Because there are so many moving parts in this process, bringing your product to market can be intimidating and tricky.
To help you, we’ve come up with a step-by-step checklist for a successful product launch and gathered the best product launch tips from a HubSpot Product Marketer.
Plus, we’ll review how to know when to delay a product launch.
Whether you call it “market research,” or “customer development” it’s key to learn about what drives your customer. Identifying their goals, motivations, and pain points could lead you to developing and marketing a valuable solution.
You don’t need to perform years of intense research to learn about your customer. In fact, we suggest just talking to 12 to 15 current or prospective customers.
When speaking to them, pay extra attention when they start sentences with “I wish a product did this function…” or “Why can’t products do this?” When they give these statements, respond with questions that go deeper, like “Can you get more specific about that?” If they don’t bring up any pain points, ask them a few specific questions that will encourage them to give deeper answers.
These conversations will give you a solid idea of what their biggest pain points are and how you can market a solution to them. Once you learn these key details about your customers, you can develop a buyer persona that your team can focus on serving.
Write out a statement that can clearly and concisely answer these three questions:
If you’d like to go even deeper, create a statement that answers the following questions:
Still need more guidance on how to write a positioning statement? Check out this template.
Once you’ve established your position statement, present it to stakeholders in your company so they are all on the same page.
If your employees have a hard time buying into the product, your customers might as well. If your team loves it, that might be a great sign that the product launch will go well.
This is the strategy that you will use to launch and promote your product. While some businesses prefer to build a funnel strategy, others prefer the flywheel approach.
Regardless of which method you choose, this process contains many moving parts. To create an organized strategy for launching your product, it can be helpful to use a template, like this one.
As you create the strategy, also start considering which type of content you’ll use to attract a prospective customer’s attention during the awareness, consideration, and purchase decision stage. You’ll need to produce this content in the next step.
Before you get started on the implementing your strategy, make sure you write down your goals for the launch.
Alex Girard, a Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot, says, “Create specific goals for the launch’s success. Keeping these goals in mind will help you focus your efforts on launch tactics that will help you achieve those goals.”
For example, the goals of your product launch could be to effectively establish a new product name, build awareness, or create sales opportunities.
One of the best ways to set goals for your launch team is to write them out like SMART goals. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
After planning out your go-to-market strategy and writing your SMART goals, start producing content that will support and align with those promotional efforts. This can include blog posts related to your product or industry, demos and tutorials, and landing pages.
Our go-to-market template will also help you determine which content you should create for each phase of your prospective customer’s buyer’s journey.
Be sure that your company and key stakeholders are ready for you to launch and begin marketing the product. Communicate with the company through internal presentations, Slack, or email to keep your company in-the-know of your launch plan.
Once you’ve completed all the above steps, you can launch the product.
After you launch your product, track how the go-to-market strategy is performing. Be prepared to pivot or adjust aspects of your plan if they aren’t going smoothly.
Additionally, don’t forget about the goals you set before the launch. See how well you did achieving those goals. If the launch didn’t meet expectations, you can rethink your go-to-market strategy and adjust from there.
To learn the best practices for a successful product launch, I talked to Alex Girard again.
The HubSpot Product Marketing Manager said he had three main tips for a successful product launch:
However, sometimes, external factors might impact your ability to launch a product. When that happens, you might need to delay your launch.
To understand when, and why, you might hold off on a product launch, Girard told me there are three key reasons why you might want to delay a product launch, including:
If you’re looking for templates to coordinate your team efforts and align your company around your new product’s messaging, download our free product marketing kit below.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 7, 2020 5:07:00 PM, updated April 08 2020