There’s always a new software or product launching in today’s ever-changing, fast-paced digital world and hoping to make traction. First impressions are extremely powerful, so it’s important to make a memorable impact. A successful product release marketing plan will capture your users’ attention and make a lasting impression.
Potential users will not buy a product if they don’t understand its purpose, capabilities, or benefits. People want to know exactly what they’re getting in return for your money, and they want to know quickly.
Every successful product release marketing plan will be unique according to its own set of goals, requirements, and limitations, but understanding the fundamentals of what will help make your product stand out and showcase the most important aspects.
Pre-launch product release marketing plan checklist
A product release marketing plan summarizes the ideas, activities, and processes used to release a new product in the market. This includes market and user research, beta testing plan, press releases, user onboarding plan, and more.
Market and competition research
There are endless options in today’s world, which means recruiting and onboarding new users can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome. Thoroughly research competitors and similar products currently available or solutions to the problem you are trying to solve. How do you fit into the competitive landscape? What makes you different from your competitors and current alternatives on the market? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and what are yours?
Coming up with an original idea or angel can feel daunting, but demonstrating and focusing on your x-factor will help demonstrate value and influence potential users to choose you instead of your competition.
Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential user base will likely already use an alternative solution. No matter what, having tactics to reach your target market, knowing what platforms and sales channels you plan on using is important. Having a different marketing and sales process than your competitors may be a key advantage.
The goal is to create a positive experience while fulfilling a user’s needs. Get clear on who your ideal customer is and the relative size of your target market. How do you position your company in the market to appeal to a specific user?
It’s important to focus on the end user’s overall experience and consider their perceptions, emotions, and responses to a company’s product, as opposed to focusing too heavily on the product itself.
Define a user portfolio or persona according to a specific demographic, including age, where they live, career, marital status, etc. Define their personality, traits, and interests. Are they creative? Outgoing? Environmentally conscious? And finally, what motivates them?
Well defined and useful personas take time to develop, and they may evolve and change over time as your business or users grow. The more specific you are, the better.
Customers aren’t interested in purchasing products from faceless corporations. People buy from people. Your brand messaging should reflect this notion. Connect with your audience on a fundamental and human level with consistent, targeted, and clear messaging.
Your goal is to provide your user with value. Avoid trendy styles, flashy features, or distracting buzzwords. Keep things conversational by providing clear and concise brand messaging that sound like themselves and their peers. Your users want to know the benefits, not the features of your service or product.
Benefits describe how it will directly improve your user’s life or meet their needs. For example, instead of featuring how many megabytes a device has, define how many songs, pictures, documents, etc. that will hold instead.
Consider your target market according to psychographics and demographics defined in your user persona. Using this information gathered will help strengthen your messaging and result in convincing, appealing, and relatable messaging. Don’t worry about getting this right the first time. As you move through the launching process, your messaging will evolve and improve.
Beta testing before a product release launch is a significant step as it provides insight into where the user encounters problems or experiences confusion. If several people encounter similar problems, it’s safe to say those aspects need more work.
- Ask your users to externalize thoughts and feelings while they interact with the prototype.
- Create a realistic environment where distractions are not eliminated
- Takes structured and unstructured notes, including what you see, hear, and the time they spend on a task.
- Make sure you record the session.
- Don’t explain or name specific buttons, elements, or concepts.
- Don’t guide or help the participant perform the task.
- Remain objective throughout and avoid jumping to conclusions
A beta test taps into how the user perceives the solution, rather than just the reasoning behind certain product features. It’s important to limit guidance and explanation, but enough to reduce any uncertainty. If a user doesn’t understand something without an explanation, then you need to consider a solution that will address that issue through your design.
During your beta test, it is also a great opportunity to review and improve your messaging and get some real-user feedback.
Like every aspect of your product release marketing plan requires a goal. A launch that lacks concrete or specific goals is not going to be as effective. Typically, they will align with your marketing campaign and business goals, and ultimately it comes down to getting leads.
