NEC/NTC Education Series: How to Launch Your Product


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Chip Hysler from CM Marketing presents "Launching Your Product- Are You Ready?" Part of an ongoing education series, presented by the Nashville Technology Council and Nashville Entrepreneur Center

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NEC/NTC Education Series: How to Launch Your Product

  1. 1. Launching Your Product – oductAre You Ready? Dec 17, 2010 Chip Hysler Product Management Consultant CM Marketing 1
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction • Need for Product Launch Planning • Product Launch Process • When to Launch? • Launch Planning • Product Launch Checklist • Summary 2
  3. 3. CM Marketing• Chip Hysler• , g Owner, Product Management Consultancy y• 25 Years Experience in Product Management and Product Marketing.• Launched over 35 Technology and Consumer Products Our approach is based on a mix of proven industry methodology and industry experience in assisting companies with managing their products within any stage of the "Product Life Cycle". • Product Management • Marketing Strategy • Product Strategy • Market Research • Product Launch • Project 3
  4. 4. The Need to Plan… According to the Harvard Business Review – • “on average 40% and 90% of all product launches fail” meaning almost 1 in 2 product launches fail. • “47% of first movers have failed, meaning approximately half the companies pioneering new products later pull out of those businesses.” d t l t ll t f th b i ” • The study finds the main reason – “a disconnect that could have been addressed “ di t th t ld h b dd d through a more effective launch process”.Product Launch Failure Harvard Business Review – December 2007 4
  5. 5. The Need For Product Launch Planning Probability of Failure New to the 35 Company 30 hnology 25 Product/Tech Adjacent to Current 20 Offerings 15 10 Same as Current Offerings 10 15 20 25 30 Same as Adjacent New to the Present To Present Company Intended Market Harvard Business Review – December 2007 5
  6. 6. "If we dont succeed, we d t drun the risk of failure." --Bill Clinton, President 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. Product Launch Process A proven, effective product launch process results in proven the difference between success and failure in your new business – soaring profits vs. painful losses. A quality “Product launch Plan and Process” makes it much easier and less stressful to launch right consistently. - 280 Group 8
  9. 9. When To Launch? Idea Launch Timing Measure Strategy • Different Stages • Market Window • Business Readiness • Channel Readiness • Customer Readiness Launch Design • Type of Product • Type of Launch Build Test 9
  10. 10. Ideal Product Launch Timing • Review Business Strategy and Objectives • Market Timing M k t Ti i • Day of Market Availability - Marketing/PR hit the road • Preannounce before availability • Set a goal and work backwards – Ideal: Start planning and work 6 months prior to ship date • Worst Case: Announcing too early g y – Customer attempts to purchase but isnt able to – May purchase competitive product – Unable to get coverage when p g g product becomes available – Lose mindshare with press & customers – Take pre-orders but can’t fulfill 10
  11. 11. Elements of a Successful Product Launch 1. Clear Goals 2. Plan for product launch early in research and development cycle 3. Defined Value Proposition & Positioning Statement 4. 4 Team Planning – Launch Planning at every meeting 5. Internal and External Communications 6. Market Timing 7. Effective Marketing Mix ff i k i i 8. Compelling Messaging 9. Budget to Achieve Goals 10. Message Reaches Target Customers 11. Product Readiness 11
  12. 12. Launch Goals Establish and Track Goals Based on the Business Case – • Gain market share and market penetration • Introduce competitive argument • Create initial product/brand/company awareness • Solid financial performance, drive revenue, including sales • High q g quality and customer satisfaction y 12
  13. 13. Creating the Launch Plan 1. Rollout Strategy 2. Channel Strategy 3. Sales Training Plan 4. Customer Service Plan 5. Test Marketing and Customer Trials 6. Supply Chain Management 13
  14. 14. Rollout Strategy Types of L T f Launches h Long Release Cycles: Rolling Release Cycles: (Major New Product) (Minor Product) “Soft” Launch Soft “Soft” Launch Soft Minimal Launch Minimal Launch Full-Scale Launch 14
