A new product or service launch is perhaps the most adrenalin-pumping engagement for a marketer. Rock hard deadlines, stakeholders from multiple functions and levels within the organization and the attention from market, competition and clients leaves zero scope for errors. You just have to get it right. Here are some best practices for a successful launch from a self-proclaimed launch specialist!
Have a Project Plan in Place: A launch is a complex engagement involving stakeholders from multiple levels within and outside the organization. Solution leads, delivery teams, business leads, senior management, corporate communications, media relations, analyst relations, social media, internal communications-it really can’t get bigger than this. With so many touch points and dependencies, it’s hard to not miss something unless you have it well documented for reference. A detailed project plan is a good place to start from.
Identify Dependencies and Risks Early: A press release held up at the last minute because the senior executive who had to sign off is travelling is a perfect example of how poor planning can impact your launch. Identify dependencies and potential risks early in the engagement and have mitigation strategies in place. List the key activities, checkpoints and individuals concerned, give them a heads up about impending tasks or approvals coming their way, ensure their availability or identify alternate contacts who can support you on their behalf. Make sure all potential risks are identified and covered.
Focus on Internal Awareness Too: Of course, a launch is primarily targeted at people outside the organization-media, analysts, customers and the industry in general. But creating a buzz within the organization is equally important. Your sales executives are your best friends who will take the newly launched product or solution to the customers. The employees of your organization can be your most vocal advocates, taking the new offering to a wider section of the market. So, never ignore the internal audience as you go about creating a buzz outside.
Don’t Lose Sight of Revenue Goals: Your press release may get the most number of organic pickups, your social media posts may become a rage and the analysts just can’t stop talking about how wonderful your solution is. Great! But if your offering does not generate revenue for the organization, all this amounts to nothing. While you are busy planning for the launch, never lose sight of the revenue goals associated with the offering. A launch is primarily focused on creating awareness, but your launch plan should organically blend with demand generation tactics that can reap maximum returns from the attention and the investment and bring new business for the company.
Stress-Proof Yourself : Understand that despite the best planning and project management, last minute glitches do happen. Someone fell sick, an asset took more time to complete than planned because someone’s laptop crashed, an analyst did not provide that quote you had hinged your hopes on- it’s all a part of the game and there is ALWAYS a way out too. It’s important to stay calm and focused and not let panic attacks and blame games derail the launch. Expect and be mentally prepared for things to go wrong and have some powerful stress busters in place to see you through these incidents.
Hope these tips and tricks help you equip yourself better for that upcoming launch. Get ready to make headlines! The countdown begins – ten, nine, eight, seven…