Launching A Technology Product with Community Building – Helen Thomas Ep97

How to Properly Launch A Product into The Market with Massive Success

Do you have a dream or the goal of successfully launching your product into the market? Have you set up the right strategy to ensure everything works even better than planned? Listen, many elements need to fall into place to ensure that you have a unique product, a ready market for it, and a launching plan set in advice.

That’s why, in this episode of the Page One Podcast, we have Helen Thomas, she has just helped DMAI successfully launch an artificial intelligence product. Helen is the CEO of DMAI, which is a global general artificial intelligence company. She has for many years grown businesses in the technology, digital media, and now artificial intelligence industries.

Listen in to learn the importance of building a community even before the product launch to ensure there is a ready market for it. You will also learn the importance of preparing for the launch in advance, plus simple ways to get you good product reviews.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to build a community as part of the marketing campaign during your product’s pre-launch stage.
  • Utilizing consistent earned media to support your paid media to keep your Facebook campaign fresh and results-yielding.
  • How to prepare for your product launch in advance to ensure its success.
  • The importance of adding a human touch to your customer service to ensure good reviews.

Episode Timeline:

  • [1:26] Get to know Helen and what they do at DMAI.
  • [2:52] She describes the Virtual Preschool System, Animal Island Learning Adventure they launched.
  • [5:21] DMAI’s scope of operation, the size of their team, and how they were affected by the pandemic.
  • [7:03] The journey of formulating a strategy to create AILA, which became the starting point.
  • [9:31] How they invested heavily to produce their software and hardware original content.
  • [12:37] She explains how they approached the marketing of the product before launching to build its root in the market.
  • [15:56] How to approach Facebook paid and earned media with consistency to see results.
  • [19:10] The type of audience they target for AILA online, especially during the pandemic.
  • [22:08] Why they only direct their traffic to one place which is their website.
  • [25:08] Factors to look into to compliment your business website to be as good in sales as Amazon.
  • [29:39] Helen on how she successfully led the preparation for the product launch.
  • [32:17] The features that make AILA unique, better, and to perform excellently in the market.
  • [35:11] The three simple and guaranteed ways to get you good reviews.
  • [38:02] The importance of creating content based on what you care about to attract and build a community.

Quotes:

  • “Dream big and execute day by day, you will get there.”– Helen [41:11]
  • “If you don’t build that initial community, it’s like your product doesn’t have the root in the market.”– Helen [13:26]
  • “If we cannot effectively acquire those customers and eventually drive them to average cost, then the business is not viable.”– Helen [25:55]

How to Properly Launch A Product into The Market with Massive Success

Do you have a dream or the goal of successfully launching your product into the market? Have you set up the right strategy to ensure everything works even better than planned? Listen, many elements need to fall into place to ensure that you have a unique product, a ready market for it, and a launching plan set in advice.

That’s why, in this episode of the Page One Podcast, we have Helen Thomas, she has just helped DMAI successfully launch an artificial intelligence product. Helen is the CEO of DMAI, which is a global general artificial intelligence company. She has for many years grown businesses in the technology, digital media, and now artificial intelligence industries.

Listen in to learn the importance of building a community even before the product launch to ensure there is a ready market for it. You will also learn the importance of preparing for the launch in advance, plus simple ways to get you good product reviews.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to build a community as part of the marketing campaign during your product’s pre-launch stage.
  • Utilizing consistent earned media to support your paid media to keep your Facebook campaign fresh and results-yielding.
  • How to prepare for your product launch in advance to ensure its success.
  • The importance of adding a human touch to your customer service to ensure good reviews.

