After more than a decade helping companies introduce products and services to the market, we’ve learned there are five critical steps to rocking a launch.
Step 1: Bring on beta users and listen to their feedback.
Your product doesn’t need to be perfect in the testing phase, but it should be close enough that the reactions from early customers will give you a solid idea of how the market will receive your product. The information you gather during this phase will create the foundation for your marketing program.
Step 2: Create buzz - even if you're not ready to reveal everything yet.
Give industry analysts a sneak peek of what you’re up to. Introduce yourself and your company to the media as expert sources on the problem you plan to solve. Engage with influencers on social media. All of these actions will help you create relationships that foster early and consistent awareness in the market.
Step 3: Be authentic and accept feedback.
While you’re in stealth mode, you’ll feel protective of your product and your company. It can be hard to show vulnerability and accept constructive criticism at this stage, but as part of the product-building process, your team will make mistakes. Take the opportunity to identify areas for improvement before launch.
Step 4: Test, measure, and analyze your marketing efforts. Repeat often.
Establish measurement standards, and make sure you have the data to pivot messaging and tactics when necessary – but don’t get too caught up in the numbers. For example, one awesome piece of coverage in a publication your target audience regards highly can generate more leads than five articles in low-tier publications.
Step 5: Time your moment.
You only get to launch once, so do it right. Finalize marketing assets and collateral – make sure your website, press release, data sheets, customer testimonials and case studies are ready for a lot of eyeballs. Finally, set your launch date so the right people will be around to see the news and you’ll be available to provide commentary at a moment’s notice.