Friday, 25 September 2015

Marketing a new product

My son, Daniel Betts, was the first to show me something of what the world of marketing was all about. He studied this complex task at Bournemouth University and passed on some valuable hints to the old man.
The first problem was establishing a market. Much like the first mobile telephones there was no need for an external air intake filter because “we have never had one so why do we need one”.
With a new product that you believe in YOU know that everybody needs it but THEY don’t.
Phase one – let’s spread the word out there.
For RAB this was phase one of our marketing campaign which concentrated on getting the word out there. Using a professional PR company (Resonates of Newbury) was the first step and generated interest from the editors of a number of specialist magazines associated with HVAC.
This in turn created a interest in the market which also led to the first orders for RABScreens in the UK. These first orders became case histories and generated further interest. 
In the first year our customers included department stores, datacentres, commercial office buildings and supermarkets, all of whom received the added protection of an air intake filter screen.  
Then came coffee shop and major restaurant chains who decided that it was the right product to protect their refrigerated display units. Phase one completed time for phase two. 
Phase two – spread the word face to face  
Having generated some interest from the market, RABScreen employees were soon visiting customers all over the country and spending a lot of time travelling. Clearly we had insufficient resource to cover the whole of the UK and so it was time for distributor installers. 
A few meetings later and a network developed which led to the use of professional refrigeration engineers to manage installations and carry out the cleaning before fitting the new RABScreen filters.
These engineers were soon followed by filter manufacturers and OEM clients both in the UK and in Europe.
Phase three - telephone calls by the hundred.
With a market estimated at £470m it was time to start a concentrated telesales campaign. 
It was not something that we could accomplish alone and so we used the services of Projects UK in Birmingham. A few hours of demonstration, information and covering questions soon created a knowledgeable telesales team. Hospitals were now the target market because they, quite simply, have the most to gain from a RABScreen installation. 
The new inquiries went to our nationwide network and we made ourselves available to instantly answer requests for quotation and ensure that our customers get the service they deserve. 
Cooling towers, standalone condensers, electrical control cabinets and large plenum intakes were the next to feel the benefit of a RABScreen filter and the market was beginning to grow. 
Phase four – more of everything 
The word must be out there a little bit. Why do we say that? 
New customers are contacting RABScreen to discuss a product that their customers want fitting. 
Even OEM clients are calling about it and that means more of the market will be getting covered in external air intake filter screens. 
Phase four is more advertising campaigns, more online presence, more exhibition work and more face to face contact with new customers, installers and distributors. The market is growing fast. 

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