Define your goals clearly, including key metrics, to help capture as many leads as possible. Think of a product launch as a powerful lead generation tool. Numbers don’t lie. When it comes to digital marketing and product launches, this is a golden rule to live by!
Choose the key indicators that require tracking. With endless analytics tools and data to track, it’s essential not to lose focus by measuring everything. Get clear on what you need to measure.
Write a rough draft press release early in the pre-product launch, and come back to it later to revise and improve on it. The goal of a press release is to tell your product story. When done well, it’ll engage and resonate with your users. It is typically broken down as follows:
Begin with the most important information: the what, where, when, and how.
In the middle, provide descriptions and secondary information.
End with a paragraph that describes the company and provides contact information.
There are several ways a well-written press release can be utilized:
- Send it to journalists.
- Link to it your social media platform of choice
- Publish it on your blog
Launching your product
Before you get into the launch, review your user’s journey. This will help ensure a smooth launch and positive user experience.
- How will users make purchase decisions?
- Do they require anything before purchasing the product offered?
- Are you offering a free trial? A demo? A promotional launching price?
- Who is the best person for them to speak with?
- How do you showcase value?
With this information, you can better outline your conversion path and user journey.
As you can see, putting together a successful product launch plan requires a lot of work and effort. If done well, the launching portion is much shorter and straight-forward. This can be anywhere from a single to a week.
Promotion and platforms
First things first, where are you going to promote your message? Consider who the product was created for, how it benefits those users, and the problem it solves for them. State the specifics in short snippets that resonate with your audience. The key is authentic content that aligns with your user. Avoid blasting every channel, and focus on refining your list down to the right platforms or channels. Will your users respond well to email, paid advertisement, or social media posts?
- Google Ads
Email marketing and newsletter is almost always a stellar way to connect with audiences. Set up a series of emails or drip campaigns that automatically sends emails based on specific timelines or user actions. The goal is to get your audiences excited about the launch, and some exclusive sneak peeks. Once you’ve launched, continue your email marketing campaign as a way to engage, and showcase key benefits.
Turn your launch into an event.
You don’t need your launch to be live or flashy to turn into an event. Rather, it’s all about capturing the essence of an in-person event to boost your launch. Leverage apps, host a webinar, or provide live social chat. Ultimately, you want to show customers, and the press live demos of the new product for an exclusive first look.
Organize your sales team
This is the time for your sales team to shine, so work with them to ensure they are organized and prepared for the launch. This will help capture more leads and create a better user experience.
As mentioned above, if you are running an event, create an organized system that ensures your sales team to speak with customers.
Ongoing product release marketing strategy
When you’ve developed and launched a new product or service, you want to ensure you have created the best experience. This will greatly increase the likelihood of creating loyal users and increases the chances that they will complete targeted or directed actions.
Create an organized go-to-market guide that includes all launch activities, planning, and goals in one place or document that is clear, complete, and easily shareable.
Creating your go-to-market-guide can include information about market research, pricing, competitive analysis, user personas, social media plans, and any relevant information that will help create a successful product release marketing plan after the launch.
Your releases should also include lots of how-to tutorials. You can create these using a free screen recorder or even a GIF maker. Also, look to use a screenshot tool to add imagery to all of your customer support help docs.
Another aspect to keep in mind is collecting and leveraging user feedback.
When you’re searching for a product, service, or company, you probably ask close friends, family members, or colleagues for recommendations. Alternatively, you may google reviews and testimonials.
Customer reviews and testimonials are hands-down the most effective lead generation techniques. This is one of the easiest and best parts as your satisfied customers will write this for you. It’s the difference between you telling someone about your strengths versus someone else singing your praises.
Provide satisfied customers an opportunity, and an incentive, to leave a review. Ensure testimonials are front and center of your ongoing product release marketing strategy.
Image Credit: Oladimeji Ajegbile; Pexels