If you are working on the next big thing, then you need an equally remarkable launch plan! Don’t make the mistake of writing a press release, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. That won’t work. If you have BIG news, then you need a BIG plan.
A product launch helps you determine your target personas, establish the proper messaging, create assets, and warms your audience up to your product. From working with clients, our team of experts knows there are three stages to a great product launch: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. Let’s walk through them together!
Before you launch, all parties involved should take the time to know the product thoroughly — perhaps even use it themselves. While they don’t need to know everything there is to know about the product, they should be armed with enough information to pitch and sell it successfully. If nothing else, everyone on the launch team should know what problem the product solves.
Build Your Customer Personas
If you are an established business, you may not need to reinvent an existing buyer persona. But regardless if you are starting from scratch or building on what you already have, it’s a good idea to re-outline your target audience and why they are an excellent fit for this new product.
Ask your team: What kind of challenges do they have? What do they value? What are their basic demographics, such as age and gender? Outlining your customer persona is your foundation and influences everything below.
Outline Your PR Strategy
Once you have a better understanding of who your customer is, you can start to think about what kind of publications they read and what stories will catch their eye. Starting with your PR strategy helps to ensure everyone involved with the launch is aligned on messaging.
We aren’t the only one who thinks you should start with your PR strategy; Amazon starts its product launches by writing a mock press release. Although pitching comes later in your product launch strategy, the idea is that when you begin with outlining your PR strategy, it’s easier for the team to place themselves in the customer’s shoes.
Build Your Messaging
Speaking of messaging, messaging is about refining your product narrative to focus on your product’s most essential and valuable aspects. Focus on communicating the value of your overall product simply and persuasively. Since your copy will only have a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention, it should communicate what your product does at a high-level value. Good messaging typically includes:
- A tagline
- The problem the product solves
- A list of core features
- A positioning statement
Create Compelling Assets
Now that you have the base of your messaging down, it’s time to start building your launch creative assets. Your creative assets set the tone for your brand.
Set Your Goals
How will you know if your launch campaign was successful? Moreover, what is success to you? Most companies want to get as many sales or leads as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. While sales and leads should be a part of your launch campaign goals, a best practice is to set goals that are “S.M.A.R.T.”
Your goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Using S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you better measure your launch campaign’s success. Additionally, it should help you identify what adjustments to make to your marketing strategy.
Your launch phase might be a day or a week, depending on your strategy and product. You’ve done all of the planning, and there are a few essential items to keep in mind on the day of your launch. Avoid hiccups, and double-check that any automated items are working properly. The same goes for your website and the ordering process. Double-check every button, submission forms, load times, copy, and creative.
Once you are live, it is time to lean on your community manager. Ensure that all comments are responded to and that any potential fires are put out. Although your launch should go well through proper planning, it is best to be prepared for anything that can go wrong.
You’ve successfully launched your product! Now what? It’s time to keep the momentum around your product or service going. You’ve most like reached several new potential customers, but it often takes multiple touchpoints to convert these potential customers into sales. Your digital advertising should capture potential customers where they are in the purchasing process. Your email marketing should also work to nurture and retain customers.
Evaluate Your Campaign
Dig into your metrics to measure the success of your campaign. Where did your campaign succeed and fail? What did you not anticipate? What did you learn? Your launch campaign should give you a better understanding of your product’s lifecycle.
As a brand new product or service, your launch campaign serves as the introduction and education phase. How long do potential customers spend in this phase? Is there a specific trigger or offer that works best? Constant monitoring of your campaign and customer life cycle will help you to make informed decisions moving forward.
Focus on Retention
Your launch has most likely gained you a set of customers, which means it is time to add retention into your marketing strategy. In business, it’s known that retaining current customers is more cost-efficient than finding new ones. So, having a good strategy to keep the customers you gained is critical.
No two customer retention strategies will look the same. Depending on your product or service, your strategy could include email marketing, blog posts, webinars, case studies, or a weekly video series. Feel free to get creative, but be sure to focus on what will speak to your customer base.
We hope your biggest takeaway is the value of planning when it comes to a product launch. Having a digital media agency on your side ensures your product launch is as successful as possible. Our team knows that planning is just as crucial, if not more important than execution. From establishing the proper messaging, creating assets, managing your digital advertising, and securing media placements, the Integrate team has a seamless process to put together a solid launch plan.