The Old Launch Codes Won't Work


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Tom Grant's presentation on the evolution of product launches. Many industry trends are changing the definition of launches, connecting them to specific business outcomes that are meaningful to the customer.

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The Old Launch Codes Won't Work

  1. 1. March 15, 2010. Call in at 12:55 p.m. Eastern time The Old Launch Codes Won’t Work Tom Grant Senior Analyst Forrester Research
  2. 2. For more information <ul><li>For a copy of one of today’s presentations and to download a Product Management & Marketing Toolkit, visit </li></ul><ul><li>Toolkit includes: </li></ul><ul><li>3 pieces of free research </li></ul><ul><li>1 hour-long recorded Webinar “2010 Priorities for B2B Tech Community Marketing” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>The traditional launch </li></ul><ul><li>What changed </li></ul><ul><li>The new launch </li></ul>
  4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>The traditional launch </li></ul><ul><li>What changed </li></ul><ul><li>The new launch </li></ul>
  5. 5. The old assumptions for launches <ul><li>New company! </li></ul><ul><li>New product/service! </li></ul><ul><li>Major product/service release! </li></ul><ul><li>Minor product/service release! </li></ul><ul><li>New partnership! </li></ul><ul><li>New market! </li></ul><ul><li>New marketing campaign! </li></ul>
  6. 6. Tech industry trends redefine launches <ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SaaS/cloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Launches detached from releases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New criteria for having launches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boundaries of the launch spread and blur </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earlier involvement of key participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New ways to assess outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Traditional problems with launches App. 75% of launches fail to get desired results Something’s lost in transmission, or the wrong message is being sent Vendors use launches to communicate value to customers
  8. 8. Newer problems with launches Some industry trends have increased the amount of noise in the channel It’s harder to get the attention of the intended audience The number and diversity of relevant audiences has increased The answer is not to yell more loudly
  9. 9. Who owns the launch? Corporate marketing Product marketing Product mgt Development Partners Business Development Field marketing Sales Consulting Support Executive mgt Training ?
  10. 10. What do we hope to achieve? <ul><li>Deliver a quality product </li></ul><ul><li>Generate leads </li></ul><ul><li>Retain customers </li></ul><ul><li>Increase awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Increase sales generally </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate from competition </li></ul><ul><li>Increase sales within existing accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a foothold in a new market </li></ul><ul><li>Position the company </li></ul><ul><li>Deflect a competitor </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain company morale </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfy someone’s internal agenda </li></ul>
  11. 11. What’s our preferred way of marketing? Source: February 2010, “Organizing For B2B Tech Community Marketing”
  12. 12. What didn’t work as planned? <ul><li>The product? </li></ul><ul><li>The messaging? </li></ul><ul><li>The event? </li></ul><ul><li>The people in charge? </li></ul><ul><li>The rest of the company? </li></ul><ul><li>The follow-up? </li></ul><ul><li>The assessment? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Agenda <ul><li>The traditional launch </li></ul><ul><li>What changed </li></ul><ul><li>The new launch </li></ul>
  14. 14. Launches and SaaS: EFFECTS <ul><li>Greater frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Greater pressure on company-wide readiness </li></ul><ul><li>More immediate success or failure at demonstrating value </li></ul><ul><li>Easier reach into new markets </li></ul><ul><li>New options for campaign management </li></ul><ul><li>Easier marketing assessment </li></ul>
  15. 15. Launches and SaaS: BEST PRACTICES Be certain that you’re communicating value on launch day Use the impact on the customer as leverage for getting the company ready Take advantage of the SaaS opportunity to assess products, marketing, and sales in new ways
  16. 16. Launches and Agile: ALIGNMENT
  17. 17. Launches and Agile: EFFECTS <ul><li>Provides more opportunities for launches </li></ul><ul><li>Most vendors launch after several iterations </li></ul><ul><li>Re-defines concept of the product </li></ul><ul><li>Re-defines customer engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Disruptive to downstream groups </li></ul><ul><li>Forces a new approach to the value developed and delivered </li></ul>
  18. 18. Launches and Agile: BEST PRACTICES Perfect “just in time” launch techniques Use short iterations to make corrections before the launch, and assess the results afterwards Involve key players in earlier iterations, including partners and customers
  19. 19. Launches and social media: EFFECTS <ul><li>Unhappy customers become unhappy networks of customers </li></ul><ul><li>Longer ramping-up to the launch </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for earlier customer feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Greater leverage for company readiness </li></ul><ul><li>The conversation continues after the launch event </li></ul>
  20. 20. Launches and social media: BEST PRACTICES Plan for a period of follow-through and assessment Use the ongoing conversation to bring customers and partners on board before the launch Re-define the launch as an ongoing discussion, not a one-shot event
  21. 21. Launches and BT: EFFECTS <ul><li>Pressure to demonstrate the value of what’s being launched </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure to demonstrate the ability to deliver </li></ul><ul><li>New stakeholders that the launch must address </li></ul><ul><li>New markets have different BT requirements </li></ul>
  22. 22. Launches and BT: BEST PRACTICES Use channel and implementation partners to deepen your understanding of the customer Make customer-facing groups’ understanding of the customer’s perspective a precondition of the launch Make product managers and product marketers experts in the customer’s adoption of technology
  23. 23. Agenda <ul><li>The traditional launch </li></ul><ul><li>What changed </li></ul><ul><li>The new launch </li></ul>
  24. 24. The purpose of the launch is changing NEW HOTNESS: It’s all about the customer OLD AND BUSTED: It’s all about the vendor Here’s our new product, and the price list, and the data sheet. Look at all the features. Aren’t you glad? You’re a busy person, so I won’t waste your time. Here’s something that should be valuable to you, and here’s how it will help.
  25. 25. The new model <ul><li>Launch when you have something of value for the customer </li></ul><ul><li>Launch when the customer can absorb it </li></ul><ul><li>Launch when you can execute </li></ul><ul><li>Launch when you can assess </li></ul><ul><li>Launch when you can learn </li></ul>Launch value, not products !
  26. 26. Launches need to reach champions Design the launch to reach your champion within the customer organization Equip your champion to make a compelling case to other stakeholders
  27. 27. Thank you <ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><li>+1 650.581.3846 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>@TomGrantForr </li></ul>
  28. 28. Questions?
  29. 29. please thank our sponsors
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