Complete checklist for making a successful product launch – WAU
Introducing a product to the market involves 3 fundamental steps: before, during and after launch. Practices such as establishing a persona and concise marketing planning are essential for the success of the strategy. In this product launch checklist, we address these and other key points.
(Click on the player to hear the narration of our post! Leave your comments in the comments.)
Think of a product that has revolutionized the market. It could be the first smartphone launched by Apple, the Kindle, or even the Sony Walkman, a pioneer in portable media.
Whatever your choice, the fact is that, if the accessory was successful enough to be remembered at this point, it had much more than the novelty factor.
Regardless of the quality and potential to spark consumer interest, the success of inserting a product on the market depends on a well-structured strategy before, during and after its launch.
Neglecting the importance of this process can mean an unexpected failure, in addition to directly affecting the finances and credibility of the brand.
However, there is no reason to fear. In this article, we have prepared a veritable product launch checklist so that you can learn about all the steps involved.
In addition, we have listed valuable tips to optimize the process and ensure the success of the venture. Come on?
How to organize the pre-launch?
Planning for a product launch starts some time before it is actually introduced to the market. We call pre-launch everything that happens in the period between the approval of the idea and its implementation.
In this phase, it is essential that the marketing manager seeks to understand everything about the item, profoundly mastering its attributes and the problem that it seeks to solve for the persona.
Therefore, it is essential that you join the product manager – if one exists in your company – and accompany you throughout the stage. Ask all the questions you think are necessary, make suggestions, understand the reasons for the item to be considered a good investment and be present in possible tests with users.
All of this aims to make you a true product specialist and, therefore, qualified to conduct your launch campaign. Below, we will present the main steps inserted in the pre-launch phase.
Establish a buyer persona
The persona is nothing more than a semi-formal profile of the customer that you consider ideal for your business.
It is quite common for a company to have more than one persona, after all, a business can choose to segment the audience to be reached according to the characteristics presented by its different services and products.
That said, this is our first tip: focus on a single buyer persona. Even if you work with 2, 20 or 200 of these characters, try to understand which one is more likely to be interested and eventually consume what you have to offer.
If you go the other way, you may encounter problems developing a concise strategy.
If you do not have any type of persona, it is good not to waste time. Even when it comes to a semi-skilled profile, its development can take a few weeks of planning.
That’s because demographic studies, interviews with people who fit the profile and consumer research are necessary to make the result closer to reality.
Once the persona that will be the target of your disclosure has been established, it is time to look from a more general perspective: is the market ready for its novelty?
Conduct a market study
Market research is a more extensive process than the previous one. It is not enough to look at the current scenario – it is necessary to observe the variations for some time to obtain a reliable base of information.
With that in mind, set aside at least a month for this step. In the end, you should be ready to answer questions like the ones we list below.
- What do consumers think about the market?
- What do they like and what don’t they like?
- Is it in the process of growing or slowing down?
- What strategies are used by the competition?
- What is the difference of your company in relation to the others?
- How would the new product fit into such a scenario?
With a complete understanding of this information, it is possible to take the next step and define which indicators will be used to measure, in an agile way, the first reactions to the product launch, enabling the measurement of its results and the correction of any deviations in the strategy.
Decide which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be
In free translation, KPIs are key performance indicators. More important than using them to measure your campaign’s performance, is knowing exactly which are relevant and which do not need to be taken into account.
For this, it is essential to understand that KPIs must be extended to all departments, from the production of the item to the sales team.
Once you already know which persona you want to target and understand the characteristics of the market, you already have the necessary information to enable the definition of indicators. Therefore, a meeting involving representatives from all sectors of the company may already be enough to mark this stage as completed.
Some of the KPIs frequently used in the product launch process are:
- number of consumers who purchased the goods;
- percentage of customers declared satisfied;
- profit generated from sales in a pre-established period;
- market share achieved after a certain period.
Rehearse the press announcement
This technique is used by retail giants like Amazon, which often surprises everyone with the launch of new products.
In an interview, the company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, stated that his pre-launch strategy starts at the end, to then contemplate other factors. What does this mean in practice?
The product manager writes a press release as if the product is ready to be announced, even if it is far from it.
The text is spread to other collaborators, who, when reading its content, gain greater knowledge about the characteristics of the product. In this way, little by little, the idea is being conceived in everyone’s head, bringing the novelty to the collective imagination of the company.
In addition to seeking the alignment of all sectors in relation to the product, this is an excellent technique to test the success of the merchandise before its launch.
The press release should have enough to pique the reader’s interest. If this is not achieved in the first version, alternatives will be created until reaching the ideal model.
You may be interested in these other content on e-commerce and management!
Seed launch: how to promote a product that has not been launched
Launch Formula: understand what Erico Rocha is and who he is
Erico Rocha: what’s the story of the digital launch specialist
Affiliate Launch: Step by Step for Successful Launch
Prepare the market for launch
Depending on the characteristics of your product, it is possible that the persona is not sufficiently educated to understand its advantages.
This situation happens especially with innovative items or that seek to replace one already recognized in the market, and can be reversed with the use of a good content marketing strategy.
This marketing approach differs from the traditional one in that: instead of reaching out to the customer, she works in ways to attract them. How is this possible? An essential step is to employ good SEO practices and, thus, enhance the brand authority and rank among the first Google results.
To prepare the persona for your product, content marketing works with 3 steps: attraction, consideration and decision. All of them are based on the production of qualified material and relevant to the interests of the audience.
In the first, the objective is to make the reader identify the problem so that, in the second, he begins to consider his company as a viable solution. The moment of decision, also called the funnel fund, deals with the final conversion of a reader to a consumer.
