Your company has developed a new product, innovation or line and you’re ready to launch. The trick to launching a new product or innovation in today’s market centers around the success of your online launch efforts.
We’ve outlined the eight key elements of a product launch plan to increase your odds of a successful new product or innovation launch:
- Discover your “what’s in it for me?” position. To gain the attention of any potential customer, you must first provide them with the answer to their main question, which is “what’s in it for me?” Regardless of the product or new innovation, if it doesn’t connect with the end user and offer a benefit to their needs, your product or innovation will be destined to fail.
- Grow your user base. Obviously, the most critical element to growth is to create and grow your customer user base. Regardless of their size, every new customer counts, plays a pivotal role and is important to your overall success. Quite often smaller customers become larger, longstanding consumers as your brand relationship develops and grows over the years. Newer customers tend to be more vocal, providing more brand word-of-mouth advertising; whereas longstanding customers aren’t often as publicly vocal, they share brand support when asked by their inner circle, which typically provides stronger, qualified referral leads.
- Create a successful online social strategy. A successful online strategy provides continued relevance to the consumer. The easiest way to gain a new follower or obtain a “like” from a user is to provide a promotion or discounted offer; however, your real goal is have that consumer interact with you in an ongoing, two-way conversation online. To do this, you’ll want to create content that not only draws a user in but also maintains their interest and incents them to interact with you on a regular basis. Surveys and open-ended questions are a great way to get consumers involved. Sharing curated content on relevant and timely issues and topics that relate to your brand is another great way to not only get consumers involved but to also provoke them to share content from your Facebook or Twitter page. The activity of sharing content could extend your overall reach and introduce you to new potential customers.
- Develop the mindset of speed. Gaining new customers and growing quickly requires online mass reach in today’s global marketplace. The fastest way to jump-start any marketing effort is to create a buzz. Buzzworthy content (content thought to be worthy of being talked about or shared online) such as infographics, dynamic photo galleries or YouTube videos, will spread virally and rapidly, giving you access to a wider consumer base. Buzzworthy content is also more prone to receiving feedback, which opens the door to natural two-way conversations and additional sales opportunities.
- Add a splash of traditional flare. Although the goal is to get consumers to interact with your brand online in order to impact sales, one of the easiest ways to get new, qualified leads to your online doorstep and jump-start the growth of your new product or innovation is to reach them via television or radio. Adding television or radio to your marketing mix can drive new customers to search for you online or ask others about you.
- Establish your marketing plan of attack. To ensure optimal success, define your marketing product launch plan and control your message and frequency. Create a content calendar which outlines the topics you want to cover at a high level and specifies the activities for each day. You’ll want to connect with your users on a consistent basis, without spamming or overloading them. Too much information too fast could be perceived as information overload and cause a potential customer to be turned off or a current customer to stop following you.
- Measure your performance and map consumer engagement. Not only should you keep close tabs on the performance of your product launch marketing performance, but you should also follow your consumer behavior. What article, blog or social piece drove the new consumer to your doorstep? What topic or conversation starter caused a current client to interact with you or make an additional purchase from you? Knowing these statistics, as well as your overall sales numbers, will help guide and define your ongoing product marketing efforts.
- Continue to add fuel to your fire. Many marketers and business owners make the mistake of thinking their launch is the end of the event, when in fact it is simply the launching point for a never-ending process. Doing a big push and then pulling back, assuming your launch is over, will no doubt have huge negative impact on your sales performance. Prepare yourself for the mindset that your launch is simply the beginning and that your support and continued marketing efforts will be an ongoing effort.
While each of these elements on their own can have a positive impact on your new product or innovation launch, their value comes from combining them together. Using all eight of these elements together can help you create a powerful launch strategy and provide you with a roadmap for product launch success.