Top tips on launching a new product
When you’re launching a new product, you need to consider your marketing approach. It’s critical to its success. You’ve done your homework, you have a great product, but how you launch it into your chosen markets needs careful consideration.
Our 8 top tips cover important stages to consider when marketing a new product or service, from doing your research and mapping out your ideal customer, to pilot testing your marketing campaign and mapping out your customer journey.
1 – Research your market and competition
First things first, review your competitors. Which companies are offering similar products and services to you? How are they marketing them and how do you stack up against them? Homing in on what they do, how they present their products, what they communicate and how they engage with their customers is a good benchmark for you. How can you do it better and stand out against them?
Researching your target markets is key. This will help you identify the best marketing channels and tactics, and help shape your launch campaign.
And finally, conducting a SWOT analysis is useful. Do this after you have researched your market and competition so that you can map out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will give you a good starting point and will help you prioritise what you need to do.
2 – Target your ideal customer
At this stage you will know what’s unique about your offer and your market research will have revealed how you can stand out against your competitors. Now you need to define your ideal customer (another term for this is buyer persona). This will map out their behaviours, motivations to buy, priorities, product needs and marketing habits: for example, what they read, which events they attend and which trade bodies they engage with. Putting yourself in your target customers’ shoes is key to tailoring your messages, USPs, benefits and campaign approaches.
3 – Create your USP and build your messaging
It’s now time to shape your USP and messaging. Your USP should communicate what’s unique about your offering and should be the one thing that makes you stand out in the market.
Through mapping out your ideal customer, you will understand which messages will resonate with them and what information is important. What will make them purchase from you? Which of your features and benefits help you stand out from competitors? It’s important to get this right from the start.
4 – Define your marketing strategy and tactics
It’s now time to look at your strategy.
- What do you want to achieve short, medium and long term?
- What does a successful product launch look like?
- What factors are critical to its success?
- What are your sales targets?
- How will marketing support product awareness, interest and sales?
Create your top line marketing objectives and then plan out how you will achieve them. Map out which marketing channels and tactics will be best suited to your audiences and start creating a schedule of activities with timeframes and more specific details. Make sure you involve other teams across your business in your planning such as your sales, production and customer service teams.
5 – Test your marketing approach
Before going ‘all out’ on your marketing campaign – which will cost money and resource – market test your approach to ensure it will work. Here are a few things you can do:
- Conduct focus groups to further market test your product.
- Test out your marketing messages and sales collateral.
- Talk to your ideal customers and get their feedback.
- Factor in any improvements or changes to your marketing approach.
- Finalise your launch marketing campaign plan ready for roll out.
6 – Roll out your campaign
It’s time to implement your plan!
But here are just a few things to consider:
- Make sure your product – and everything that sits behind it – is ready. If orders come flooding in, can you cope with the demand? Are your production, logistics and your customer service teams ready?
- PR is a great way to get media coverage and get your new product out there. Dovetail this by investing in media relations and securing editorials in trade magazines, product reviews and thought leadership articles.
- Make sure all marketing channels and tactics are incorporated and work together seamlessly – and communicate messages consistently.
7 – Know your customer journey
A lot of resource has been invested in launching the product, but part of your launch plans should include what happens after the awareness stage.
Blogs, marketing collateral downloads, landing page campaigns, thought leadership, case studies and testimonials are good ways of creating further interest.
You can engage with your leads further through product demonstrations, on-site tours and presentations, technical information, white papers, e-newsletters and producing FAQ content.
And then once you have converted your lead to an active customer, it doesn’t stop there. How will you nurture and retain your relationship with them? Customer visits, referrals, participation in case studies and testimonials and conducting customer reviews and surveys are good ways to keep them onboard.
It’s important that all of these stages are considered at the start.
8 – Review, refresh and improve
Finally, constantly review your marketing – what’s working and what’s not. Refresh and improve on what you are doing on a continuous basis to ensure you are maximising on opportunities and perfecting your campaign to generate better results each time.
The final bit of advice is to ensure marketing is factored in to the product development process from the start. The earlier marketing is involved, the better the result will be!
Horizon Works can support you in the development of your launch campaign strategy and plan and develop all the tools required to help implement your campaign. Get in touch with us to discuss your product launch further.