The launch of a new product or enhancement is an exciting moment for an organization. With so many functions involved — product management, product development, sales, marketing, customer success — it can be a time to celebrate! When you think about the other roles that are directly or indirectly involved (e.g., customer support, third-party partners, professional services), it stands to reason to treat an offering launch as a monumental moment.
But there is often lack of clarity on what product managers should do after launch. Some hit the road with sales or go to industry events to help the marketing effort. Others start jumping into creating the next product release. The reality is that the practices for managing an in-market offering for retention and growth are often unclear and poorly resourced. When product targets are not met, even with subsequent product versions, this can lead to finger-pointing, misalignment over priorities, and continued issues in meeting KPIs.
Product managers must keep an eye on the long-term prize for their offerings. And this starts right after every launch event. A focus on driving customer adoption, customer engagement, and business growth is important to drive success within today’s fast-paced industries.
Key Categories Of Product Management Post-Launch Activities
How can product managers do this? There are key categories of activities that product managers should consider:
- Adoption. Product managers must ensure that target users engage with the offering to accomplish their desired outcomes. Key activities include collecting product feedback from multiple sources and helping key customers become product champions.
- Experience. Product managers must ensure that users achieve the expected product experience. Key activities include enabling the organization to support the offering’s launch and documenting user journey flows.
- Evolution. Product managers must identify and plan offering improvements from user and market insights. Key activities include prioritizing enhancements and evolving the future roadmap.
These key post-launch activities certainly apply to commercial offerings. But they are also important to value-add offerings (those that are used by customers but don’t directly generate revenue) and even internal offerings (products used by a company’s employees).
The data that’s collected from these activities enable key metrics such as user engagement score, customer effort score, market growth (or compound annual growth rate), and customer lifetime value. These metrics help product managers determine the plans for growth.
Increase The Hype For Future Offering Launches
When product managers focus on post-launch activities that drive the adoption, experience, and evolution of an offering, they set the stage for future customer-centric growth. The hype that they drive for future offering versions can have several benefits:
- Cultivate customer champions. Helping customers use an offering to achieve their outcomes creates relevance around the offering and drives stickiness. In turn, you gain a group of experts who can advocate for your product.
- Improve customer-needs discovery. By keeping the pulse on key segments, you smooth out the continuous collection of customer needs and reduce the chance of missing market shifts.
- Drive product innovation. Collaborating with customers and key organizational functions generates product ideas that bring innovative offerings to market.
Product leaders should catalog the activities currently performed in these key categories and score how well that they are being done. This evaluation, along with identifying any other activities not being practiced today, will set the stage for improving the product management function during and after a happy offering-launch event.
Join us at this year’s B2B Summit North America, June 5–7 in Austin, Texas, and digitally, to learn more about best practices that product management teams can practice to improve offering success after launch and drive customer-obsessed growth.