VR / AR is something I’ve been curious about from the sidelines for a while. Not from a consumer perspective, but rather for industry application. I think there’s a ton of potential with this tech for businesses to do things we can’t even wrap our heads around, today.
So in that vein, this morning I came across a company called Massless that’s developing a 3D pen for VR designers. Here’s what they say about it:
An incredibly intuitive, precise and flexible 3D pen for sketching, modelling, review and animation inside and outside of XR. Its designed to help desk-based design and engineering professionals increase productivity and creativity.
So how are we going to get this thing to market?
A quick poke around their site reveals some excellent testimonial quotes and notes that the pen is currently being tested at big name companies.
But…. it’s not available for purchase yet.
In the mean time, you can sign up for… something… by hitting a big purple “INTERESTED?” button. And the modal that appears shows a generic “get in touch” franken-form.
Not optimal. The call to action on their site is pretty vague and they really need to tailor their forms to the right user. i.e. don’t show a contact form for interested designers to investors.
But we’re here to talk about growth, so I won’t dig too much into their website (which has nice design, by the way).
When it comes to growth, we’re looking at pre-product and pre-launch marketing. Building hype. Generating lead lists for when this thing hits the market. etc. etc.
These guys could take a page out of the Robinhood playbook and set up a viral pre-access list off of their main home page. Or, a “Get Early Access” landing page. Which, by the way, is a much stronger call to action than “INTERESTED?”
A great tool they could use for this is Kickoff Labs.
With a viral “early access” landing page in place, marketing efforts pop up left and right. Every press mention becomes a lead gen opportunity. And, they could funnel resources into things like content marketing, pre-roll video advertising, and top of funnel brand awareness campaigns across channels like Facebook or LinkedIn.
This is a super cool product in a hot space and it naturally attracts attention. They should leverage this pre-launch.
In the mean time, they can keep picking up quotes and testimonials from trial users and demo PR. And, continuously funnel those to their email list to stoke the hype.
The communication strategy with their audience builds itself. Give the people product development updates, cool stories about what people are building with their pens, and positive press coverage.
I think there’s an opportunity to expand on this strategy with Kickstarter. It may not be the right move considering their B2B focus. But! The right audience is here – tech & design focused, money to spare, into niche new products.
If they are considering a serious consumer play here, I think it couldn’t hurt to test the waters on Kickstarter. Not for the sales opportunity, but mostly for the brand awareness and pre-launch list building, fitting with the theme above. It would also help with cashflow for development and marketing efforts if the campaign was successful.
Finally, it would be fantastic if they had some sort of a beta program or incentivized early access to the product. For example, a giveaway of 50 pens to a select group of beta testers that anyone can sign up to enter. That has the opportunity to go viral, build a huge list of their exact target audience, and also deepen user feedback for pre-launch product development.
I would love to see this.
So… what can we take away from this?
If the product delivers like they promise it will, their marketing efforts pre-launch are in the business of hype & excitement. Buyers will go through the same discovery process anyway after they launch. So they might as well kick off the discovery process now.
Cast a wide net and spread awareness of the brand and product. Hook people with good copywriting and viral pre-launch offers. Stoke the fire with continual product updates and positive testimonials. And then on launch day, blitz every channel to kick off with a bang!