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Keyboard New Product Marketing


J. Dan

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Given current sales channels, the market, and the reduction in print publications, it seems that getting adequate coverage of a new product release must be extremely difficult. You can't really rely on somebody seeing your new product in the keyboard room at the local guitar center. NAMM is not for end users, so you have to rely on attendees passing along the release info to end users. I find out about most stuff on here, yet even here some things either get missed or I just don't happen to read that particular thread. Add to that the fact that forum members are a small percentage of the market. So based on all of that, imagine how e huge percentage of potential market that never even hears about a new product release before the plug gets pulled on it.

 

In many cases, it's such a niche market with mlimited channels to directly connect with the targeted audience.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I believe there is a lot of ' following ' on keyboard products. I suspect a good % of MI purchases are based on a favorite performer using that particular new product.

 

I believe that is 1 leg in the marketing strategy. Another leg is using social media.

and generating some buzz and interest in the new product.

 

We likely have some MI marketing/business owner folks here that might share what contemporary marketing strategies have to be used. My thinking is multiple efforts that

are coordinated. And that will cost money, of course. Marketing a new product is expensive.

 

I agree, we can forget about GC showing new keyboard instruments. That was my experience with my last 2 purchases.

 

But I like buying from GC online and using their telesales in Indianapolis . They are strong on that. But don't expect any product knowledge.

 

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I think a good deal of product marketing is done by the larger internet music retailers. They all seem to invest in promoting whatever is new. I'm sure they're compensated for their effort by the manufacturers.

 

And, yes, the days of dropping by your local music store to see what's new in keyboards is long gone for those that don't live in a major metropolitan area.

 

There's also a number of forums like these. Many lurkers, few posters -- until you get the inevitable "what keyboard should I buy?" post.

 

And then 100 people weigh in.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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I think a good deal of product marketing is done by the larger internet music retailers. They all seem to invest in promoting whatever is new. I'm sure they're compensated for their effort by the manufacturers.

 

And, yes, the days of dropping by your local music store to see what's new in keyboards is long gone for those that don't live in a major metropolitan area.

 

There's also a number of forums like these. Many lurkers, few posters -- until you get the inevitable "what keyboard should I buy?" post.

 

And then 100 people weigh in.

 

I live in the SF bay area. Six GC's, not much else.

Have an example. None of them had the FA-07. 1 had the FA-08.

 

could be that they were sold out and/or deliberately lightly distributed.

Since the GC warehouse ( for online sales) had inventory.

 

As far as dealer advertising, you are right.

 

The manufacturer will provide certain dealers with ad money. But that dealer has to play by the rules.

 

Since ads are pervasive I am not sure they alone, persuade a buyer to pick Keyboard A over keyboard B. I think the dealer ad is a good way to tell us that a dealer has a keyboard in stock, etc.

 

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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As a general rule, I think GC continues to completely miss any potential keyboard market at most of their stores. I am always stunned by the bizarre inventor choices (an 88 key workstation?) and lack of a clear racking strategy of the gear they do have. And of course, little to no training for the sales jockeys save for a few rare people that aren't under 25. It's amazing they ever sell a keyboard at all.
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I live in the SF bay area. Six GC's, not much else.

Bananas at large often had a decent keyboard section when I lived in the Bay Area, but that was like 17 years ago :cool:

 

While a lot of it is weird choice of stocks as you guys mentioned, I think mostly is the fact that they can't compete with online retailer and have a good selection - a lot of the more desired gear doesn't sell that often. I think it will just get worse and we will have to depend on forums like this and have someone let us test drive their gear.

 

I tell you, you guys in the U.S. are lucky though. In several countries in Europe the selection is slim, and in Brazil it's horrible. Other than the lower end of DPs and arrangers (think entry line PSRs), there's a poor selection in synths.

