Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Do You Need Trade Media for a Product Launch?

« Moments of Truth | Main | Conversation as Negotiation »


It's clear you're passionate about new media, Valeria, and the potential represented by these exciting interactive channels. But I fear your post is a classic example of new-media enthusiasts getting way ahead of the curve.

Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type, no new medium -- not newspapers, not radio, not television and certainly not the web -- has completely supplanted what came before. (Okay, we don't see many newsreels anymore but I can see printed handbills -- just like Gutenberg's -- on any lamp post as I stroll down the street.)

Eliminating trade media from your product launch strategy in favour of an all-social-media approach would do your clients a grave disservice, especially if you can believe a Forrester study last year ( that found trade media are still the most relied-upon source for business decision makers.

Even when it comes to their use of digital media channels, BDMs still turn mainly to industry-specific sources like trade media web sites.

On the plus side for those who believe social media represent vital new channels -- and this grizzled 30-year veteran most assuredly counts himself among them -- are the findings that BDMs are turning more and more to digital media, that social-media channels are increasing their share of that digital voice and, most critically, that the integrated campaign, one that moves different-but-consistent messaging across many different channels, is the most effective approach.

Let's embrace these new ways of engaging with our markets but let's not get drunk on the koolaid.


My comment was based on the experience I have with trade media in my area of the world (Scandinavia). Maybe it's different around the globe?

Furthermore I was not trying to put any social media advisors down. I was just remembering the many times I have experienced companies' internal marketing departments trying to handle product launches themselves and more often than not make themselves look utterly like fools, because their execution leaves lots to be desired. They could have done with some good advice from outside.

Have you had experience with trade media? Often a reporter is stretched over several domains and cannot possibly develop the deep expertise you state they have. On more than one occasion, they have gotten some important facts wrong, or skipped them altogether. You can try to explain it, if they are listening and double checking facts. Fewer and fewer do that today. In fact, they often hit publish without telling you they have and leave you hanging with answers they requested and do not want anymore. In some circumstances the company with the most aggressive PR agency wins and gets the coverage.

As for companies lying - I don't know about my colleagues, I can tell you that no product announcement goes without fact checking from me. Casting a wide net is not going to help any company do the right thing, Mads.

And for third parties, we talk to customers and the analyst community, for example. Channel partners is another option. People who are in the business or use the products. In some industries we talked to advisers and consultants. There is a lot that can be done in conjunction with a launch that does not have to depend on trade media entirely.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.