Episode Timeline:

  • [1:26] Get to know Helen and what they do at DMAI.
  • [2:52] She describes the Virtual Preschool System, Animal Island Learning Adventure they launched.
  • [5:21] DMAI’s scope of operation, the size of their team, and how they were affected by the pandemic.
  • [7:03] The journey of formulating a strategy to create AILA, which became the starting point.
  • [9:31] How they invested heavily to produce their software and hardware original content.
  • [12:37] She explains how they approached the marketing of the product before launching to build its root in the market.
  • [15:56] How to approach Facebook paid and earned media with consistency to see results.
  • [19:10] The type of audience they target for AILA online, especially during the pandemic.
  • [22:08] Why they only direct their traffic to one place which is their website.
  • [25:08] Factors to look into to compliment your business website to be as good in sales as Amazon.
  • [29:39] Helen on how she successfully led the preparation for the product launch.
  • [32:17] The features that make AILA unique, better, and to perform excellently in the market.
  • [35:11] The three simple and guaranteed ways to get you good reviews.
  • [38:02] The importance of creating content based on what you care about to attract and build a community.

Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. I’m your host, Luke Peters, CEO of NewAir appliances, and in this episode, you’re going to learn from entrepreneur, Helen Thomas on how to properly launch a product into the market with massive success. It’s going to be a great episode. We’re really going to just focus on that product launch process, go step by step. Before we get started with Helen, just a quick announcement here, we really need your help. If you’re a vacation homeowner, we’re trying to match vacation homeowners with veterans, families that are really in need of a vacation. They often don’t have the means, and those of us who own a vacation home, we have vacant weeks and open times, and head over to vetcation.org. You can see what I’ve started over there, and really that’s the kind of the bottleneck, is getting more vacation homeowners to be open to this, and trust me, you’re going to feel great about helping these families. There’s so many of them in need. Again, it’s helping veteran families, those that have served our country, and getting these families a dream vacation, head over to vetcation.org. Awesome, Helen, thanks again for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. This is your second time on, and I’ll let you do the introduction. Before, Helen is CEO of DMAI Inc. Helen, welcome again.

Helen Thomas: Hi, Luke. Thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure. I’m Helen Thomas. I’m the CEO of DMAI Inc. We’re in California, Los Angeles, and we are the next generation cognitive AI technology company, building education platform that delivered the right content at the right time. We successfully launched Animal Island Learning Adventure, AILA, preschool learning system in the United States in the past year, right in the middle of the pandemic. Thank you for having me here to talk about that.

Luke Peters: Thanks, Helen, and so just for the audience, let’s talk a little bit about this product. I’m probably going to make a few mistakes here, Helen, but I’ll describe it, and then you can correct me, so it’s like a tablet type of product. Again, this is cognitive AI. I think it’s geared towards preschool. I think it was like 30 months to 48 months or somewhere in that range, right? It’s kind of the next generation of what’s already been around in other book forms or there’s other competitors that are doing it, but they don’t have this cognitive AI that you’ve put into the product, which is called Animal Island Learning Adventure. Did I get most of it right there?

Helen Thomas: You’ve got most of it right. It actually starts from the 12 months for the early exposure in the sit and play broadcast mode of child, can be exposed to sing along, story book, letters, colors, shapes, numbers, all the fundamentals for preschool. What we have discovered is really that by the time children get on electronic devices, they haven’t really developed that attention span or the capability for information processing. So get them on early on this learning journey with Animal Island Learning Adventure, is really to build that foundation for them over time, and believe it or not, we’re both parents too, but the lot of us don’t have the time to rate the content, the right content. Even we have all the book, and the digital and the printed content, we just don’t keep track of what we’ve taught the children whether we have it. So this is a really where artificial intelligence cognitive AI could help by the technology, but more like a resources, right? It would deliver the right content at the right time and have keep track of the progress for those precious years for a child to be ready for kindergarten.

Luke Peters: Yeah, it’s a super innovative product, and we’re going to dive into the product launch. But I think what stands out here is, a lot of us will have companies or work at companies. We’re launching products, but I mean, you really had to invest a lot in R and D, Helen, on this product, because you’re making this from scratch, that you’re not just simply taking something off a shelf and changing it a little bit. You’re literally having to create the technology, create the manufacturer, the product itself, makes sure that there’s special ergonomics, I’m sure, that are going to work with kids, and do a bunch of testing along the way, so we’ll get into all of that. Before we do though, so again, you’re leading DMAI. What can you tell us about how many staff, or the reach of the company, or any details about the size of the company just so the audience can understand?

