Product Launch Strategy
It makes no difference if you’re creating the next Facebook. No one will pay attention to your new product unless you have a good strategy in place to advertise it and spread the word. This is where putting together a product launch strategy comes in.
A product launch plan is a strategy that lays out your precise objectives for a new release as well as how to promote it in your market. It aids in the alignment of various team departments, a better understanding of your customers, and the discovery of solutions to speed up your product launch.
Creating a product launch plan, on the other hand, entails several steps, each of which is critical to the success of your product. If you skip any of these steps, you risk failing to meet the objectives of your product launch and underperforming.
First Phase: Preparing for the Launch
There are a few things to think about before you start planning your product launch strategy.
The following are the required procedures to take before launching your product:
- Identify Your Target Customer
Knowing who you’ll be selling to is the first step in every product launch. Your product launch will almost certainly fail if you don’t first figure out who needs it.
Make sure to locate your target audience using the parameters below:
- Demographics: What is your target customer’s age, gender, location, education level, and income?
- Industry: What market(s) does your target customer operate in or specialise in at the moment?
- Company size: What is the size of the organization where your target customer works?
- Challenges: What are your customers’ biggest annoyances, and how does your product address them?
- Goals: What are the life or career goals that your target audience is attempting to achieve?
- Role: What is the title of your target customer’s role (for example, CEO, developer, project manager, etc.)?
- Buying motivation: What psychological elements sway your target customer’s decision to buy your product?
- Do Competitor Research
The next step is to analyze your competition so that you can better grasp their client acquisition strategy and find ways to differentiate yourself from the pack.
The following will be included in this competitive analysis:
- Differentiators: What distinguishes them from the competition in terms of services or experiences they provide to customers?
- Strengths: What are the areas in which your rivals thrive, and why?
- Weaknesses: What are the gaps in your competitors’ strategy or product experience, and where are they falling short?
- Marketing Strategy: What strategies do your competitors use to attract new customers and users? What are their most-used channels for engaging prospects, for example?
- Revenue: Over the last 5–10 years, how has the company’s sales and revenue increased or decreased? What are the factors that are causing this growth or stagnation?
- Identify Your Product Positioning
When it comes to creating a product launch strategy, product positioning is crucial. It entails identifying the distinctive value that your product adds to the industry as well as how it benefits your target customer’s life.
Here’s how to identify it for your SaaS company:
- Find Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP): What is the one-of-a-kind value you provide to your customers? Is it, for example, your unique set of characteristics?
- Understand Why Customers Use Your Product: What motivates customers to choose your product above others? How is your product assisting them in overcoming their obstacles or achieving their objectives?
- Create a Mission Statement: A mission statement is a one-sentence summary of your company’s values.
- Ask yourself: What is the purpose of your product? What motivates your organization to get up and accomplish what it does every day?
- Set Product Launch Goals
Defining specific targets to pursue is an essential part of any successful product launch strategy. Otherwise, your team will be bewildered and unsure of what to do next if there is no clear direction to follow.
The following are some examples of possible product launch objectives:
- Increasing the number of conversions and sign-ups.
- Increasing the visibility of your Product enterprise.
- Increasing client happiness and improving the user experience.
- Getting your churn rate down.
- Calculate Your Budget and Resources
You should determine whether your organization has the appropriate resources for the next event before launching your product. Your launch plan will fall apart if you’re working on a new product and learn halfway through that you don’t have the funds.
Make sure to schedule meetings with various team departments to discuss your brand’s present resources. Is your team large enough to develop the new product? Is there enough money in your budget to cover marketing expenses?
Second Phase: Creating Your Product Launch Plan
It’s time to get started on your product launch after you’ve gone over the qualifications.
Here’s what you’ll need to accomplish to make your new launch strategy a reality:
- Run Beta Tests for Your Target Audience
Running beta tests is a terrific way to see if your new product has a chance to succeed.
Here’s how to conduct a successful beta test with your intended audience:
- Segment Users Based on Your Customer Persona: Check to see if your beta test is being conducted on the proper people. They must match the demographics, difficulties, and objectives of your consumer profiles.
