In case your product team is usually working on the next big thing , there should be an equally amazing promotion strategy to distribute the word.
Although some companies are guilty of creating a press release, traversing their fingers, plus hoping that the customers will come, there’s in fact much more to it compared to that.
Quite simply: If you have big news, you need a big strategy. And that’s where your own product launch marketing and advertising plan comes in.
From establishing the proper messaging and producing the assets to enabling your sales force and keeping energy, there’s a lot that goes into putting together a great product launch program.
At HubSpot, I work on the item marketing team, and we’re responsible for releasing all of HubSpot’s new products. Our experience indicates us that there are three distinct phases of a product launch: the particular pre-launch, the start, and the post-launch.
Before you launch, take the time to obtain really close to the item. Work with your item team to understand the issue they are trying to solve. Join them as they do users lab tests. Chat with them about their product philosophy. And most of all, request a ton of questions — especially if you’re unfamiliar with the space.
Concentrate on understanding their eyesight and becoming a product expert. Outside of the product manager, the marketing expert launching the product ought to be the most knowledgeable person at your company about this product.
Simply by understanding the product and performing market research, you can actually align your messages strategy with the product. The primary goal will be to bridge the gap between what the prospects’ pains are and what the competition is not doing to address them.
The pre-launch stage also includes the necessary promotion preparing as you decide:
- Where you are going to advertise (e. g. search engines like google, social media, traditional channels)
- Where you’ll promote your information organically (e. g. social media, blog, website website, events)
- How you’ll get picked up by media stores (i. e. your PAGE RANK strategy and mass media outreach)
- Who you’ll depend on to spread the term (e. g. partners, areas, forums, third-party marketplaces)
During the pre-launch phase, you’ll have decided what channels to promote on, established relationships along with any partners who will help you do so, plus created the resources that will draw attention to your messaging on these channels.
The launch phase is simply the delivery of all your preparing. This phase is a lot shorter than pre-launch: it can take a day, or a week — based on how long you feel you require.
As you prepare to move on to the launch, you want to stay focused for the work and be ready to put out any fires.
The work isn’t over simply because the product is definitely launched. In the post-launch phase, you’ll do a retrospective, pulling jointly the data to determine what went well and what didn’t go therefore well.
In addition , a product still needs to be maintained and improved upon above its launch, taking into account customer feedback in order to preserve adoption and preservation.
This is, naturally , a high-level introduction to a product launch. However , there are some specific tactical things that you can do to assist your launch set off without a hitch.
one Research the space in-depth.
At most companies, the product manager will own the problem the fact that product solves. They will have a deep knowledge of who the end-user is and what their unique needs are.
The product marketer’s work is to understand the market. They must be able to answer questions like:
- What’s the larger story around this space?
- How do current clients feel about it?
- What do people like and dislike?
- Is it growing plus cutting edge or old and achieving disrupted?
- Do you know the leading strategies plus tactics in this room?
- What is your company’s unique perspective when it comes to this area?
- How does your product fit in?
2 . Focus on a single buyer persona.
You may not have to reinvent an existing customer persona, but you should outline who amongst your target audience is an excellent fit for this cool product. What kind of challenges do they have? How do they will work? How big is their team? Talk to folks who fit this user profile to really understand their needs and goals.
If you need assist organizing this information, take a look at these buyer identity templates or this particular handy tool.
3. Write a mock press release.
At HubSpot, all of us write a mock press release before we launch an item. We do this quite early on in the product’s life to ensure that everybody involved in the launch is aligned on the messages.
To give you a better sense of how this exercise unfolds, here’s an example:
But we’re not the only real ones practicing this approach. In fact , the folks on Amazon use this exercise, too. The idea is that when you work backward and start with the press release, it’s easier to place yourself in the customer’s shoes.
If the press release doesn’t audio very interesting or even fails to conjure a chemical reaction, it’s likely that there are more work to become done.
(Need some help getting started here? Check out these types of free press release themes. )
4. Build your messaging — but don’t get married to it.
Messaging or positioning is mostly about refining your own product narrative to focus on only the most valuable aspects of the new product via a simple message.
This is tough.
Most product individuals have the urge to connect how great person features are –something you want to avoid in launch messaging. In launch, you may only have someone’s attention for a couple minutes or seconds, so your messaging must be persuasive, simple, plus unique. It needs in order to communicate what your own product actually does and connect its high-level worth.
You want to get this right, but do not over-commit to messages. It can (and should) change as you talk about your messaging with internal folks plus customers.
Aspects of good position frequently include:
- A tagline
- The problem it solves
- A list of core functions
- The value prop
- A 10-word positioning statement
In the screenshot over you can see some of these elements in action on the HubSpot Ads product web page.
5. Talk about your messaging along with everyone.
It is time to take the messaging you’ve been slaving over and get it in front of your co-workers, clients, and prospects.
This is often the least fun part of a product start. Mainly because no matter how good your positioning can be, it takes time to obtain the pitch down, and not everyone will get this.
It’s good to start with individuals who may be a little more forgiving and honest before presenting to executives. Make use of every meeting in order to pitch people and inquire questions. You want to gather as much info as you possibly can here and underlying out any complicated or bad text messages.
6. Get involved in the beta.
Having a group of beta testers evaluate your product before you release it to the community is a really important step. At HubSpot, all of us release products to a group of folks — our beta testers — that have opted-in to give us suggestions in exchange for earlier access.
In case your company does this, make sure you are talking to the customers using the device in the beta. Capture their stories, evaluation their performance, and validate your worth prop with them. This is your opportunity to test your messaging and create real-world proof to aid your pitch by having an audience that is ready to share feedback.
