Your company needs to make waves this year. Perhaps campaigns took a tumble or initiatives fell off the radar. As a way of getting back on track, your boss comes into your office and explains that the company is planning to roll out a huge new product. This is make-or-break for your company, and guess who he’s entrusting with the product launch? You.
You nod your head agreeably but you’re panicking on the inside. To ensure the successful rollout of a new product—and to prove to upper management that you’re their shining star—you need an unbeatable line of attack. Here are 10 best practices to keep top of mind:
- Develop a Product Launch Strategy: Before anything, you must first consider how you are going to go to market. Ask yourself whether you’d rather go the traditional marketing route of billboards and TV commercials or if you’d see more success with a newer-age approach involving digital, social and mobile outlets. Jot down a list of must-have components before taking another step forward.
- Embrace the Phrase ‘I Need More Content’: Don’t underestimate the amount of content you need for putting your product launch on a pedestal. Content is an organic way of reaching your customers, not to mention it’s a critical tool that customers use for making purchasing decisions. In fact, the average person digests at least 10 pieces of online information before making a purchasing decision, according to Google.
- Identify Your Differentiators: What makes your product stand out in a crowd? With hundreds of thousands of new products being brought to market each year in the hopes of making a lasting impact, you have to know your selling point. After all, 66 percent of new products fail within two years according to Forbes with a chief reason being that marketers don’t know how to sell their unique differentiators.
- Do Competitive Research: Get out there and see what your competitors are up to. Learn from their mistakes and identify successful steps taken. Moreover, dig deep into market research on what’s hot and, more importantly, what’s bringing true ROI on product launches. Perform your due diligence so that you get on board with what works best.
- Launch a Blogging Platform: Blogging is great for product launches. According to data from an Ignite Spot infographic, B2B marketers that use blogs generate 67 percent more leads than those who don’t, and 61 percent of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
- Create Product Sheets: Product sheets do a great job succinctly detailing your product when launching. This document should explain the product to consumers including all of the basics, add-ons (if any) and other elements of the offering, including warnings and liability information. Product sheets should also be available on your company’s website for downloading.
- Start a Social Campaign: Create a hashtag—a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign (#) to identify a specific topic or message—for your new product. Then, encourage customers to take use the hashtag when discussing your new product and its value add. Uniqlo did an excellent job of this by encouraging customers to tweet pictures of them wearing its Heattech clothing line with the hashtag #FeelTheWarmth.
- Launch a Product Website: Your product is a big deal—so big that it might need an entire website dedicated to it. Either way, make sure your new product steals the spotlight on your company’s existing website, by having a prominent spot on your homepage carousel or or serving as the main announcement under the “News” section.
- Invest in Advertising: Advertising is a tried and true way of promoting your new product, but which kinds of advertisements you choose to invest in is up to you. Whether you opt for print, social advertising, native advertising, content marketing or a trade show publication, advertising should play a major role in your product launch process.
- Send Out a Press Release: Press releases and press conferences may be older methods of spreading the good news of your product launch, but there’s a reason they are still just as effective as they were decades ago.
The top third of the best performing companies introduce an average of 47 new products per year, according to the Harvard Business Review. That’s a whole lot of strategizing that needs to take place. Do you have the right measures in place to ensure a successful product launch?