Helen Thomas: Well, we’re a global company. The company was founded back in 2017. I joined the company 2019 as the chief of staff and the CMO. We have close to 500 people, and a lot of our staff are really in the R and D and the research, and we have many, many products in the pipeline. We chose to launch this unique product at the beginning of the pandemic. I had no idea COVID would hit us, hit the world so hard, but I’m so glad we did it. We did it in a very short period of time. There was a lot of investment, and we can talk about that more, as you said, this later. But really the scope of the company is a full general AI research and development, and product engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, sales marketing, the holistic of it as a business.

Luke Peters: Yeah, you guys cover everything, and wow, what a responsibility leading 500 people, joining a CMO and then working your way quickly up to CEO, so congrats on that, Helen. So let’s talk about prelaunch. There’s so much to talk about, but I’ll zero it in to a couple of questions here. Of course, there is a lot of work done, prelaunch with R and D and everything. But before this product hit the market, what were you focused on from a marketing perspective, from a product launch perspective?

Helen Thomas: Well, you and I spoke this about a year ago, and that was when we were getting ready to launch the first product. When I joined the company at the beginning of 2019, I joined the company in March 2019, the company had multiple lines of research group, and I looked at everything that the company has been working on from the early childhood learning development to K12, to house care, senior care to robotics. My job was really to develop a go to market strategy, so that we can commercialize all the R and D efforts and to develop a lineup product that was so real-world problems, and eventually, grow the business to profitability. So it was quite a lot to digest and to formulate that strategy. We really look at it as a journey, as fundamentally how cognitive AI could be an assistant, a companion to anyone at any stage of life. So eventually, we chose to start Animal Island Learning Adventure, AILA preschool learning system as the starting point, because really the learning journey starts here.

Luke Peters: That is so interesting. Yeah, so you could have started anywhere. The company has this vision in AI and in helping different people. It sounds like it wasn’t specifically started just to help toddlers and preschool kids, but that’s where you first decided the effort was going to put in. Are you able to talk about what your R and D budget was bringing this product to market?

Helen Thomas: I would say quite a lot, and here is the interesting thing. I know this is why it’s such a unique opportunity, and that’s really why there is such an instant success, really it builds upon many different things. I believe the core competence for this particular product or the launch is really that in general. I’m not trying to say there’s a support every company in the world, but in general. Technology companies with engineers, they have their little understanding of interactive content. Okay, that’s said, I know they don’t invested in filmmaking, right? So that’s now produced lots of original theory. But in general, technology companies really don’t invest or spent a lot in so-called original content, and the traditional publishers education companies, they have very little expertise in technology in general, but artificial intelligence is really the state of the art, the, the frontier of science and technology, and R and D. So we can now bring the cutting edge technology with AI along with content. We invest millions in developing our own original content with the scope and sequences approved by the preschool curriculum in this country. And we’d be valued, as you said, the design to manufacturing of this unique hardware, that it would have delivered that experience as a little companion, so friendly to that age group. So it is a very unique holistic effort, and they did take a lot of investments, indeed.

Luke Peters: Yeah, no doubt about that, and of course, you had to do the hardware and software part. So it sounds like, prelaunch, you’re doing product market fit. You’re assessing the different avenues that you’re going to launch the product and how you’re going to launch the product. Let’s talk about the product launch. Can you kind of briefly tell us exactly how you thought about launch? Was it going to a certain marketing channel or sales channel first, and where were the initial dollars being spent to promote the product?

Helen Thomas: Right, and maybe there will be the third episode of our podcast. I went to had business school, that’s the best education I ever got from UC Berkeley, and I was in marketing and we started with the four Ps, right? So for a product launch, you look at the product, pricing, place, promotions, exactly what you just mentioned. Above that, in today’s world though, I think the incremental sort of planning and execution in terms of community, you can go and build that initial community, is the lobby to a product that doesn’t have the root in the market, so social media, why not? You can say that earned media, but is it kind of in between the earned and the paid media. So there’s so much more in terms of the planning than just the textbook type of playbook approach to the targeted audience end of the market. So one of the best things we did was really to design a social campaign around the messaging, and even before we launch the product, we had to prelaunch. We only had a one page website. We had a campaign so called America’s Got Baby just to get engaged with parents who have one year old and how they engage and how they showcase to their own children, and we cast it. We selected one family from Tennessee and they’ve been our product spokesperson, our TV commercial, our infommercial, everything. So I think a big part of the launch is really understand what problems would solve, and how to communicate that problem, and to build that community early on. I just really wanted to emphasize that, and I know you have all the detailed questions about each aspect of the campaign, but I do want to just to mention what just as said upfront.

