The success of a product is not always defined by the company’s budget but by its strategy. In this article, we gathered the most important things to cross off your marketing list before launching your product.
8 things to cross off your list before you launch your product
- Create your buyer persona
- Gather customer feedback
- Set your positioning
- Choose key marketing messages
- Think about your distribution strategy
- Create a list of launch tactics
- Assign the people responsible
- Set goals and measure them
1. Create your buyer persona
First comes the buyer, then comes the product. If you don’t have a target audience in mind, you won’t know who you are selling your product to. To create a buyer persona, select your target audience (male/female, age between 20 and 40, etc.) and split it into segments.
You will need to create a buyer persona for every segment of your audience. Apart from knowing all the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of your audience, you will also need to find out their interests, behavior, identifiers and primary goals. Ideally, their goals should match with your product, or their problems find solutions in your product.
If you need inspiration for your buyer persona, here you have a simple-to-follow template.
2. Gather customer feedback
You have already created a description for your buyer persona, and you can even imagine what he or she looks like. The next step is to test his or her reaction to your product. The customer discovery journey includes four basic steps:
- Stating your hypothesis – Write down the exact way your potential buyers are going to see your product. How can your product help them?
- Testing your hypothesis – Talk to investors, other employees, and relevant people in your field of work. Seek market validation, don’t try to sell your product.
- Testing the product concept – Now it’s time to gather information from your potential customers. Ask them to try the beta version of your product. All feedback is great, even a negative one because it can help you make changes or add some features. Let customers interact with your product, observe them and write down the problems they encounter, the questions they ask, how long it takes to find various features, etc.
- Evaluating – Finally, you will need to assess the data you have gathered and decide what is relevant and what is not. Integrate the feedback and plan your next steps.
When you prepare a customer discovery interview, make sure you focus on the main features of your product, its accessibility, the way people associate the product with the brand. Also, ask people how they see the product and what type of product it is. This step is crucial both for the product team and marketing peps working on your go to market strategy. It will be easier to map the topics they should cover in their comms strategy to effectively communicate the product.
3. Set your positioning
The feedback you received from your customers is going to come in handy right now because you need to choose your positioning on the market. Because the tech industry is not an easy market to enter in, you need to answer a few questions to define your product and its positioning.
- What category does your product fall in? (fitness, learning, lifestyle, fintech, etc.)
- What are your product’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe the market you want to enter. Is it a growing market?
- Who are your main competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How will your product evolve?
- What makes your product unique? (its benefits and unique value)
- Are you a B2B or a B2C product?
Do your market research and integrate the feedback you received from your potential customers. Once you answer these questions, you will know where your product stands.
4. Choose your key marketing messages
Treat your product as if it were a person and create one or two key marketing messages that your brand can be identified with. Users need to immediately think about your product when they hear those messages.
How to choose your marketing messages:
- Show your users how your product can solve their problems – always focus on users’ needs;
- Present what makes your product unique/better than your competitors’;
- Write your marketing messages in an informal and friendly tone, and make them as simple as possible. Choose only 1-2 key marketing messages that you will repeat throughout the time to make sure you have unity in your communication and people get the main idea of what your product is about. Then feel free to adapt these messages depending on use cases, channels, campaigns, etc.
- Let your users know what’s in it for them if they use your product.
We recommend focussing on only one or two key marketing messages at first. After launch, you can choose more and use them on different channels to reach different types of audiences.
5. Think about your distribution strategy
Having the best product in the world means nothing if potential buyers don’t hear about it. Just like you planned your product’s distribution, you will need to promote your product on different channels. From a marketing point of view, a distribution strategy should include:
- Choosing your distribution channels;
- Testing the channels you selected to see which one brings results and which one doesn’t;
- Focussing on channels that specialize in your type of product (for instance health forums if you have a fitness app);
- Trying both conventional and nonconventional distribution channels.
At first, you might be tempted to say that social media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) are the only distribution channels available. However, you will need to put yourself in your user’s shoes. What platforms does he or she use? How can you promote your product on those platforms? In case you need some inspiration, here are 10 channels you can use to distribute your content.
You should also consider influencers. 49% of consumers depend on recommendations given by influencers, which means your product has a better chance of being purchased if influencers endorse it.
6. Create a list of launch tactics
Launching a new product is always hectic. Although you can’t be prepared for every little detail, you can create a list of tactics and activities you’re gonna implement.
You will have to include every piece of content you want to share, performance activities, channels used, when and how you are going to launch, your budget, who’s responsible of each activity and how you’re gonna adapt, optimize, and iterate.
We always recommend Father Excel. It’s one of the easiest ways to have a complete overview of your activities, it’s free, and it can be used by anyone. The better you structure your launch excel, the more results you’ll see.
7. Assign the people responsible
Everybody needs to know what they need to do during the launch period. Believe us, you don’t want to skip this step because you will end up with five people doing bits and pieces of one task, and no one actually measuring or finishing it.
Be as organized as possible and explain what everybody needs to do clearly so your launch will go smoothly. It’s important to give them deadlines to make sure that they get the job done on time. Assign specific roles: who’s leading the task, who’s offering support, who’s supervising, who’s calling the decisions.
8. Set goals and measure them
Last but not least, you need to set some goals. Set realistic expectations; new products have a harder time penetrating the market. However, challenge yourself and your partners to exceed the goals you set out.
You will need to set different types of goals, from awareness to traffic objectives. Also, include the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. The objectives can be monitored monthly to see what is working and what is failing. By measuring these metrics, you will be able to improve your product, your marketing strategy, and the distribution process to meet users’ expectations.
Go through this checklist several times and come back anytime you need. Don’t make mental notes; writing things down can help you understand what needs to be done to launch your product smoothly. So, are you ready to launch?