Developing and launching a new product are two distinct actions. You might have gone through the exciting development process with a consulting firm, but have no clear strategy yet for getting that shiny new object into the hands of your target customers.
A successful launch begins with the right timing. While it comes with a sense of urgency, a rush to market could spell disaster. Careful planning and strategy must be met with precision. Here are 15 steps that you'll want to put into your game plan:
1. Create a Timeline
There is rarely a "perfect" go-to-market date, so commit to one that makes sense with your business production schedule. Create deadlines for each step along your timeline and make every effort to hit those targets.
2. Focus on one buyer persona
Understand your targets. Revisit previously conducted market research to your largest buyer's preferences and challenges for your solution.
3. Write a Mock Press Release
To stay on track, write a mock press release at the beginning stage of your plan. Draft a release that tells the public everything you hope to achieve and work towards making that news a reality. Here are some free press release templates to help you get started.
4. Start Creating Your Unique Message
A successful message covers more than just features and benefits. It needs to be unique, simple, short, and attention grabbing. The message should tell potential buyers in 10 words or less what problem you're going to solve.
5. Test Your Message and Your Solution
Test your message with anyone who will listen. Make sure that the message is clear and convincing.
6. Make Adjustments as Needed
If your message isn't quite where it needs to be or if you find some flaws, now is the time to make adjustments. Make sure that your tagline is catchy and not confusing. Once you have these key items nailed down, you're one step closer to success.
7. Set Your Launch Goals
Determine your most realistic, best-case sales goals in writing in the event that everything goes perfectly. Also, consider some middle-of-the-road numbers and break-even numbers to recoup your new product development costs.
8. Create Offers and a Sales Funnel
Consider creating a free trial or a one-time discount that is exclusive to the event. When buyers feel a sense of urgency, they'll be more likely to jump on board. This is also the time to create your landing page and sales funnel.
9. Establish Sales Contracts
The legal aspect of design and development is critical to the launch. Involve both your sales and legal team in creating the right sales contracts for what you're bringing to market.
10. Determine Your Pricing Structure
Price has an enormous impact on the success of the event. Of course, you'll want to recoup your design and development costs, but it can't be to the detriment of sales. Research how your price stacks up against your competition.
Consider these questions: If you are charging more, can you justify the increase? Have you put price incentives in place for the event and made it clear that those discounts are for "a limited time" only?
11. Create Videos and Demos Where Appropriate
More than ever, we have become a visual society. Search Engine Watch reports on a survey revealing that 73% of consumers rely on videos to make buying decisions. If you haven't made videos for promotions, now is the time to do this. Also, video demonstrations are an excellent marketing tool.
12. Generate Buzz Before the Event
With social media as a tool, you can now spend weeks or even months creating a "buzz". Use Facebook Ads to target users of competitor's goods with "leaked" photos of what you'll be revealing. You can also leverage Twitter and even Snapchat with "coming soon" messages and videos.
13. Go to Market Through Multiple Channels
Carefully consider your channel distribution in your go-to-market strategy. Some channels might not be the right pick for your audience, so closely examine the habits of that buyer persona that you've chosen to target. For example, if they are primarily LinkedIn users, Snapchat is a waste of time. You might have a better response with a LinkedIn Pulse publication, some press releases, and other online ads.
14. Provide Sales Training and Promote Heavily
As your make progress, be make sure that you coordinate with both your internal and external sales team. As leads come in, quickly respond and convert those leads into sales. If you've decided to run an unveiling event, either online or in-person, have salespeople waiting in the wings to handle questions. It's also a good idea to provide demonstrations at these events.
15. Keep Up the Momentum
Develop quick start material to aid adoption with the target audience but don't forget about your potential buyers that will keep you in the back of their mind as someone who could solve their problems. It's important that you keep moving these potential buyers through your sales funnel with follow-up calls, emails, webinar invitations and informative blog posts.
Go-to-market execution is the culmination of your work through the design and development process. Once you've successfully unveiled your product, take the time to assess your strategy and results as well as take the best care possible of that group of new clients.
Do you have some great product launch tips that you don't see in this blog? Please add your comments below, we'd love to hear what works in your organization.