mode has been all of the people that I’ve met along the way.
I’ve met a new community of B2B marketers who inspire me everyday. Through Twitter exchanges, podcast episodes, and Slack messages I feel like I am a part of something much bigger than any of our companies.
There is a community of B2B marketers out there that are ready to throw away the marketing playbook that is 5 years too old. They are not trying to figure it out themselves, however, they are collaborating with everyone around them to rally around creating better content experiences for their audiences.
I am thinking about how I can use these voices to help us launch. It’s more than just social proof for The Juice. It’s validation that there’s an army of progressive B2B marketers who are tired of delivering shitty experiences to the customers they are trying to serve.
Create the right message
The message is the strategy.
We’ve spent countless hours trying to hone on the right message that cuts through all of the business jargon and speaks to the people we are trying to reach.
We’ve been through different turns and iterations.
We’ve collaborated with outside resources.
We’ve done whatever we possibly can do to create a winning message.
We still aren’t quite there.
Messaging and positioning is difficult and we know that. We are making sure we prioritize the message that we launch with because we want it to resonate.
All great launches about a memorable message attached to it.
Of course, we will. Done is better than perfect, but we’ll do whatever we can to make sure it strikes the right chord.
I’ve never done pre-launch marketing before this, but I know it’s helping prepare The Juice for the moment when the cameras are on. If we can earn the attention that we desire we will attack the competition until it is starting up at the lights.