How to achieve success on launch day?
With the pre-launch stage complete, it’s time to deal with the long-awaited launch day. Usually, this phase lasts much less than the previous one.
Since most of the preparations have already been covered in the pre-launch, a week or two should be enough to execute what remains. Next, we will clarify each of the steps to be followed to ensure a successful launch.
Start product promotion
Remember that one of the pre-launch steps was the rehearsal of the press announcement? With the release date approaching, the press release should have already been tested and improved. Thus, the time has come to abandon the essay and, in fact, start disclosure.
Here, timing is very important. After all, you don’t want the launch announcement to be released a month in advance or at the last minute.
It is essential that the interested public has enough time to prepare for the occasion, but not to forget it. Therefore, when submitting the press release, be sure to include the intended release date.
Another important factor is the intelligent choice of communication channels to be triggered. It is useless to gather as many vehicles as possible if the audience of part of them is not even similar to your persona, which means wasted efforts. So, select those with the greatest potential to reach the audience you want.
Invest in email launch
An email marketing campaign allows you to send personalized messages to a highly targeted audience.
Remember when we talked about content marketing as a solution to educate the persona about your product? So, it is also a great tool for generating leads that can be nurtured by email messages.
Thus, in addition to the possibility of mobilizing customers who are already known by the brand to create expectations about the launch, you gain the opportunity to trigger completely new contacts.
To make the process even more efficient, we suggest using a marketing automation. Thus, in addition to having customizable templates, your company has greater control over the content sent to each contact and can measure the result of messages, in order to optimize the conversion rate.
Make the launch an event
If you are interested in news in the technology area, you have certainly followed news about launch conferences organized by giants like Sony, Apple and Microsoft.
Much more than presenting the features of the products, these events serve to generate a strong engagement with the public and, above all, spread the news in the media involved in the coverage.
Of course, depending on the size of your company and the budget available, a large event can be a distant possibility.
But do not worry! The era of digital transformation that we are experiencing enables very creative solutions to overcome these problems and make a memorable launch.
It is possible, for example, to perform a live on your YouTube channel or on your profiles on social networks.
Lives are excellent opportunities to generate engagement with the public, increase the authority of the company and reach a large number of people at a considerably low cost.. Another tip is to invite members of the press and loyal customers to conduct a face-to-face test of the product.
Seek collaboration from digital influencers
Digital influencers are profiles on the internet that have a wide audience reach. Naturally, they deal with a segmented audience that gives their opinions extreme importance.
Thus, it is not difficult to conclude that the recommendation of one of these influencers can be more efficient than many other forms of advertising.
Before launching the product, make a list of the influencers that arouse the most interest in your persona and select those that best fit your product category.
An example of this is the London soccer team Flamengo, which joined funk singers – fans of the club – to announce the new uniforms of the season.
With the profile properly defined, it is possible to work in a partnership. In it, the role of the influencer is to publicize the products on their networks, in addition to using their reach to boost hashtags linked to the campaign. It is preferable that the action is done in a way that suggests spontaneity.
The role of the company varies according to the partner’s requirements. Accounts that are highly engaged may charge a commission, while less significant accounts may be content with first-hand access to the product.
What to do in the post-launch?
With the product already launched and purchased by the first consumers, it is time to change the focus of your attention. Preparations come out and analyzes and corrections enter. The steps mentioned below start on the first day after launch and last as long as you feel necessary.
Analyze your KPIs
Here, we find one of the topics listed in the pre-launch stage. Before starting to market the product, your company must define which metrics will be used to measure the results.
This is the time to start analyzing performance indicators to identify strengths and weaknesses, in order to optimize the strategy.
It is crucial to evaluate the profit obtained in the first days of sale and calculate ROI, which stands for return on investment. That way, you have a chance to understand whether your approach to the product is working or whether you need to move to one that is more economically viable.
Analysis of KPIs also provides valuable insights into consumer preferences. For example, if most of your sales were made over the internet, it is worth focusing on this channel to carry out promotions and future disclosures.
Don’t interrupt your marketing activities
It is essential that marketing efforts are maintained so that your company can take full advantage of the effect that the launch of a new product has on consumers.
It is possible that a large part of the people affected by your promotions are not ready to purchase the product until it gains some space in the market.
This means that strategies that seek to educate the persona, such as feeding blogs, newsletters and social networks must continue at full throttle..
To renew your energies, work with different formats. Produce, for example, a longer video to talk about the product launch and gather testimonials from satisfied customers.
These testimonies can be collected with a very important technique: the sales follow up. Get in touch with customers and ask about product satisfaction. This contact can be made by phone, email or even social networks. The channel you choose must match your persona preferences.
In addition to positive testimonials, the follow up can lead to consumer criticism. It’s not a problem. This feedback is very important for you to adjust flaws and improve the customer experience.
Focus on customer retention
If the key to igniting your marketing department was linked to publicizing and attracting customers, it is time to turn it to retain and retain customers.
So never stop paying attention to people who have already purchased your products. When they are satisfied, they have a good chance of doing business with you again and can still become real brand advocates.
When you finish reading this product launch checklist, you must have understood that it is necessary to pay attention to the three strategic steps to achieve the desired success.
It is important to remember key points, such as using a single buyer persona and defining metrics to be used to analyze the success of the launch.
In addition, having a well-designed and persona-focused marketing plan is one of the main foundations for spreading a new product on the market.
So, ready to launch your product and conquer space in the market? Throughout the text, we mention that one of the factors to reach the goal is the definition of a persona.
How about going deeper into the subject? Here, we offer a complete material to guide the creation of personas for your business. Check out!