4 Tips for a Successful Product Launch
Product launches are like the Super Bowl for marketing departments, with a lot of anticipation, preparation, and the full attention of the company. Not only that, but there is usually a healthy budget to support the launch, the marketing team is unencumbered by the baggage of past efforts, and it lets the team flex their creative muscles.
A successful product launch has the potential to lift the spirits of the entire company and bolster the bottom line. Not to mention it has the potential to change the career trajectory of those in the marketing department. On the other hand, a launch that falls flat can set everything back and result in a lot of finger pointing, most prominently at the marketing efforts.
At SCG we’ve been involved in countless product launches and offer these four tips to ensure your next one is a success.
#1 Develop Creative, Benefit-Driven Messaging
Our team often talks about the importance of developing your messaging before your strategy. Although this is a different approach than most companies and agencies take, it’s important. The very first step is to define your target audience, what their problems are, and how this new product or service can help them solve it. Only after you understand that can you craft creative messages that truly resonate with your intended audience, break through your competitors’ claims and move prospects through the continuum of awareness to interest and trial. Here is a sample of creative messaging helped Mate Precision Technologies successfully launch their new product.
#2 Use an Integrated Marketing Strategy
A successful launch needs multiple tactics and channels to reach and convert your audience. That’s not to say you need everything plus the kitchen sink, but your audience won’t learn about your new product or service solely through social media, a YouTube video, or a Google search. Don’t make the mistake of only going digital with your efforts. Yes, it might be cheaper, but a successful product launch meets your audience in multiple channels. Success is measured by more than money saved.
Speaking of which, traditional offline channels are effective. Particularly in a B2B setting, your audience attends tradeshows and reads relevant trade magazines. Print ads, direct mail, printed collateral, and well-placed media coverage go a long way in surrounding your audience with information about your product or service.
#3 Have High Quality Images and Video Available
Compelling images and video are crucial to a successful product launch. Your social media, advertising and media relations efforts will all be improved with a full array of professional photos. This is not the place to cut corners by having someone in the department with “a nice camera” take photos. This is the time to engage a professional photographer. Be sure that your company owns the rights to the photos you have taken, or the stock photos you have downloaded.
#4 Measure and Improve
Whether it’s leads, website traffic, social media interactions, search rankings, form submission, media hits, or purchase orders, there are multiple ways to monitor and measure the success of a product launch. Agencies and their clients need to determine key objectives in advance, and then work hand-in-hand to evaluate the performance of the tactics and make adjustments. Direct feedback from the sales reps is crucial at this point and should be shared with your agency. Most sales reps are happy to be asked and even happier to provide feedback. After all, you’re helping to make their job easier.
If you are looking for a full game plan for your next product launch, give us a call. We can help you develop these four fundamental aspects to create a winning strategy.