- Identify Which Data You Want to Track: Consider how you’ll evaluate beta testers’ reactions to your product. This could be accomplished, for example, by the use of Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
- Be Responsive to Users: It’s critical to be available to your users at all times. Always pay attention to beta-testers and respond to their questions regarding your product.
- Ask Users to Fill Out a Survey On Their Experience: After individuals have completed the beta test, it will be time to gather feedback. This can be accomplished by conducting a survey in which they respond to questions regarding their experience.
- Share the Results With Your Team: Share the user input and results with the rest of your team. You can then debate the following steps and whether or not the product launch is worthwhile.
- Identify Success Metrics
It’s critical to figure out which measures you’ll need to assess the success of your product launch.
Here are some metrics to keep an eye on:
- Sign-up Trials: How many individuals do you expect to join your new platform as a result of the product launch?
- User Retention: What are your plans for increasing user retention and customer lifetime value as a result of the launch?
- Churn Rate: Will the debut of your product lessen the number of users who abandon your platform?
- Include Milestones
Within your product launch, you must include goals and set dates for tasks that your team must fulfill. Your product will take a long time to develop if you don’t set clear deadlines, and you won’t be able to launch it on time.
The following are some instances of milestones:
- Updating the security of your product.
- Important events in the industry.
- Launch of a new feature.
- Collaborate with marketing to develop the content you’ll require for the launch.
As you prepare for your product launch, work with your marketing team to generate all of the promotional content you’ll need.
Content marketing will assist in increasing traffic and raising publicity for your product launch.
You’ll need the following content for your impending product launch:
- Blog posts.
- Landing pages.
- Product tutorials.
- Social media posts.
Third Phase: Collaborating with Your Team During the Product Launch
To create an effective product launch plan, you’ll need to collaborate with your team and management.
Here’s how you can collaborate with others when developing your strategy:
- Create an Engaging Pitch Deck
You’ll need to construct a pitch deck that covers all aspects of the launch to onboard stakeholders and executives. The deck will help you better communicate your product launch plan’s vision and approach, allowing you to gain buy-in.
Here are some pointers on how to make a compelling pitch deck that will persuade stakeholders:
- Leverage Tools Such as Canva: To make an engaging pitch deck, you don’t need significant design abilities. Instead, use platforms like Canva, which already has pre-built pitch deck templates, to make your life easier.
- Address the Unique Issues that the Product Launch Will Resolve: Outline your company’s problems and how your new product will help you overcome them.
- Include Forecasted Revenue and Results: Numbers are like music to the ears of executives. The impact of the launch on revenue and company growth should be highlighted in your pitch deck.
- Make It No More Than 5–7 Slides: Your pitch deck should be simple and succinct. Make it no more than 5–7 slides long.
- Share Documentation With Different Departments
Make sure to give product launch paperwork to all of your departments (sales, marketing, customer service, etc.) to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The following items must be included in the product launch documentation:
- Timelines and deadlines.
- Brand positioning and vision.
- Expected tasks for each department.
- Success metrics.
- Communicate With Your Team Throughout the Launch
Because the strategy behind your product launch can alter at any time, be in continual communication with your team throughout the process.
Here’s how you can get other departments to participate in the launch:
- Set Up Regular Check-Ins: Set aside time each week to meet with your teammates to discuss your progress. Allow them to express any problems they’re having and assist them in overcoming blockages.
- Make Room for Feedback: Remember that you will never have all of the answers. Always welcome suggestions from team members on how to improve the product launch strategy.
- Constantly Review the Product Launch With Your Team: Your product strategy will almost certainly change over time. Make sure your product launch is always being tweaked to make it the most relevant to your target demographic and market.
Fourth Phase: Promoting Your Product Launch
You must find as many strategies as possible to promote your product launch and increase your reach. In that manner, your debut will generate the maximum buzz and won’t go unnoticed.
- Determine which platforms you’ll use to announce the product launch
Determine which platforms your target audience frequently utilizes and devise strategies for promoting your product launch on those platforms. It will assist you in ensuring that your launch is seen by the appropriate people.
- Use an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
To get the most out of your product launch, you’ll need to promote it through multiple platforms. Customers learn about items through a variety of mediums, thus an omnichannel strategy optimizes the potential to reach new users.
