10 Tips For a Winning Product Marketing Launch

It’s one thing to build a fantastic product but until the customers know about the product and how it can work for them, there’s only so much a great product can achieve. So, the successful marketing plan of a product is everything and a vital cog in this process is the product launch, which is the very event that announces the arrival of the product into the world.

The launch of the product is almost like the arrival of a baby into the family, a joyous occasion which calls for celebration, while at the same time resulting in many challenges cropping up. A good product launch should aim to streamline this whole process, while also creating a road map for the future of the product in the market place.

So, here are top 10 tips that will be useful to you in planning your product launch strategy:

Identify your Target Customer

While defining the audience would actually have been completed right at the time of conceptualizing the product, the real challenge lies in now getting the attention of the end user or the consumer for whom the product is meant for. So, it would be a good idea to sit down and redefine the first target segment who actually needs to get a look and feel of the product. For instance, if it is a consumer electronics product, getting the product reviewers aboard to review/report about the product at the time of launch along with the opinion leaders would be the way to go.

Messaging and Positioning Strategy:

Before conveying what the product will do for your customers, your team needs to first get aboard as it will be the team that will be responsible for convincing the customers about the product’s various aspects. So, preparing a positioning document that clearly and unambiguously communicates what the product will do for the customer and whom exactly it is targeted at is very important. The positioning document needs to communicate what the product is, what the product seeks to do, whom the product is targeted at, how the product will be positioned in the market and what is your selling strategy for this product.

Content and Sales Collateral Development:

Developing a compelling narrative to describe your product has to be done early as this has to be communicated to most part of the company which will be involved in selling and marketing the product. Developing the content and demo early will also give enough time for you to make the required changes as and when this is showcased to the folks who matter in the company. Also, it will give enough time for the message of the new product to sink in within different departments of the company so that they all speak in a single tone and pitch when it comes to selling and marketing the new product.

Leveraging Channel Partnerships:

Most B2B companies use channel partners and resellers to widen their reach and get a bigger audience. Therefore, leveraging your existing partnerships with your partners to sell your products in the initial phase, when the product is new, could give your product significantly more visibility. Bundling new products as freebies for existing customers of a particular product through partners could deliver feedback while also allowing the new product by a new set of customers who otherwise might not have used these products.

Alignment with Sales Team:

Once the product is launched, the real people who will make the difference on the ground is your sales force. Before convincing the customers, the sales team needs to be convinced that the product is actually worth being sold by the company and will do the intended things that it is built to do. Therefore, working with the sales team right from the early stages of product development, to determine what exactly the customer wants and how the product can be tailored to suit that could be a good idea. However, too much input from the sales might slow down and sometimes even stall product development. So, a good product marketing manager should know what to consider and what to omit.

Customer Testimonials:

Nothing is a more compelling than the marketing pitch of a happy customer. So, adding customer testimonials to launch plans, showcasing how your product has worked for different people in the past, enabling them to solve many of their issues, is something that should be a part of every product launch, especially when it comes to B2B products, where businesses are keen to know how your products have worked for other people.

Create a Marketing Strategy:

In the run up to the launch of the product, using all forms of media to build a buzz around the product is vital. Often times, the run up to the launch of the product begins many months in advance with companies unleashing a marketing overdrive to announce the arrival of a new product. An approach that uses all forms of media, from traditional outlets like print and television, to new age outlets like blogs and the social media would be ideal. For instance, in the run up to the launch of the EcoSport, Ford got the concept version of the EcoSport SUV located at strategic points like shopping malls and cafes for people to have a look and feel of the new product that Ford was planning to launch soon, thereby creating a buzz about the product.

Build up Product Discussions:

Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become places where opinions about a product can be mobilized. Using these networks to let more and more people know about the arrival of the product is one of the least expensive forms of marketing as large communication campaigns can be built with little money and a small time frame, often the perfect form of pre-launch build up for the product. These discussions can be extremely beneficial in two ways. One, more people will know that a new product is arriving with enthusiasts and opinion leaders talking about the product. Secondly, it will give the marketing department many insights about the perception of the product, which can be used to further refine the product launch and marketing plans.

Launch Goals and Metrics:

Setting up of goals before the launch of the product will ensure that the product’s success can be measured depending on the company’s expectations. Also, well defined goals will dictate the amount of money spent on a particular product’s launch. For instance, if the company is looking for a high amount of bookings for a particular product, then the launch can be tailored to cover a large number of locations during the time of a launch. On the other hand, a phased launch will be the way to go if the company needs time to produce enough.

Timing is Everything:

Finally, the timing of the launch will often decide how much press and visibility a product launch will get. This is again highly product specific. A product involving agriculture will be launched best just before the start of the growing season while a product involving technology might be launched across the year. However, it needs to be kept in mind that the holiday season, depending on the location of the product launch, should be avoided at all costs as the coverage that products get during holiday seasons can be much lesser than the rest of the year.

Good luck with your Product launch!

I hope I have been able to cover all the aspects of a product launch. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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