 

Had a funny experience in Madrid. Small store, was part of larger chain that I had already visited their largest store and this one wasn't on my radar. Only one employee, but the guy was thrilled to have someone to talk to that like synths - he really was knowledgeable. I was in the store for over an hour. But these experiences are rare.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

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As a general rule, I think GC continues to completely miss any potential keyboard market at most of their stores. I am always stunned by the bizarre inventor choices (an 88 key workstation?) and lack of a clear racking strategy of the gear they do have. And of course, little to no training for the sales jockeys save for a few rare people that aren't under 25. It's amazing they ever sell a keyboard at all.

 

GC, at least by me, doenst seem remotely geared towards a pro keyboardist anymore. They isplay 10x the number of cheap DPs and 100X the number of sub-61 midi controllers than actual pro keyboards. You can buy them all at GC.com but they dont devote any floor space to them to be able to try any of them out.

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Bananas at large often had a decent keyboard section when I lived in the Bay Area, but that was like 17 years ago :cool:

...after I worked there. :D

 

Seriously. I ran their keyboard deparment 1993-94. This was during a major heyday of keys and synths, so that part of the store was pretty heavy duty...and fun. :thu:

 

Re: this topic - the internet changed everything, period. The manufacturer web sites and forums are the primary source of education and marketing outreach now. Manufacturers can do scripted, killer demos broken into multiple parts, and end users can talk directly to the people responsible for the products (hi there), providing solid market feedback.

 

Consequently, marketing outreach is steadily moving more and more online (I'm all about videos these days), and product introductions and marketing initiatives in the Real World such as the clinics that used to happen all the time in the multiple music stores that used to be in most decent sized population centers in the country are occurring - and attended - less and less.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

 

Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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Sorry to say it, but I suspect retail focusing on hobbyists is pretty much the only way they can stay in business. I was always amazed that there was enough of a market to keep the pro audio shops in business where I grew up, and that was before online shopping took the margin out of retail in general.

 

I used to love going in to see what was new, but frankly even the most knowledgable shops can't hold a candle to the information available online now. What's obviously lost in translation is any kind of hands-on experience. It's not entirely obvious how you recreate that with any practical business model.

Acoustic: Shigeru Kawai SK-7 ~ Breedlove C2/R

MIDI: Kurzweil Forte ~ Sequential Prophet X ~ Yamaha CP88

Electric: Schecter Solo Custom Exotic ~ Chapman MLB1 Signature Bass

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I think we all know retail has changed and I didn't intend this to be a rip on GC, et al. My point was to go beyond that since we've already had that conversation ad nauseum.

 

DB your comments were the direction I was going, but what you shared seems to be consistent with my thoughts that people kind of have to SEEK OUT the information - online via forums and what not. I guess that's kind of my point is that the manufacturers no longer have a cost effective way to actively target people unless they're already looking.

 

So if you have no idea that something groundbreaking is out there, you may not even be looking for it, and if you're not looking, the manufacturer will never reach you - that's kind of my point. Like Adan with the Korg Vox. It was briefly mentioned here a couple of times and he completely missed it - understandably so. So how else would Korg reach him other than just hoping that we talked about it and he happened upon the thread?

 

Not knocking this place, but if that's their sole source of getting the word out on new products, then that seems to be a failed model.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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And to add - I think probably the big guys - Korg, Roland, Yamaha, etc...don't have a problem marketing through folks like Sweetwater, GC, etc....but what about some small startup company with limited resources. I don't remember if it was regarding Kurzweil or somebody else, but apparently to get a demo at a GC requires a consignment type agreement. Pretty tough for a smallish company to get representation around the country without significant investment and risk, so they would have to find other ways to get the word out. Right?

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Well, it appears true that new product introductions through print media were not enough to keep Keyboard Magazine in business as a standalone entity. The delay between full reviews and previews between web and print was likely also a factor. So I don't think that is coming back.

 

Honestly, I don't know how one would miss any truly significant introductions just from tracking SonicState and Synthtopia. Add in here, and one or more other forums tailored to personal interest: composing, modular, acoustic piano, etc. and it would be hard to miss anything. The effort required is minimal. From my perspective, it has never been easier to keep tabs on any part of the industry that is interesting to me.

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