- Launch planning and execution are a major responsibility for product managers and product marketers
- Buyer insight is an important driver of a successful launch
- Define a launch strategy and plan that engage the buying audience, vs. a product-centric, checklist approach
Many of our clients are thinking about business initiatives they have lined up for the new year. Often several product or solution launches are included in the mix.
Launch planning and execution is a major responsibility for product managers and product marketers. Success requires the careful orchestration of many activities and the interlock of multiple functions.
Yet in our research, we find that many organizations still approach launches with a checklist as their project plan. This approach is very tactical: “Here’s the product we’re launching; we need a press release; we need a brochure; we need a demo.” This is a major problem because it’s an inside-out viewpoint. The organization can’t wait to get the product out into the marketplace and is focused on what is being launched instead of who – to which audiences are we launching?
Best-in-class companies are shifting to a much more strategic launch planning approach that focuses on how they want to engage with their target audiences – especially buyers. Buyer insight is an important driver of a successful launch. Knowledge of target personas’ needs, interests, preferences and buyer’s journeys feeds into downstream activities and deliverables, such as market requirements, messaging and positioning, content strategy and campaigns.
For launch, product marketers should leverage insights about new target buyers to create awareness and demand. Understanding buyers at client organizations can also guide customer marketing strategies for upselling and cross-selling the new offering.
Knowing which type of buyers you’re launching to is an important first step. Define your target audiences at multiple levels: industry, organization type, buying center and buyer persona. Gain agreement from marketing, sales and product teams on audience prioritization and focus. Then, start to define a launch strategy and plan that engages the buying audience and moves away from a product-centric checklist approach to launches.
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