You're Nikon's EVP of Worldwide Marketing. What do you do?

shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
edited January 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
The scenario: You've got a Product you're going to announce in four weeks. It's neither a modest upgrade nor the Greatest Thing Ever, but you think it's very good. I'm not going to describe the product, create one in your own mind if you need to, but for the sake of the exercise:
--A very large percentage of Nikon pros, a very large percentage of enthusiasts, and some consumers will want it
--the price point will be OK for 80% of the people who want it
--release in three months (two months after announcement). You do think it's going to be a hit but you can't reliably guess how much built-in order backlog it will be.

The goal: you want to sell as many units as you can as quickly as you can. That's it.

The question: How do you manage the next four weeks before the announcement? Possible options:

1) Do not actively manage what gets out. Que sera sera.
2) Aggressively try to keep the product/specs under wraps until the announcement.
3) Strategically leak to sites like [NR] to both build anticipation and make sure the leaks don't over-promise.
4) Make sure a prototype gets "accidentally" spotted somewhere/reported on.
5) Something else/some combination.

Please advise.


  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2013
    Get something on NR Blog
    everyone else seems to get there information from NR
    NRF will pull it apart, before anyone has even tested it
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    You call Peter on his throw away cell phone, give the details and when to drop the "rumor".... :))
    Msmoto, mod
  • MikeFrewerMikeFrewer Posts: 51Member
    edited January 2013
    Get something on NR Blog
    everyone else seems to get there information from NR
    NRF will pull it apart, before anyone has even tested it
    +1 Sevencrossing

    And as quick as possible with the rumour, lol.

    But seriously from a business point of view. He will need to generate a lot of interest in the product without giving too much away. I.E. let a very little piece of the information leak to a very popular website
    Post edited by MikeFrewer on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    #3 Something is going to leak, people cannot keep their mouths shut, no matter what NDA's you make them sign. It's better to control what leaks, than let the rumors go wild.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,286Member
    First thing I'd do is terminate Ashton Kutcher's contract.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Tradewind35Tradewind35 Posts: 77Member
    If however I were a more Senior Executive VP I would immediately sack the EVP. To have a goal of selling as many units as possible is a sure fire way to ruin a premium brand company - a drive for volume almost always means a drive to lower quality of product or deterioration in customer service. Unless the company can double pre-release product testing, service centres and agents, distributors, spare parts suppliers etc etc etc then selling as many as possible will probably end up biting the company in the asp. Seems to me that our EVP is like a politician- all focus is on the sound bites - whats the spin he can put on the new (mediocre) product. Might it not be better to save his or her salary. Build it right, get the company in a position to service demand and then let a great product sell itself.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    Sometimes the issue isn't so much trying to sell more units, as greater user demand. I think that is why Nikon has been having quality control issues.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    This is easy - you announce it 8 weeks till christmas and release it 4 weeks before Christmas.
    Everything else will take care of itself.

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • jerljerl Posts: 11Member
    If the equipment is meant for pro and high end users, you'd definitely want to get a lot of coverage with review sites. This is especially true if it's replacing an existing piece of equipment- much of the target users will already have the older version, so they would need to be convinced that the new one is that much better and worth getting. This would result in some leaks for sure, but that's probably not really a bad thing either- it will build up the hype and get people interested. As long as you don't go overboard (and thus have people be disappointed when the actual announcement comes), I think you'll be fine.

    In my opinion, the worst case scenario is to have the announcement go by and have no one notice or care. A low-key announcement with minimal publicity beforehand (to keep secrecy) is probably the most likely way to do this.
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    +1 tradewind

    This is Nikon we're talking about, which has already built quite a following over the entire spectrum. You estimate that a large percentage or pros will want it, this alone means you really don't need to market the product as much as you would consumers. I don't agree with jerl's tactic that you need to have lots of coverage with review sites. Professionals already will know what they want once they see it. Its the average consumers that need to be constantly marketed to because they don't necessarily know what they want, they have many options to choose from, and their expenditures are more elastic since they aren't tied down into the system.
    As others have mentioned, you don't want to sell a lot of this product, especially if your main audience are professionals. High end product and high sale volumes are almost always negatively correlated, and for good reason: quality control, customer service, brand image, product differentiation, different market share, etc.

  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 522Member
    edited January 2013
    If the marketing EVP does not have the goal to sell as many units as possible, she/he might have the wrong job. a brand identity does not give you anything if you cannot translate it into contribution margin. Keep in mind that the product cycle is about 3 years only for a product that took a good chunk of development investments, so you want to get a head start.
    The strategy of launching these units is similar each and every time and holds true for many products, not only cameras: first you sell to the geeks for a price premium. You fire them up with s.c. Leaks and reports about "sightings", maybe some random samples on the net or on specialized magazines. Then you iron out the bugs of the alpha release :) . Then you start selling to the average customer with no specific knowledge and control demand over the price (see: D800, D600 rebates). Exposed persons in the genre are welcome multiplicators here ("I want the softbox that Joe McNally has")
    The trick is to find out how much extra the geeks are willing to pay for the initial launch. I had the impression that the price was too low for the D800 (months of backorders) and slightly high for the D600 (quickly saw rebates).
    I am pretty sure that the marketing strategy for the launch welcomes sites like NR and that they are happy to feed the frenzy. :)]
    Post edited by Benji2505 on
  • InTheMistInTheMist Posts: 7Member
    I'm in product management.

    Leaks are always useful when gauging interest (to set the price, estimate production volume, and make any last minute product decisions).
    Trying to have it seen in the hands of a respected pro is good.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    "If the marketing EVP does not have the goal to sell as many units as possible, she/he might have the wrong job. a brand identity does not give you anything if you cannot translate it into contribution margin."

    Marketing creates awareness and appetite for a product - the Sales department control sales so if marketing fail, sales have to create sales with less productive pricing strategies.
    Always learning.
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