Luke Peters: Yeah, no, actually, I think that’s better. Just in my company, we use a lot of influence from marketing and we think of it in the same way, and we probably didn’t have the same budget, as big budget as you’re working on, and we’re launching more products, so we can’t have that huge, highly focused budget on one product. But building community is essential and you use the right words, the earned media versus paid media, and it sounds a lot like earned media. So let’s dig in there a little bit more, was Facebook like the preferred platform then for that social media launch?

Helen Thomas: Right. So Facebook is a big part of our paid media to be honest. I mean, this is really where you clearly have a dashboard on daily basis, right, where the traffic came from and how the traffic behaved, meaning the duration, how long they stay? The bounce rate, right, and the retargeting aspect of it. So Facebook, as one of the biggest paid media platform has a lot to do with social media and earned media. I just have to say that even though we have up to, only say, thousand of fans on Facebook, but Facebook is really where a lot of the conversations happen from the beginning. We now have close to 50,000 users, most in the United States, but actually all of the world. But it all started with Instagram, Facebook campaign with America’s Got Baby and the ongoing, consistent, paid earned social media effort throughout the whole year of product launch. So the success is really about the consistency and the persistent approach, not on and off. Specially, I think, Luke, when you say lots of people don’t have the budget, my best advice to them is try to have a stable, constant, social earned media approach to support a consistent spending on a paid media. The on and off, doesn’t really work because all of the algorithms take time. All the algorithms have to learn from what work, what doesn’t work. So if you turn it on and off, is that you lose all the learning that you had, so you have to start from scratch again.

Luke Peters: Yeah, no, that’s a hundred percent, and in Facebook, I can see how that connects, and I’m assuming that, if your marketing team developed a persona, and I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m assuming it’s like a 25 year old to 40 year old female that you’re in, and of course, you could really target that group well on Facebook. But at the same time, a lot of moms may only be buying this product once, and so was another part of the strategy now… But on the flip side, moms talked to moms, right? And they’ve got a lot of friends in their friends circle. So was there also any type of marketing post-sale or to kind of pick up those additional references or referrals to the purchases friends or her friends?

Helen Thomas: So there are three personas. I just want to add to that, it’s the mom, but also the dads, even though the click rate on the father figure is a lower percentage, but they turn to make decisions faster because I think that they are more open to technology. [crosstalk 00:19:35].

Luke Peters: Well, we don’t like shopping, so if we click on something, it’s like, we’re going to buy or not buy. That’s really quick. We’re not going to look around very much.

Helen Thomas: But we like you. We do thinking you’re on [crosstalk 00:19:50] We’re a higher bracket. We’re not $10, $20 purchases. We’re like $200 purchases, and so I think that that has something to do with that process. The third category though, is really where I think, DMAI AILA can have moved went over the supportive group as the grandparents, the aunts, and uncles, that the caregivers around that child to more of a gift giving. Uniquely, I think that is where we have to pay attention. Specially, as I said, because of the price point, and I do want to also circle back on your point in terms of word of mouth like moms to moms. Unfortunately, because of the COVID and isolation, we’re lockdown, we didn’t benefit from that word of mouth. In the old days, you’ll have playday. So whatever your child has, the others would see, where at least you would tell the difference whether this child has a love versus the others. This just kicked in recently with vaccination and more of a relaxed restriction social life for American families, right? So we didn’t benefit from the word of mouth in the first 12 months, but we are counting on it in the next 12 months, for sure.

Luke Peters: That’s really interesting on that third persona. I didn’t think about that, but obviously you did the research and yeah, you got the grandparents, and the aunts, uncles and gift giving and first birthday, second birthday. Yeah, that’s brilliant, that’s really smart, and I can see that being an important part. By the way, I forgot to ask this part. With this paid advertising, are you directing back to your own D-to-C site, you directing to Amazon, you directing to other channel partners, kind of where’s the proportion of sales and best final sale happening?

