Your New Product Launch Checklist
Successful product launches use every marketing tool available to make a splash. Pulling all the right levers at precisely the right time can be tough, even if this isn’t your first product launch campaign. To help, we gathered insight from our product marketers to create a road map that includes everything your digital team can do to make the process smooth – and effective.
Why Do a Product Launch?
Product launches are about more than generating revenue – although that’s obviously a key component. Introducing new or updated products increases brand awareness beyond the product itself, often increasing sales of other items. Product launches can even create a ripple effect across an industry. When Apple releases a new model, the value of refurbished iPhones drops by 10-38%.
Some additional reasons to invest in a launch include:
- Brand awareness
- Harness customer loyalty
- Replace or update the existing product line
- Increase revenue
Download your product launch checklist and take the game plan with you!
Treat your product launch like the can’t-miss event it is for your customers. You might not be able to do a full-on Apple Event, but your brand and your product deserve proportionate investment to get the word out in a big way!
How to Launch a New Product, Step-by-Step
Launching a new product involves a bit more than putting up a few posts on social media. Brands invest time, energy and resources into researching their customers, evaluating interest and generating buzz before their new, shiny THING reaches the shelves or hits the online store.
Here’s your product launch roadmap:
- Customer (and competitor) research
- Define your product
- Identify marketing channels
- Choose your key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Create content
- Press the button
- Evaluate and adjust
Get in touch to work with our product marketing team and put more than 20 years of paid, social media, email and traditional marketing expertise in your corner.
1. Customer (and Competitor) Research
Brands that claim to be “customer obsessed” are hyper-focused on meeting the needs of their customers. Every business decision and goal is based on adding value to its end consumer. While this often takes the form of exceptional customer service, it’s also embodied in two very important ways:
- Asking for feedback – The customer is always right. Design new products and shape product launches to fill the needs of your customer.
- Anticipating needs – The customer is always right but may not know what they need. You didn’t know you needed an air fryer until you saw an ad for it, heard about it from a friend, then saw it featured on your favorite cooking show, did you?
This research will also help you identify your ideal customer. While established brands may have reams of data to work with, market research should be conducted regularly to spot changes in spending habits, interests, demographics and other shifts that impact how effective your marketing efforts might be.
Know Your Competitors
Review your competitors’ marketing efforts to see what they’re saying – and not saying – about their products. Avoiding their talking points helps to differentiate your product and may appeal to a different audience. Do your competitors talk about price or features? Is the new product on sale? Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, evaluate your value proposition compared to your competitors and adjust your messaging accordingly.
2. Define Your Product
Use the following questions to clearly explain your product to your team and the world. Answering these questions will form the basis of your marketing materials and messaging, so spend time considering your brand’s style and voice, along with the information gathered during the research phase.
- Who is this product designed for?
- What does this product do?
- What problems does this product solve?
- Why is this product better than others like it?
3. Identify Marketing Channels
Where are your customers and how will they hear about this exciting new product? First, think of where your product is available. This could include:
- Online store (your website)
- Online marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay
- Wholesale distribution
- Brick-and-mortar storefront
Next, map out all your digital marketing options and connect them to a sales channel. For example, you might use social media ads with a radius of 25 miles around your physical location and paid search for non-branded keywords. Most product launches will utilize:
- Social media, including organic and paid posts
- Paid search ads with Google and Bing
- Email marketing
- Website updates, including homepage graphics, video and blog content
- Press releases
- Traditional marketing, such as billboards, radio and TV ads and published media
4. Choose Your KPIs
Know what success looks like when you see it. Before launch, create a list of 3-5 key performance indicators to gauge your campaign’s performance. Try to include metrics that cover brand awareness, lead generation and value. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Branded SERP impressions – If users search for your new “Whizz Bang 4000” on Google, word is out! Look at the search volume of other branded products in Google Search Console and set a KPI for your new product to establish general awareness after its debut. You can also use a tool like Google Trends.
- Email sign-ups – Invite users to sign up to your email list to be first in line for the new product the day it launches! This will help evaluate interest and get customers into a steady automated campaign that drives future sales and increases customer lifetime value.
- Average Cart Value – Also known as average order value, this is the average dollar amount per transaction over a period of time. Looking at ACV can offer additional insight into consumer habits. For a launch, look to see if ACV increases or decreases and compare that change to top-selling products. You may find that users are more or less likely to buy certain items with your new product, which opens up the possibility of further promotions or bundles later on!
- Conversion rate. As our Paid Media expert, Andy Olds, is quick to point out, “You can always bring more people to a page, but the rate at which they convert is more difficult to improve.”
Work with your team to establish your goals for the campaign and be sure you’re measuring them accurately. We can help with that.
5. Make the Content
You know what you’re selling, you know where you’re selling it and you know how people are going to hear about it. Now it’s time to make the content! Tag in a professional graphic designer, videographer and other experts to help you create compelling, scroll-stopping digital assets to use throughout your campaign.
Content creation takes time, so give yourself a few weeks to concept, create and refine your marketing materials. Give your team some flexibility to make late changes that might capture social media trends close to the launch date, such as trending audio on TikTok or memes on Instagram.
6. Press the Button
This is the fun part! Your product rollout plan should include a short window for launch that allows for a concentrated release of content across all channels. Some product launch campaigns stagger announcements to ensure their launch stays top-of-mind longer. Stay invested in the campaign by actively monitoring social media and other channels for customer feedback and immediately address any questions or concerns.
7. Evaluate and Adjust
Use your established KPIs and new information to adjust the campaign to capitalize on strong performances. This might include reallocating ad spend from social media to paid search or seeking out additional PR opportunities in high-performing markets. Be flexible and react, but allow the campaign time to build momentum.
Why Most Product Launches Fail
New products face an uphill battle. The average American family buys the exact same 150 products every time, constituting roughly 85% of household spending. That means new consumer products, regardless of application, fight for 15% of the family paycheck, not to mention the divided attention, interests and priorities of all family members.
Disappointing product launches usually fall victim to one of the following failures:
- Failure to conduct adequate research.
- Lack of marketing budget to support the launch.
- Poor product testing results in poor reviews.
- The website doesn’t adequately describe the product.
- Customers don’t understand how to use the product.
- The product is overpriced compared to similar items.
- Distribution can’t meet demand and interest fizzles.
Timing Isn’t Everything, But It Matters
Consumer spending and markets are seasonal, and your product launch should also account for seasonal spending habits and macroeconomic factors. Product launches can fail by introducing a new product at the wrong time. This can be caused by any number of reasons, including:
- Too close to similar products being unveiled by competitors.
- Too late to capture holiday spending.
- Recession or uncertain economic climate.
- Another new product is being released after yours, and consumers are waiting to compare it to yours.
- Seasonally inappropriate (launching a new cross-country ski in March).
It can help to get an outside perspective on your campaign plans, even if most of the work is already done. Our strategy team can identify potential issues with timing, messaging or the technical capabilities of your website before they become problems.
Digital Marketing That Makes an Impact
Let Oneupweb help meet your product launch goals with the research, strategy and content it takes to win. Focus on your product and let the experts support your launch. Let’s get started; reach out to our team or call us at 231-922-9977.