  15. 15. Rollout Strategy Product Release Cycles Release 1 Long Release Cycles • “Soft” Launch (Major New Product) • Minimal Launch • Full-Scale Launch Release 1 Release 2 Release 3 Release … Market 1 Market 2 Market 3 Market… Rolling Release Cycles • “Soft” Launch (Minor Product) • Minimal Launch 1 month N Years 15
  16. 16. Channel Strategy How are you getting your product to the market? • Direct • Online • Dealers • Distributors b • Partner Channels The channel strategy you choose can impact product design, development, packaging, and launch timing. 16
  17. 17. Sales Training Plan • Sales, Distributor, and Support Training is very important. important • All documents, manuals, instruction and other materials must be ready. • “Train the Trainer” Concept. • Leverage beta trials to test training and material. 17
  18. 18. Customer Service Plan • Customer service procedures • Rolls of the channel • Establish ordering procedures • Warranty agreements • Service and repair procedures • Customer and order tracking • Coverage 7/24/365? • Documented • Returns 18
  19. 19. Test Marketing and Customer Trials Try to use a test market/beta trials – • Test product in live environment • If the product fails, only a small portion of customers will know. • Allows assess to customer response to the product, documentation, packaging, pricing and use. • Have real stories from satisfied customers to beef up your p promotions and sakes when y fully launch the product. you y p • Allows testing of logistical aspect the launch: coordination with suppliers, manufacturing , quality, shipping, installation, dealer interaction, etc… interaction etc 19
  20. 20. Supply Chain Management • Know exactly who your suppliers are, what their deliverables are and when. when • Be sure to over communicate with suppliers and partners. • Allows you to act quickly if a supplier/partner won’t come through. • Coordinate schedule between you and the suppliers. suppliers • Keep track of low-cost suppliers to improve margins. 20
  21. 21. Sample Launch Plan • Summary • Features & Benefits • Purpose of this p p plan • Price • Marketing Overview • Place & Channel • Key Market Trends • Marketing Strategy • Launch Goals/Objectives • Marketing Tactics/Promotion • Target Customers & Needs • Launch Budget • Market Segmentation • Marketing Mix and Metrics • Product • Expected ROI • Window of Opportunity • Action Plan / Deliverable • Ship Date Ownership • Positioning • Rough Timeline/Schedule • Tag Line • Key Decisions Remaining 21
  22. 22. Product Launch Checklist Planning Technical Operations LAUNCH Marketing/Sales Product Support 22
  23. 23. Product Launch Checklist Planning • A product launch plan is prepared covering all activities to be performed by Engineering, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, Product Support, and Field Service. Support Service • Have a Launch Manager. • Functional departments understand their responsibilities for launch activities. • Functional departments have committed the necessary resources to support launch activities. • The launch activities are on track to be completed as currently planned. planned • A Production Readiness Review, Product Launch Review or related gate review confirms that all preparations have been completed and the product is ready to launch. 23
  24. 24. Product Launch Checklist Technical • Product performance has been evaluated through testing and qualification and the product meets its defined requirements. • The product and the production process have been qualified or validated and all regulatory approvals and/or certifications have been obtained. • All product d i d d t design documentation h b t ti has been completed and approved. l t d d d • Technical data sheets have been prepared. • User documentation, operating manuals and maintenance instructions have been completed. completed • Engineering personnel stand ready to address any issues that arise. 24
  25. 25. Product Launch Checklist Operations • Required manufacturing process documentation or outputs (e.g., work instructions, manning plans, etc.) are complete. • Production processes have been proven using either pilot production lines or actual production lines. • The product and demand forecast data has been established in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and ERP i used t plan and t i l i t d is d to l d manage the supply chain and production. • All suppliers have been selected and qualified. • Needed materials and parts are on order or in stock on-order stock. • Adequate capacity and personnel exist to support planned production. • The distribution pipeline is filled with the appropriate level of product. 25