7. Change your messaging and find the best hook.
After speaking with prospects and salespeople, and seeing exactly how beta users make use of the product, it’s most likely that you’ve uncovered a few things about your messaging that you might want to change. That’s good.
If you’ve done stuff right, this won’t mean drastic modifications, but most likely a tweak to the worth prop or tagline.
8. Arranged ambitious goals.
You need to be deliberate and ambitious with the objectives you set, and that can be challenging when you have a brand new product without benchmarks. To combat that will, we ask problem: “If everything went exactly right, very best highest possible number — whether that end up being leads, users, etc . — we could accomplish? ”
This particular sets a ceiling for your campaign — a number that is reasonably almost never achieved.
If I project that this highest possible number of prospective customers the campaign can generate is five hundred, and I end up with 400, I know we got just about everything right. If I generate 550 network marketing leads, it means I probably didn’t do a great job of setting a realistic ceiling. And if we all only generate 300 leads, we know some tactics didn’t work at all.
The image below can be a useful slide as part of your go-to-market plan:
9. Take the time to get the market ready.
If you’re releasing a new product that enters your company into a new space — potentially a space exactly where your company doesn’t have a lot of authority — start creating content about that space pre-launch.
You’ll want to seed this content for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION purposes and to create your company as experts in the market. It’ll also give you a chance to discover what kind of content resonates prior to the launch, as well as help you surface any issues.
10. Build compelling creative assets.
At this point, you’re close to start and it’s time for you to start building launch assets. But before you start composing emails or creating landing pages, consider the customer journey:
- How do people make purchase decisions inside your space?
- So what do they need before buying?
- Is it a free trial? A demo?
- Is it best for them to talk to a salesperson?
- What do they need to know before they get to that point?
Once you have answered those questions, outline your transformation path. How will you initial get people’s attention? Perhaps it’s a message, that drives individuals to a landing page, where users are encouraged to fill out a form.
After you have this, get to work building the actual types, site pages, movies, social posts, emails, and other tactics which will drive users lower your funnel and also to your conversion stage.
(If you are thinking about inspiration, check out this particular list of the best promotional product videos coming from ever seen. )
11. Set up your go-to-market technique.
All the components I’ve mentioned need to come together in a outdoor patio or a doc — something that is clear, full, and easily shareable.
This is your own go-to-market guide: A holistic document of all release activities, planning, and goals. This can consist of pricing recommendations, market research, competitive analysis, plus any other relevant info you might need.
12. Choose the right stations.
During the planning phase, you should have layed out the channels you would like to use to share your own message. This is not the “the more the particular merrier” sort of factor — a mistake new product marketers often make.
Be sure to prevent channels where the viewers may not be the right suit. Pick one main approach — an event, a Product Hunt post, or blog post — plus use email, social, paid, and other channels to support that primary post.
For instance , in 2018, we all launched HubSpot’s free email marketing tools on Product Hunt. We choose Product Hunt because it serves as a great way designed for startups and technologies companies to introduce new products to a neighborhood of product-centric influencers.
Before you launch, do a final verify to ensure that everything functions — buttons are functioning, forms work, copy and creative looks good, and so on.
If you’re at an event, make sure you’re over-communicating with your team. At this point, anything that can be wrong will go wrong. Be prepared for that.
13. Activate your sales team.
Use your sales team to coordinate meetings plus outreach the day from the launch, or straight after. And make use of signals from your marketing efforts to drive the most popular leads to sales immediately.
If you running an event, make sure your sales team has the opportunity to talk to customers in an structured way. That might imply ensuring there is a comfortable space for them to meet with customers, computer entry, or a system designed for booking meetings.
14. Make it a celebration.
Even if your own launch isn’t the live event with speakers, you can still make it an occasion.
Host a webinar or Hangout Upon Air, do a Reddit AMA, or try out a live social chat. Leverage applications for startups to control and host events for free. (Here’s the helpful guide to enable you to get started on the right track with Facebook Live. ) Invite influencers to look at your product. Bring customers and push into your office for any live demo of the new product from your product team.
Whatever you do, strive for a good in-person element. It’ll help propel your own launch even further.
15. Do not lose your momentum.
You’ll reach a lot of people with your start, but it often requires several touchpoints before someone is certain to start a trial or even get a demo. Be sure to continue to move people who’ve raised their own hands as “interested but not ready to buy” down your channel.
This means nurturing emails, free trials, demos, and more in-depth, product-focused webinars plus activities. Build extra creative, like a longer video or social media marketing posts that you can save for after the start. This will give you refreshing assets to share.
And don’t forget about teaching your sales team. It will require a while before all of your salespeople feel comfortable with this new product, so it is important to arm these amazing sales security (demo video, one-pagers, etc . ).
Beyond that, you can make a big impact simply by joining their phone calls: Getting on the phone plus pitching the product with these the first couple of instances will give them the confidence they need to carry the torch.
16. Revisit your “go-to-market” doc for confirming.
With all the work that’s going into start, you don’t wish to have to retroactively figure out what to report upon. If you’ve done a good job with your go-to-market doc, you should be capable of create a new glide and fill in your own results with true numbers.
As soon as you’ve had a little more time away from your own launch, spend some time analyzing the results. Where do your campaign succeed and fail? What did you fail to anticipate? What did you learn? Blog post these to your inner wiki or as being a public blog post.
17. Shift your own focus on retention.
Now that you’ve successfully launched a new item, shift your focus on retention. Marketing may generally play a larger role in generating new users, yet it’s important to use your product group to figure out how you can help to keep those users close to.
This means a lot more ongoing education like post-launch product training calls, as well as sharing case studies and successes to show your customers what they can achieve along with your product.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been up-to-date for freshness, precision, and comprehensiveness.