Helen Thomas: This is very, very good question. There are three parts. One is the ongoing campaign, the digital campaign we call it, Google Adwords and Facebook and linear TV. They all appoint through animalisland.us, that’s our website. For any of you hearing this, take a look, check it out. I know everybody has a family, have babies. Why not, right? animalisland.us, that’s where we drive the traffic towards. On our website, we do showcase Amazon, Best Buy, QVC, Walmart, soon target.com, the channel partners. Because I think channels really validated the brand and the product, and we’ve got a great reviews. I know one of your question is going to be our product reviews. So I think having one place to go and understand how that traffic come, and how they stay, and have, I mean, I have my daily digital marketing meeting first thing in the morning, 8:00 is being for the past 12 months. It’s going to be for the next 24 months. Why? Because you really have to have a comprehension of data, right? There’s so much data, but there is not sort of a clear understanding of the KPI and a long-term view from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel and drive the whole success out. They’d over time, then their patiency is not going to be there.

Luke Peters: Yeah, and what’s so interesting is your channels are similar to ours at NewAir, and a lot of people listening, by the way, right? The world’s different. It was first, everybody’s just direct to consumer, then Amazon came, and then it was, “Wow, why am I even doing this? I’ll just only sell on Amazon.” Then it was kind of like, “Whoa, I better own my customer. So let me figure out how to do the direct to consumer again.” And now, there’s all these other channel partners that are so strong, The Home Depot and Target and Walmart and everybody else. Okay, so there’s this huge ecosystem. But how did you decide on, we’re talking about the performance marketing part now, the paid advertising, how did you decide on an acceptable ROI or ROAS or whatever KPI you used? The reason is because, some of these customers may prefer to buy in Amazon. So you’re going to educate them on your site, they’ll go buy in Amazon. You’ll educate them on your site, they’ll go buy in Target, and you really can’t get full attribution obviously once they leave the site and go to one of those partner sites, but it’s still good for the business. How did you think about attribution? How do you think about getting what ROAS or ROI is acceptable?

Helen Thomas: That’s a great question that deserves a whole another day of discussion.

Luke Peters: Yeah, probably [crosstalk 00:25:14]. Hold on, you only have seven words. I’m just kidding.

Helen Thomas: So really today’s world of CMO and CEO world is understanding that so-called customer acquisition cost, right? So that’s the bottom line. I think I’m leading the company, including product engineers to understand what that is, the customer acquisition cost, because I was immensely at the whole company across all channels with all the spending, right? If we cannot effectively acquire those customers and eventually drive down that average cost, then the business is not viable. So I think the channels is that have captured audience is really the low-hanging fruit. Those are the channels you really have to capture at the beginning, along with your own website or Indiegogo and whatever. I’m just talking about it in the broadest sense. Why? Because there’s no way for me to get as much traffic to my website as Amazon. So they won when we made that decision that we have to support Amazon, when you can learn from Amazon. We spend marketing dollars on Amazon. At the same time, we identified those niche channels that also has this so-called captured audience. For us, Buy Buy Baby is a national channel. They are very, very focused on the younger children. It’s not quite as a per se, it’s more like a baby to us in the old days, right? And then we know that in those channels, you have the right story, you’ll get that conversion. The other part, as I said, that there was a third audience, which are the grandparents, especially the grandmothers in the first year, so we were on QVC. On QVC, what we bought is also captured audience of mostly grandmothers, and that they spend that 10 minutes watching the hosts and Jenny, the mother from Tennessee, our spokesperson, and we had a very, very high conversion rate as well as assessing purchases over time. Eventhough we’re not on air on QVC, our QVC web sales and reviews are extremely high, and this is compared to other products I did in my previous life, right? So these all compliments our own website, which is animalisland.us.

