Jason Oakley and Yi Lin Pei joined Rowan Noronha on The Marchitect podcast to outline the essential steps that every product launch should follow to maximize its potential and impact. Read on for their tips and framework.
But first, what is a product launch? Is it the same as a product release? The short answer is no. Here’s the difference:
A product release refers to the act of making a product or feature available to customers. Essentially, it’s the technical process of deploying the product or feature. But, don’t get tunnel vision. A product launch encompasses a much broader set of activities. It refers to the strategic and coordinated effort to introduce and promote the product or feature to the market, including activities such as positioning, messaging, pricing, packaging, and promotional campaigns. In other words, a release is the technical aspect of making the product available, while a launch involves all the marketing and strategic efforts to generate awareness, excitement, and adoption of the product by customers.
Now that we’ve got that straight, here are Jason and Yi Lin’s 4 steps to getting the most out of your product launch:
- No launch is created equal. Each launch is different, so the first thing that needs to happen is to scope out how big of a launch this is. (Yi Lin likes to tier these off, tier 1 being activating the most marketing power, tier 3 not so much.) To do so, it’s important to nail down the strategic readiness, commercial readiness, and product readiness.
A) Strategic readiness refers to having a well-defined go-to-market strategy in place before the launch. This includes understanding the target market, positioning, messaging, and pricing. It involves aligning the goals and objectives of various teams, such as product, marketing, and sales, to ensure a cohesive approach. This is where you hypothesize what KPI numbers you’re reaching for.
B) Commercial readiness involves preparing the organization and its resources for the launch. This includes training sales teams, and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and materials to effectively sell the product. It also involves setting up clear channels of communication and feedback loops to ensure smooth collaboration between different departments.
C) Product readiness refers to the state of having the product or service fully developed and tested to ensure its functionality and quality. This includes conducting user testing, gathering feedback, and making necessary adjustments to improve the product before launching it to the market.
- Put your execution plan into place. Once all of the strategy has been nailed down, it’s time to move on to execution. Which teams will create the positioning? Who will run social campaigns? Does this require web updates? Every activity should be documented, assigned, and executed in this phase.
- Launch! The buttons have been pressed, and the new product is being advertised and spoken about everywhere you intended it to. (Launch party optional, but highly encouraged.)
- It’s time to look back. Now we compare notes—was our hypothesis on our KPIs correct? What went well? What went wrong? Where can we improve? Across the board, from customer feedback to internal teams. Everyone’s voice matters here to make the launch better from an activities and assets standpoint to experience.
Want to dive deeper into these 4 steps? Or want to hear more from these product marketing experts? Check out Jason and Yi Lin’s episode of The Marchitect here.