Here are some of the most important channels to use:
- Your company blog;
- Email marketing campaigns; and
- Targeted social media ads.
Fifth Phase: Launching the Product
So, the big day has arrived, and you’re all set to launch your new product.
Here’s how you can get your users to interact with you:
- Offer a Free Trial of Your Product
Ensure that people can try your product for free before purchasing it at the product launch. A free trial is a terrific method to attract clients to join up for your new product and get a feel for it before they decide to pay for it.
- Prepare Your Sales Team for Any User Questions
You must prepare your sales staff by giving them solutions and roadmaps for responding to your customers’ product questions. It will save your sales staff time and allow them to better satisfy the needs of their customers.
Return to your study and data from the beta testing you conducted previously to figure out what these solutions are. What were the most common questions from beta testers, and how can you help sales handle them?
- Encourage Customers to Share Your New Product
Find strategies to encourage users to spread the word about your new product via word of mouth. Customers naturally trust the opinions of their friends, thus recommendations are a great approach to getting additional users. You could, for example, give consumers a discount on their membership if they tell their friends about it.
Sixth Phase: Analyzing the Post-Launch Results
Even once the product launch is complete, you’ll still have work to accomplish.
You can continue to grow by doing the following things:
- Take a Look at Your Data
After the launch, go into your data and evaluate the results. Ask yourself the following questions as you investigate the success of your product launch:
- What happened to your social media following after the product launch?
- Did you increase the number of people who used your SaaS platform?
- What has been the general response from customers?
- Were you able to increase the lifetime value of your customers?
- Showcase Customer Success
Whether some of your consumers benefit from your product launch, don’t be shy about contacting them and asking if you can feature their success on your website. It will demonstrate the worth of your product to other potential buyers and increase your authority for future launches.
- Collect Lessons From Your Product Launch
Meet with each department to discuss the lessons learned from the launch of your product. Even if it didn’t go as planned, you may use the information to better future product launches.
How to Launch a Product Online
You’ll want to be sure you’ve followed the procedures above before launching your goods online. However, if you want to build traction exclusively online, you’ll need to take a few more measures.
- Determine the narrative you want to tell about your product’s larger purpose.
What is the story you want to communicate on social media, landing pages, and emails? This is similar to your positioning statement, but it must be focused on your target market. Pose queries such as, “Why should people buy your product?” And, more importantly, how will your product or service improve their lives?
When you communicate cross-functionally, you ensure that the communication materials you use across numerous internet platforms are consistent, which is critical when launching a new product.
Take, for example, how Living Proof advertised their new Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo product on Instagram. The plot hinges around a minor annoyance that plagues most other dry shampoos: consumers’ need for that freshly washed look even when using a dry shampoo.
Living Proof creates excitement and demand for its new product by concentrating on how the product will benefit consumers through storytelling and the use of a new hashtag #NoWastedWashes.
- To positively frame your new product, display customer testimonials, case studies, and other social evidence.
Before purchasing your new product, customers want to know that others have already taken the risk and purchased it. This is when social proof enters the picture.
Begin providing customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies in the weeks leading up to, or immediately after, a product launch to highlight how your new product has already helped others. If your product is a good fit for your company, take it a step further and hire influencers to spread the word about it.
Consumers are wise enough to recognize that they cannot trust every commercial they encounter, but they can trust their peers. So, using social proof techniques, capitalize on that trust.
- Create a social and email campaign.
To promote interest and exposure to your new product, create a complete social media campaign.
To reach new audiences, utilize paid advertising, develop full product explainer videos to share on social media, and use email to reach out to existing customers and give them an exclusive first peek at your new product’s features.
You might also consider creating a live stream to engage directly with potential and existing consumers, and inviting specialists from your product development team to explain your product’s new features.
It’s vital to remember that at this time, you’ll want to pay attention to how customers respond to your new product’s marketing materials. Share your complaints and suggestions with the product development team – it’s critical to have faith in your customers and to use their feedback to improve your product.
- Have a pre-order option
If a customer is eager to buy your new product, don’t make them wait – give them the option to pre-order it before it becomes available. This helps to spread out demand by allowing customers to buy the product whenever they choose.
