Got A Launch Coming Up? Here Are Five Steps That You Must Think About.
Every year, an estimated 30,000 new products are launched into the market.
Many marketers and entrepreneurs embark on a product launch marketing strategy with the same approach they would use for a product already on the market. I think using such an approach for a launch is similar to shooting in the dark. While you might hit your target, you’re making things much harder for yourself.
Preparing for a product launch with a launch marketing strategy, rather than a traditional marketing strategy, is comparable to turning the lights on. You can see more, miss, less, and generally, do a much better job achieving your end goals.
What is launch marketing?
While the platforms and tactics you’ll use when launching your business are similar to those that existing businesses use, your underlying strategy should be a little more nuanced. A lot of this comes down to time.
While other types of marketing tend to prioritize small improvements over a long period, launch marketing doesn’t have the privilege of time. You can’t afford to make a hundred incremental improvements to get where you need to be. You don’t have months to get something right; you often have days (or sometimes even hours).
There’s also no time for mistakes. All your hard work, investment, and preparation come together like the pieces of a puzzle on launch day. One missing piece can ruin it. These differences mean that any launch should be tackled with a unique launch marketing strategy. Here is a sneak peek at mine.
A Launch System For Any Product And Every Idea
Over years of launching new products, I’ve solidified a launch system that works for anything and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs. Follow these five steps to plan out your launch.
1. Validate, research, and strategize.
The validation process is a go or no-go test for your idea. You’ll learn if your business idea can be successful or if it looks likely to fail. Any validation should begin with research. In order to accurately test the interest level behind your idea, make sure you’re testing the right things with the right people. To kick off your audience research, consider who you think your target audience is, then use online analytics tools to see if your assumptions are correct.
You’ll also need to confirm your key messaging angles. I often refer to these as unique selling propositions (USPs). These are the reasons your product is different from — and better than — your competition. In the validation stage, determine if your target audiences like or need your USPs enough to merit your business launch.
Then, get your idea out into the real world. Set up a simple webpage and use ads to get folks to it. Hit the streets and collect feedback from passersby. Set up focus groups with your target demographic.
Remember, this is all to serve one core purpose: determining whether you should or shouldn’t launch your idea.
2. Build an audience.
If you plan to launch a product or idea that will make an impact, it’s important to build excitement about it. Like ripples in a pond, you have to drop a pebble in to get the motion started.
The community of prospects you build before your launch is that pebble, and these contacts are essential in giving your idea the energy to spread. Create an email list, a private online or in-person community, or any other group of people who support your idea.
3. Engage your audience.
To avoid crickets and tumbleweeds on launch day from your newly-formed community, you must also anticipate the often-invisible barriers your target audience might experience that prevent them from buying and resolve these issues in advance. These barriers are often referred to as sales objections.
Speak to your prospective customers ahead of the launch, ask them critical questions, and learn about their hesitations. Spending a month building a bond with this community can pay dividends on launch. By implementing a solid engagement strategy, many of these folks will know you and trust you by the time launch day arrives.
4. Focus on audience conversion.
At this point, it’s critical that you keep your message simple. You have one action you need potential customers to take on launch — make a purchase.
Our attention spans have decreased to just eight seconds. A good rule of thumb for any launch day marketing is to keep it simple. Make those eight seconds count.
5. Scale and optimize.
When your idea launches, you’ll have access to early, precious sales information that can help you make critical decisions on how to grow revenue quickly. I call this information gold.
It’s critical to know the gold is there, but you also have to know where to look. I suggest you look for impact, not increment. You’re better off spending your time finding one vast reserve of gold than moving from river to river in search of flakes. In the context of your marketing efforts for a new business launch, this means trying things that can result in significant sales improvements rather than small progressions.
For example, changing one sentence halfway down a webpage may improve your sales marginally, but it’s unlikely to be a game-changer. Changing the price of a product with a small increase, however, can often make a massive positive change in your sales and revenue — this is impact, not increment.
This five-step system can work with any idea, any marketing channel, and any budget. I’ve seen entrepreneurs use it online and off, from one-person startups to global corporations, and with budgets of $50 to $500,000. Whatever your big idea and business aspirations, a system like this can help you launch your product or idea. I believe it is the smartest, safest way to launch a new idea.