2012 is here, and your B2B company has an ambitious marketing strategy for the year, which includes the launch of exciting new products. So now you are tasked with developing an effective product launch plan that will deliver the desired results … no problem, right?
After my many years of planning global product launches for high-tech B2B companies, including launching first-ever product concepts and dealing with unbelievable timelines, I have learned a few things along the way. Here are a few of my guiding principles:
- Take a Look at the Big Picture: Take the time to develop a product launch roadmap that plots ALL new offerings for 2012 on timeline. A well-developed product roadmap for the year can mean the difference between success and failure when marketing products. It provides all parties involved a snap shot of all the new company offerings that will be communicated to your customer base and potential customers with a clear idea of where the company is headed. Ensuring the company has a well-defined plan for the year, and getting everyone on the same page is a good start!
- Don’t Skip the Strategy Work: You can develop the most genius, creative, beautiful marketing pieces possible – but if your product launch strategy is rushed and not clearly articulated – you will not achieve the highest success possible. So my recommendation is before you begin investing in the design of product brochures, create new campaigns, please pause for a moment and make sure your company has defined and documented a product launch strategy. This may sound either unnecessary, or on the other hand, overly daunting, but it will in fact save you time, money and increase your chances for achieving targets.
- Clearly Articulate the ‘So What?’: Clearly articulate, with confidence, why your target audience will want to buy from you. Dig deep, and don’t rush this process of understanding what sets your product apart, in a way your customers will care about. Ultimately, the knowledge gained in this step will be the catalyst for developing your positioning, key messages and series of marketing tools. And remember, you are not setting out to develop a ‘me-too’ product that gets ignored … make your product worth talking about!
Now that you have a clear vision for the product and the role it plays in the company’s marketing strategy, you are ready to begin developing a powerful and remarkable product launch marketing plan!
How will you be delighting your customers with new product offerings in 2012?
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