Product Launch Best Practices by Industry
- How to Launch a Digital Product
You’ll want to start creating anticipation with a good content marketing strategy before releasing a digital product. Increase interest and demand for your digital product by using blog postings, email marketing, social media, and other distribution methods.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using lead generation tactics to reach out to current and potential consumers.
Let’s imagine you’re creating an SEO-related online course. You could generate SEO-related blog content to distribute to your email subscribers in the weeks preceding up to launch, with an option to join the SEO course’s waitlist. This allows you to evaluate the success of your marketing materials while reaching out to an audience that has already expressed interest in your company.
- How to Launch a Product on Amazon
Anyone who has ever shopped on Amazon understands the value of a well-written product description. Take the effort in the week leading up to launch to build a great, high-converting product listing, which includes capturing high-resolution photographs of your product, creating a description that describes your product’s unique qualities, and employing keywords to help your product rank on Amazon.
Furthermore, because product reviews are so crucial on Amazon, you’ll want to make sure you have them ready to go before you even launch your product. To do so, make sure you’ve either launched your product on your website first (allowing you to gain reviews before debuting on Amazon) or sent your goods to a small group of potential purchasers ahead of time and collected feedback from them.
Finally, double-check inventories to make sure you’re ready for an Amazon product launch. Make sure you have enough merchandise to fulfill Amazon orders promptly because you never know how quickly your product will gain popularity in the e-commerce superstore.
- How to Launch a SaaS Product
To launch a SaaS solution, you need first to investigate rivals and have a general grasp of the market. Because more than 38% of businesses rely almost totally on SaaS, there is a lot of demand for SaaS solutions. However, because the SaaS sector is oversaturated, you’ll want to figure out how your product stands apart from the competition before introducing it.
Conduct market research and focus groups to uncover the genuine benefits and differentiators of your product to ensure a successful product launch.
The next step is to implement a solid content marketing plan to boost your website’s search engine exposure and ensure that your company appears in search results for themes related to your product.
- How to Launch a Food Product
To launch a food product, you must first determine the costs involved, including how much it costs to produce and store the goods (including packaging, storage, and distribution), as well as how much it costs to sell the product (including branding and digital marketing).
Following that, you must adhere to federal and state food regulations. For example, you must meet all health department regulations on food processing surfaces, refrigeration, and sanitation.
You’ll also need to make sure the labeling on your product’s packaging is accurate, which will necessitate sending your food product to a lab for analysis, as well as checking with your state’s commerce department to determine what nutrition labels are required.
You’ll almost certainly need to hire a food broker when developing a food product. A food broker can help you build partnerships with national and local grocery shops, as well as develop a promotional strategy to boost sales as soon as your product hits the shelves.
A supermarket will often test your product for a few months before deciding whether there is enough consumer demand to have it stocked — which is why a food broker can be quite helpful in ensuring a successful food product launch by employing business analytics and industry experience.
Product Launch Tips
I spoke with Alex Girard once more to understand the best techniques for a successful product launch.
According to the HubSpot Product Marketing Manager, there are three primary tips for launching a successful product:
- Your product positioning should represent a global shift you’re observing and how your product can help your customers benefit from it.
- Create a recurrent plan for you and the launch’s key stakeholders to check in and make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Make sure your marketing plans are communicated to the product team. The product team may have information that may help you with your entire marketing strategy.
External circumstances, on the other hand, may have an impact on your ability to launch a product. If this happens, you may need to postpone your launch.
How to Know When to Delay a Product Launch
To better understand when and why you might want to delay a product launch, there are three main reasons why you could want to do so:
- When your product isn’t ready, you’ll need to adjust your timeframe to provide the best possible client experience.
- If one of your present goods is causing your current customers to have a less-than-satisfactory experience. Before you introduce and promote a new product, make sure your present clients are happy with your current product offering.
- If anything happens on a global, national, state, or local level that causes your audience’s priorities to shift and their attention away from your company and its product launch. Make sure your target audience is ready to learn about your new product when it’s time to launch.
Get the Most Out of Each Release With a Product Launch Plan
The product launch strategy is just as crucial as designing a high-value product because it expands your reach and establishes your first customer relationship. You can then continue to nurture that user relationship by releasing fresh releases to match their evolving wants and improving your product over time, resulting in lifelong followers.