Many companies fall into the trap of waiting until after their product launches to start marketing campaigns. They have a lack of momentum that can impact the product's short- and long-term success. One of the most successful ways to manage a product launch is to follow a timeline that lays out your marketing actions over several months prior to launch.
Don’t wait until it's too late! Strong traction is an essential characteristic of any product released successfully in our business climate and that requires marketing before the launch.
Follow this timeline and these tactics for a smooth product launch and successful business development on Day 1.
T Minus 6-8 Months
Whatever you do, don’t skip this step! During this stage of the product launch you need to do your research. Take the time to understand the product, the philosophy and your vision for the brand. Create a buyer persona outline to understand your target audience and their behavior. Give your persona a name, bio and think about their challenges. By creating a profile of your buyer, it will help you stay consistent with your marketing materials that you create for the launch and therefore, market based on what this person would want (customer-centricity).
T Minus 4-6 Months
Branding and Online Presence
Your goal should ideally be to create an engaged platform well before your product hits the market. Start with the essentials; your company should have excellent branding in place with a distinctive logo, relevant messaging and unique positioning statements. Put together a funnel on your website for the buyer persona you created, and every stage of the buyer’s journey. By creating a website that can segment visitors into their respective buyer persona, you will be able to better engage potential customers at various stages of their journey using content in context.
T Minus 2-4 Months
Create Awareness & Attract
At this point your product launch is approaching rapidly and you should have a clear understanding of who you are trying to reach (your persona development) and consistent branding so you can get your message out. Through the use of blogging, social media and email marketing with workflows, you are creating awareness and attracting your ideal customer / client / buyer to your product or service.
Which social media sites does your target audience frequent? Set up profiles on these platforms and start building up your presence using relevant content. Share useful content that others publish, distribute your own messages and take the time to connect with people by having authentic conversations and you will start to develop interest and support.
T Minus 0-2 Months
Promote Your Product & Generate Excitement
Continue to use the power of social media, email marketing (with workflows) and blogging to generate excitement about your product launch by preempting and addressing the concerns of your target audience. Hopefully your work over the last four months has paid off and you have created the basis for a loyal social media following.
Consider expanding visibility of your content and complement other marketing efforts with a paid content distribution strategy. Look back at your persona development to understand where your audience spends their time on the internet and reach them there.
Three to five days before your product launch, post a press release. A press release posted as a blog to your website is a great way to announce your raison d’etre - why are you planning to exist and what need do you fulfill? Make sure to have some type of metric tracking in place so you can keep an eye on how many people engaged with this content and the media mentions stemming from it.
NOTE: this will be one of the last blogs about you because from here on out, it’s all about your customers! #inbound.
Congrats, you made it! Don’t forget to continue implementing these strategies after the launch and watch your hard work pay off!