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How to Run a High-Impact Product Launch
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How to Run a High-Impact Product Launch

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Companies spend months or even years building great products that meet the needs of their customers. Yet when it comes to bringing them to market effectively and getting the biggest possible return......

Companies spend months or even years building great products that meet the needs of their customers. Yet when it comes to bringing them to market effectively and getting the biggest possible return for their investment, companies often do not develop an effective plan or execute it well. A high-impact product launch can set a positive trajectory for your product's success for years to come. Do the launch right and you'll reap the benefits of significant early revenues, industry and competitive visibility and excellent press and PR coverage. This session will cover creating a plan, setting goals, budgeting, timing, positioning & messaging and other critical factors for maximizing your ROI.

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The Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), founded in 1998, promotes worldwide excellence in product management education and provides training, education, certification and professional networking opportunities. With members in 65 countries, the AIPMM is the Worldwide Certifying Body of product team professionals and offers globalized trainings and credentials localized for specific markets designed to meet the challenges of a constantly changing business landscape. As the only professional organization that addresses the entire product lifecycle from inception to obsolescence in any industry, the AIPMM supports strategic partners with offerings in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and SouthEast Asia, as well as North America.

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  • 1. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission How To Run A High-Impact Product Launch Brian Lawley CEO & Founder, 280 Group LLC ™ Author, Expert Product Management Author, The Phenomenal Product Manager Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 2. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission About This Presentation • Teaches best practices for Product Launches • Part of the 280 Group Product Launch Toolkit™ Other files in the Product Launch Toolkit: Templates Guidelines Samples Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 3. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Agenda • Background • The Value of a Well-Executed Launch • Types of Launches • Setting Goals • Critical Elements of a Successful Launch • Best Practices • Giveaway! • All examples in presentation are fabricated • Templates are available in 280 Group Product Launch Toolkit at www.280group.com Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 4. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission About the 280 Group… The Product Marketing & Product Management Experts ™ Consulting ● Contractors ● Training ● Certification● Books ● Templates Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 5. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Value of a Well-Executed Launch • Provide initial momentum to ramp sales • Give you a competitive edge • Provide early information about necessary course corrections • Helps your company reach it’s goals while providing a good ROI Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 6. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Launch Goals • Generate leads – How many and by when? • Drive revenue – How much and by when? • Set the competitive argument – Against who and on what scale? • Create initial awareness and buzz – With whom and how much? – What vehicles (press coverage, marketing, ads, etc.) • Get the product into customer’s & partners hands – How many? – Why? Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 7. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Product Release Cycles Release 1 Long Release Cycles (Major New Product) Release 1 Release 2 Release 3 Release 4 Release 5 Release 6 Short Release Cycles (Minor Product)* 1 month N Years * Common with SaaS and/or Agile development Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 8. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Types of Launches • Long release cycles: Major new product – “Soft” launch – Minimal launch – Full-Scale launch • Short release cycles: Minor product* – “Soft” – Minimal Which type you choose depends on your goals, budget, resources and amount of time until the launch * must be combined with ongoing marketing Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 9. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Soft Launch • Product not fully ready • Deploy to limited set of customers • May not have funds or resources • Ship date & product uncertainty: minimize risk • Get the product out and get quick feedback Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 10. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Soft Launch Downsides • Little or no revenue • No press coverage or market awareness • Inability to recover • Spend much more on marketing later Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 11. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Minimal Launch • Unimportant product or minor revision • Funding and resources limited • Not enough time to plan & execute • May accidentally have a minimal launch – Don’t know how to plan and execute a full-scale launch – Unrealistic assumptions about viral and/or word of mouth • May want to target one market segment: use $$$ effectively • May want to use influencers or evangelists to get your message out vs. direct $$ • Many of the same downside as a soft launch Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 12. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Full-Scale Launch • Maximizes awareness • Generates many leads/sales • Puts the product/company on the map • Uses marketing $$$ more effectively: Synergy • Can go horizontal or multiple verticals • Gives product best chance of success Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 13. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Choosing The Type of Launch Soft Minimal Full-Scale Launch Launch Launch Short Release Cycle √ √ Long Release Cycle √ √ Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 14. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Elements of a Successful Launch • Clear Goals • Planning • Communication • Timing • Effective marketing mix • Compelling messaging • Budget to achieve goals • Message reaches target customers • Product readiness Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 15. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Launch Plan Components • Summary • Features & Benefits • Purpose of this plan • Price • Market Overview • Place & Channel • Key Market Trends • Marketing Strategy • Launch Goals/Objectives • Marketing Tactics/Promotion • Target customers & needs • Launch Budget • Market segmentation • Marketing mix & metrics • Product • Expected ROI • Ship date/Window of Opportunity • Action plan/deliverable ownership • Positioning • Rough Timeline/Schedule • Tag line • Key decisions remaining Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 16. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Market Segmentation • Markets can be segmented differently • Consumers – – Demographic (age, sex, income, etc.) – Psychographic (lifestyle or mindset) – Vertical (e.g. interest, expertise, etc.) • Businesses – – Firmagraphic – Vertical • Overall – – Needs, characteristics, behavior Which segments you choose will determine what marketing programs, messages and activities you use to reach the target. Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 17. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Marketing to All Parties Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 18. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Communication • Internal – Launch Plan presentation – Weekly launch team meeting • Track deliverables • Clarify blocking issues • Assign action items – Bi-weekly email to executives • External (at appropriate time) – Channels – Key Customers & Influencers – Press Analysts Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 19. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission One Page Product Overview • All critical details “at a glance” • Eliminates having to repeat information • Keeps team on the same page • CYA with Executives Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 20. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Ideal Launch Timing • Marketing/PR hit the day the product is available • Sometimes announce before availability • Continued programs/reviews to keep momentum (3-6 months) • Set a goal and work backwards – Ideal: start planning and work 6 months prior to ship date • Worst case: announce too early – Customer attempts to purchase but isn’t able to – May purchase competitive product – Unable to get coverage when becomes available – Lose mindshare with press & customers – Take pre-orders but can’t fulfill – Strong embargo w/ press & employees Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 21. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Press & Analysts Launch Timeline Analyst & Press Program Page 1 of 1 Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct TASK 2 9 162330 7 142128 4 111825 2 9 162330 6 132027 3 101724 1 8 1522 Analyst Activities Kickoff/bi-weekly meetings Set up analyst meetings Finalize analyst list (1 friendly, 4 add'l) Calls to analysts to set up mtgs Prepare briefing & review materials Presentation First draft Internal Review Final version Final modifications to rev guide Press kits Set up test/review accounts First meeting with "Friendly" Analyst Modifications to materials/messages (if necessary) Meeting w/add'l 4 analysts Check in on analysts/relationship building Press activities Prepare press briefing materials Long Lead Press Briefings Short lead time briefings Product ships Review activities First 3 Friendly Reviewers Second phase of reviewers (8-12 total) Third Phase of Reviewers (8-12 add'l) Final Phase of Reviewers/Stragglers Weekly "Friendly" Check-in calls Press Coverage Dailies Weeklies Monthlies Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 22. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Marketing Mix Components • PR activities • Channel programs – Press tour – Spiffs – Review program – Retail presence – Analyst coverage – Reseller purchase program – Digital pressroom – Collateral • Advertising • Promotions – Print/Radio/TB – Rebates – On-line Banners – Introductory prices • Direct mail – Comarketing – Customer list • Collateral – Purchased lists – Brochures • Email campaigns – White papers – Customer list – Success Stories – Purchased lists – Sales Tools • Website – Demos – Search Engine Optimization – Video testimonials – AdWords/Yahoo/MSN • Trade Shows – Blogging • Launch Event • Viral & Guerrilla Marketing • Webinars/Seminars – Blogs/bloggers • Social Media programs – Online forums Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 23. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Social Media • Appropriate for certain launches • Target audience are social media consumers • Product is viral, and requires little explanation • Social media is a natural extension of the way the company would communicate Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 24. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Social Media Caveats • Not a magic bullet • Requires well-thought-out strategy • Consistent effort – takes a LONG time • Choose carefully – Blogging – Twitter – Facebook – LinkedIn – MySpace, Friendster, country-specific – Youtube – Podcasting Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 25. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Social Media Synergy & Leverage • All efforts combine to make a greater whole • Coordinated effort within company • Example – Blog post – On Facebook fan page – Tweeted out – Status update on LinkedIn – Content used email newsletter Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 26. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Effective Marketing Mix • Consistent with target customer’s buying behavior • Synergistic • Above the “Bar” to meet goals • Provides effective ROI • Combination of: – Awareness creation – Demand generation – Conversion of leads • Establish meaningful metrics by marketing category Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 27. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Compelling Messaging • Positioning • Long/short/1-sentence Elevator Pitch • Features & Benefits • Unique Selling Proposition If possible test your messages before launching your campaign to make sure they hit the mark! Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 28. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Positioning Process • Develop product positioning based on key differentiators • Validate with customers and channel • Refine positioning based on research results – Hone positioning statement – Develop matrices – Develop product tagline – Write top features & benefits – Develop messaging and 25, 50, 100 word product descriptions Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 29. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission XY Axis Positioning Chart Competitor 1 Product Main Advantage 2 Name Competitor 2 Competitor 3 Main Advantage 1 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 30. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Matrix Positioning Chart Affordable Competitor 1 Product Name Competitor 2 Months to deploy Days to deploy Competitor 3 Expensive Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 31. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Positioning Statement For [target customer] who need to [primary need], [product name] is a [product category] that provides [feature 1], [feature 2] and [feature 3]. Unlike [main competitor], [product name] delivers [main advantage 1] and [main advantage 2]. Example: Apple TrueType “For all Macintosh users who need to always have crisp and clear fonts, TrueType is a font rendering technology that provides smooth fonts, great printouts and built-in operating system support.” The tag line for TrueType was: “Great Type, Anywhere, With Ease” Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 32. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Messages, Features & Benefits • Messages: 25, 50 100, 250 word descriptions • Features & Benefits – Talk to your customers about benefits, not features. – Try to keep it to five – Use the “…,which means that you can…” technique (see features & benefits article) Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 33. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission USP: Unique Selling Proposition • One short hard-hitting sentence • Conveys the essence WHY choose your product • Memorable & repeatable • Supports positioning & tag line Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 34. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Budget • Depends on type of launch • Possible ranges – Soft: $10k – Minimal: $50k – Full Scale: $500k and up • Key: Overall mix funded to meet goals • Rule of thumb: – 5%-20% of expected revenue – > industry average for annual marketing of similar products Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 35. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Soft Launch Sample Budget • Collateral: $5k • Adwords Campaign: $4k • Press release via PR Newswire: $1k • Guerrilla activities via in-house staff • Total: $10k Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 36. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Minimal Launch Sample Budget • Collateral & Demo: $10k • Adwords Campaign: $4k • Press release via PR Newswire: $1k • Email Blast via purchased list: $10k • Channel marketing program: $25k • Guerrilla activities via in-house staff • Total: $50k Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 37. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Full-Scale Launch Sample Budget (Pre-launch + Three Months Afterward) • PR Firm for 6 months: $120k • Adwords Campaign: $5k • Print Advertising: $250k • Collateral & Demo: $25k • Trade Show/Launch Event: $30k • Email blasts to purchased lists: $20k • Channel marketing program: $50k • Total Cost: $500k+ Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 38. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Marketing Mix PR 10% 4% 24% Adwords 6% Print Advertising 5% 1% Collateral & Demo Trade Show/Launch Event Email Blasts 50% Channel Mktg Program Will this effectively reach your target audience with enough exposure to generate leads and meet your revenue goals? Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 39. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission ROI Calculation Enter Assumptions • Profit per sale • For each program: – # Exposures – % that become leads – % that close • Use as basis for calculating ROI Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 40. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission ROI Results Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 41. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Product Readiness • Sales • Manufacturing • Operations • Channel • Support • Product Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 42. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission 280 Group Resources • Free templates and white papers – 8 white papers – 12 templates • PM Job listing sites • 280 Group Product Management 2.0 Newsletter • 280 LinkedIn Group • Product Management 2.0 Blog • Books • PMA listings Go to www.280group.com in the “Resources” section. 42 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 43. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission The 1-Day Launch Plan Intensive • 1 day session with key stakeholders • Designed to optimize your launch, prioritize spending, provide structure and direction to ensure business goals are met • Deliverables: – Launch plan presentation, including • Gap analysis, recommended marketing mix, recommended launch metrics, proposed timeline and budget, and more • Cost: $5,000 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 44. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Giveaway!!! 44 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission
  • 45. ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission Q&A contact@280group.com www.280group.com (408) 834-7518 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf 45 Slides available at www.280group.com/launch.pdf ©2007 to 2010 280 Group LLC. All rights reserved. May not be distributed without prior written permission