  26. 26. Product Launch Checklist Marketing/Sales • Market receptivity has been evaluated by key customer feedback, focus groups, test markets, or beta tests prior to launch. • If the product is being used by beta customers, testimonials or case studies have been prepared. • A promotion and advertising plan has been developed. • Advertising copy has been developed and media contracts and arrangements have been made. • Promotional materials and sales literature have been developed, ordered, ordered and are ready to distribute. distribute 26
  27. 27. Product Launch Checklist Marketing/Sales • Sales and distribution channels have been identified and established. • Final packaging has been designed, approved and ordered. • Product pricing has been established and approved. • Marketing Mix determined and in place. • Sales personnel have been trained. • Sales personnel have sales literature, support material and product samples literature samples. • The sales forecast has been updated based on the latest market demand. • The website has been updated. • Press releases have been prepared and are ready to distribute. • Industry analysts have been briefed as planned. • A product release and/or general availability has been announced. 27
  28. 28. The Marketing Mix Checklist • PR Activities • Channel Programs – Press Releases – Spiffs – Review Program – Retail presence – Analyst Coverage l C – Resell purchase program ll h – Digital Pressroom – Collateral • Advertising • Promotions – Print/Radio/TB – Rebates – On-Line Banners On Line – Introductory Prices • Direct Mail – Co marketing – Customer list • Collateral – Purchased Lists – Brochures • E-mail Campaigns – White Papers – Customer Lists – Success Stories – Purchased Lists – Presentations • Website • Sales Tools – Search engine Optimization • Product Demo – Ad Words/ Yahoo/MSN • Video Testimonials – Blogging • Trade Shows/Conferences • Social Media Programs • Launch Event – Related Groups • Customer Events – Affiliated Marketing g • Webinars/Seminars • Virtual and Guerrilla Marketing – Blogs/Bloggers • Speaking and Panel Engage. – Online Forums • Trade Associations 28
  29. 29. Product Launch Checklist Product Support • Support Processes in place. • Return process in place. • Necessary support resources are hired and in place. • Service and support personnel have been trained. • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been identified and responses prepared. • Troubleshooting guides, installation guides, and service manuals. • Spare part requirements have been planned. 29
  30. 30. Product Launch Checklist Communications Internal External • Launch Plan • Channels Presentation • Key Customer y • W kl launch team Weekly l h meeting • Key Influencers • Track deliverables • Press / Analysts • Clarify blocking issues • Assign action items 30
  31. 31. Why Product Launches Fail • There are no goals for the product launch. • The launch team isn’t a team. • The launch strategy is based on a set of deliverables from a launch “checklist”. • The launch plan contains unrealistic timeframes and expectations. • Sales enablement training is based on product features. • Significant effort is spent creating collateral and sales tools for people who never read it. • No single person is responsible for driving product launch results. l h l • The launch plan mimics your competitor. • Existing customers are not adequately considered in the l th launch plan. h l 31
  32. 32. Tips For a Successful Product Launch 1. Have a formal plan 2. Create a unique value proposition 3. Have a team 4. Target ideal customers 5. Communicate 6. Create the hype around the product launch 7. Press releases 8. Dress rehearsal 9. 9 The Th events 10. Keep audience captivated 11. Celebrate 12. 12 Back to reality 13. Product launched successfully? 14. Follow-Up/Get feedback 15. 15 Lessons learned 32
  33. 33. The Value of a Successful Launch • Creates initial momentum to ramp sales • Creates competitive strength C t titi t th • Provides start for next release • Provides good ROI • Helps company reach its goals New Growth New Revenue New Customers New Product 33
  34. 34. Summary • Have a Launch Plan • Launch Planning Is Essential h l i i l • Start Early in Product Development • Have a Launch Team • Time Your Launch • Follow a Product Launch Checklist • Have a Successfully Launch 34
  35. 35. Thank youHave A Successful Launch! L h! Chip Hysler CM Marketing 615-818-6623 chiphysler1@att net 35
  36. 36. Resources 36