Luke Peters: Yeah, and that’s so interesting. I mean, you take advantage, of course, like you talk about the captured audiences and also, you’re really fortunate you’re in a product category that allows you to be in so many of these different businesses or have so many different customers, right?Sometimes certain like tech products, they’re really limited. They can just be maybe on Best Buy and Amazon, and it’s doesn’t make sense for them to be elsewhere. But it’s great that your product, you have this opportunity to be in so many different customers, and then of course, get in front of those customers and those audiences. So your sales team is, it’s essential to have the sales team launching into those customers at the same time. Was that a challenge? I mean, it’s really broad who you’re selling to, and you guys created this product, and then you’re going to launch, and I’m assuming the launching note takes place at a certain point in time or within a couple of weeks. Yet you have to then be out on all of these sites where you out in them at the same time, did it cut? Was it a slow roll starting with some sites and then going out to others?

Helen Thomas: Right. It is a slow roll. It’s quarter to quarter to be frank. If I recall, the first quarter is all Facebook, Google prelaunch launch our website. The second quarter was mainly around Amazon and get them ready. But I was on the road right before pandemic. I was all around the country. I was in the car driving from QVC to Buy Buy Baby. [crosstalk 00:30:09]

Luke Peters: You’re a CMO and sales at the same time.

Helen Thomas: Yeah, you do whatever it takes. [crosstalk 00:30:20] matter is we haven’t touched that yet, the move, it’s all about storytelling, right? It’s like, how you tell that story? How you design the box? How you get the people intrigued? I mean, as a CEO, CMO, the top sales person, I mean, lots of the companies, the CEO is the best sales guy, right? Because they are the one out there pitching the world trade as well as the mainstream. So I think getting everybody ready early on, understanding there’s the pipeline is essential, because when I look back, I did the right thing, and I got down the road early, because for the past 12 months we couldn’t go anywhere, right? So it’s a great, I think the media show is the PR group with our PR agency and touchdown media at the same time as touchdown at the account. And our roll out is, as I said, first quarter is all our website. Second quarter is all Amazon and gaining that reviews and ranking. Third quarter, we got down to QVC and then Best Buy and the Walmart, and in Q4 was that hockey stick grow. I mean, we were out of stock every single week. So building that around up early on and having that vision and the preparation is everything you have to do with a product launch, and they have to be ongoing, it’s not like you do it once, it’s done. No, you do have to nurture it and support it all along.

Luke Peters: Yeah, especially with all of the investment. Are you able to share, Helen, anything about, it sounds like you can’t share actual sales numbers, but anything about actual units or anything to give, any sort of scale? Maybe you’re selling 10 times more than you were month number three. I don’t know anything to give the audience an idea of how successful the product launch has been.

Helen Thomas: Yeah, so in the past 12 months for a product as their niche, meaning that only for that one to three year old, right. Even though we have different channels, but think about it, we’re spending tremendous amount of money in the marketing and the targeting of their niche market. We have over 50,000 users today. They’re active users. It is compared to last of the things I did before, and the stickiness and how happy they are, how much we view it with the prod, and the effectiveness of the product for that period up time for their children to learn the fundamentals in terms of their vocabulary is just better. They have better manner. They say hello. They say goodbye. They have a longer attention span. They can sit there and absorb and read the story early on. The benefit of this product launch is far beyond the number of users, to be honest. I’m very, very encouraged to buy, and I can tell you stories for another eight hours. So user stories, right? What I’m trying to say is it’s a problem we solved and really is effectiveness of the product, and our product has a free update, right? We used to have almost a weekly update on our content that’s out for, and then we had to have like monthly update on our parent map and the device, and now we’re getting to the quarterly update. So the product has got better and better, some major milestones what happened this year. It is exciting how you connect the technology behind the scenes to the product user experience, to the marketing and sales, and to go through to a full cycle and to build a successful business.

Luke Peters: Wow, I mean, there’s so much in there to unpack and I can tell you’re passionate about it. So we can’t dive into all of those details, but just finishing up here on product launch, 50,000 users, by the way, congratulations on that. I did a little bit of research before the interview, just to see how far you’ve come with the product, and you guys really do have outstanding reviews. What can you say about that? Obviously a good product is going to get good reviews. Beyond that, though, what are you able to do to facilitate better reviews?

