You have the whole company against you. You’ve spent months of training and building up hype for this glorious new product that’s going to change the world, and now it’s come out and everyone either doesn’t want it or can’t use it. What’s a sane person to do? Hit the pause button and regroup? Or try an entirely different approach?
In my experience, companies that fail to launch a product in the U.S. are often the ones that are too focused on the product but that pay little attention to the launch plan. That is why I believe that launching a product is just as important as developing the product.
Here are some battle-tested launch tactics for a major new product
1. Research the market
In the first place, why introduce your product in this market?
Before you start any marketing campaign, it is necessary to collect information. Researching your target market will help you understand what questions need to be answered, how many people might be interested in your product or service and what sort of marketing message will be appealing. By understanding your audience you’ll be able to start developing a marketing plan that will put you in position to capture both great opportunities and good results.
2. Define your goals
Repeat customers are a powerful thing. Successful companies build their brands on repeat customers.
Going from zero to one hundred customers in a month isn’t easy, particularly if you’re a new start-up. But if you’re focusing on customer acquisition as a way to grow, you should be thinking about how you can get more customers.
In other words, break down your goal and identify each stage in the process where you’re gaining customers. Find out what’s working well and what needs improving in order to achieve further success.
3. How will you reach your goals?
It’s easy to launch a new product, and difficult to reach your goals. There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is people: time.
Once someone buys your product, they expect a performance immediately. They don’t want to wait a week or more for it to be built.
Once you master why you should launch the product in this market, determine what you aim to achieve and by when. The next step is deciding how you will reach those goals.
Strategy is a key element, and this is why it is critical to define your strategy only after you’ve set your goals.
4. How to implement your plan?
The key to successful product launch is anticipation. You have to know in advance what your goal is and how you’re going to get there.
You also need to create a plan for when the time comes to launch. Everything else flows from there.
Your customers expect something from you, so act on their expectations and communicate clearly what’s expected of them as a customer. Also, be prepared to interact with your customers in a way that makes them feel good about themselves – that’s part of being a good brand.
5. Measure your performance
Make a plan. Do a very early launch. Make a second plan. Do a third plan.
The best way to figure out if your service is going to be successful is to launch it and track your analytics regularly. Figure out which users are converting the least.
Are they really frustrated by the product? Are they waiting for something? Are they unhappy with the price? Are there other competitors offering better service? If so, their customers are probably getting a better deal elsewhere.