Helen Thomas: I think that there are three things. It’s a very basic, but lots of people do that. We get lots of products there, Amazon, we’re direct delivery in the past 12 months, right? Having that thank you card and having that as the first handshake and pay attention to that new customer who received the products, encouraged them to give you the review. It’s a baby step, but you just have to do that. Obviously, product has to be good, so that all the reviews will be there. But for having that gesture, and believe it or not, the third thing I have to say, and I’m learning this about some other top brands that I paid attention to is actually the person on the phone. Believe it or not, because we have grandparents, not just the grandmothers, but also grandfathers. They like to talk with somebody on the phone, and we do have a very solid staff cater to them and speak with them and that where I think the most of the best reviews and the firsthand testimonial come from. So that human touch is really important, even for an AI company, even for artificial intelligence company.

Luke Peters: Yeah, and especially for this demo who’s buying this product and making sure those reviews are good and any negatives are responded to. This is like a negative review on a product malfunction, okay, that’s going to happen with every product. A bigger physical product might have damages. You probably wouldn’t expect it with your product. So the negative reviews are going to be limited in which type the respondent is kind of is discussing. So they’re kind of like more specific, I guess, is what I’m trying to say, but it sounds like, you have a very organic way of handling those. What about, just finishing up, what about evergreen marketing solutions? So you talk about you creating community. I mean, that’s the most evergreen, right? You’re not having to pay for it every day. You’re just getting people to talk about the product, that’s in my opinion. The best in most natural word of mouth and most trusted type of advertising, because it’s not you, it’s other people talking about your product. Did you specifically work with a PR company or influencers along the way?

Helen Thomas: We worked with the different PR companies. I’m actually interviewing a new PR company for the next phase of the company? I think the given current cycle of the media market, right. I wish PR can be more straightforward with earned media. I think it is a little shaky to be honest.

Luke Peters: I hear you.

Helen Thomas: But the root cause is not about the PR agencies, it’s about the new as a business on its own, right? So I think having good content… Let’s put it this way, community plus content. Content meaning like organic content about what issues are and how this country and how our society are impacted by this problem and what the possible options and solutions are, and may or may not be just DMAI or AILA, that being part of that conversation is important. That’s why I spend time with you and some other podcasts is it just this is content itself, right? And I think we all have to contribute to that high quality content. That’s why I appreciate what you do, because that you are very focused on marketing, product marketing, digital marketing. You’re very good at these, and that you have this ongoing content for your audience. So that’s important, right? So for us, we care about early childhood education. We care about K-12. We care about the general wellness of human beings, our mission to lift humanity. How do we do that? We need to be part of that conversation that created that concept.

Luke Peters: Well, that’s a great vision to have, and thanks for the compliment. I appreciate that, Helen, and on that note, why don’t we kind of wrap it up with the last question and hopefully something tangible that the audience can take from this. But what was the most important thing that you learned from this product launch that you want to share with other CMOs or other CEOs?

Helen Thomas: I think it can happen really fast. I think having that playbook and really do well was not just the fundamentals as a marketer, but also paying attention to the content, to the community, right? And being part of that conversation is very, very important journey for us now. I think it’s a very exciting time, and one thing I would share is dream big and execute day by day, you will get there. I mean, who would have thought we’d have 50,000 users in 12 months? I would not have thought of that, and that’s very rewarding.

Luke Peters: Well, that’s a great way to end it, have a playbook, dream big, and execute. I love that. Have fun, but you’ve got to execute at the same time, said like a CEO actually. So I liked that way of finishing up here, Helen. Thanks again for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. How can listeners learn more about you and the product?

Helen Thomas: Well, come to animalisland.us, and it’s all about the mission and the vision of the company, and thank you so much, Luke. I hope that we’ll have another conversation maybe in the next 12 months.

Luke Peters: Looking forward to it, Helen. So again, listeners check out Animal Island and we’ll have this in our show notes and really hope everybody enjoyed the interview, truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes and hope you join us for the next interview.

Relevant Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helenfuthomas/


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Episode References:

Contact Helen Thomas: LinkedIn

Contact Luke: luke@retailband.comLinkedIn 

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