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Most business owners want to quickly launch a new digital product and achieve immediate market success. In practice, mesmerizing growth hacking is the result of hard and lengthy marketing activities. How relevant is a product launch strategy? How can you use it to check if your company is ready to enter the market?
A product launch strategy is planned work to bring a new product to market. It starts long before a release. A marketing team convinces consumers of the value of an offer and tries to generate demand.
When implementing a promotion plan, the team performs the following actions:
Specialists tell potential buyers about a product
Create a stir around the novelty
Work on branding
Build an audience loyal to the brand
Set the tone for quick sales
For example, suppose an education center has a product – a course titled “How to Become a Developer in One Month.” If the center doesn’t advertise it, it probably won’t sell. And even if the course sells, the process will be very slow without a product launch strategy. The company should launch an advertising campaign and tell potential customers about the teachers and the main features of the course.
Related: 8 Steps to the Perfect Product Launch
You need to know your buyer persona
According to CBInsights, 35% of projects fail because there is no market demand for products. That is, customers do not need a product, so the sale is not successful.
Such mistakes happen when a company does not know the target audience that is able to provide the necessary revenue stream. Other companies, on the other hand, know their potential customers. But they have so many buyer personas that their focus is fragmented and a dispersed marketing strategy leads to failure.
But there is an effective solution. You can focus on one buyer persona with the most “hungry” potential customers. They wait for your product to hit the market and are ready to buy it right away. Steve Blank, a successful American toptecheasy.com and the ‘godfather’ of Silicon Valley, suggests “create customers” in addition to developing a successful digital product. This requires four steps:
Finding customers (understanding their problems, preferences and buying behaviour)
Checking customers (developing a sales process)
Create a customer (generate demand and attract buyers)
Scaling up a business plan
Your product efficiently solves a specific problem
Judging by the experience of successful and long-standing companies, they initially released products to solve specific problems. Amazon, for example, started out as an online bookstore and didn’t sell everything from A to Z. Microsoft first sold only an operating system and then moved on to cloud computing and side projects.
To evaluate a launch strategy in this vein, you need to establish achievable goals and benchmarks that point to success. For example, if potential customers are discussing product features on social networks, it’s a good sign that the strategy has been built correctly.
Related: Will Your Product Launch Be a Success? 4 signs it won’t be.
You know how to position your product relative to your competitors
Without proper positioning, consumers won’t know if your product is better than its market analogs. You need to conduct a thorough competitor analysis to know how to profitably highlight the benefits of your solution. Consumers need to see the benefit of purchase, and this will encourage them to buy the product.
Avoid situations when:
Customers aren’t familiar with a product or don’t know anything important about it because of under-positioning
Consumers have a limited image of a brand due to overpositioning
Buyers can’t associate a brand with anything because of confused positioning
Customers don’t trust a brand because of questionable positioning
Your customers are waiting for the release of a successful digital product
Apple, Nike, Red Bull and other well-known brands use teaser advertising. They intrigue buyers by showing only part of the functionality or by hinting at the unique properties of their products. From the outside, it seems like a psychological trick that makes people stand in line.
To keep customers looking forward to the release of a product, you need to do pre-launch marketing. Here are a few tips:
Create a landing page to collect customer emails
Place ads on the landing page to make it visible on the web
Keep a blog revealing the benefits of your product, which is good for SEO promotion on the web
Launch a PR campaign to get attention in the market
Related: These product launches tell us exactly how to go about it
You are ready to improve the product based on user feedback
Even if it has studied the market and target audience in detail, a company cannot guess customers’ wishes with 100% accuracy. That is why successful entrepreneurs are switching from standard development methodology to lean manufacturing. This means that after completing steps for product discoverythey continue to create a minimally viable product.
The product comes to the market with basic functions in an app. An IT team collects customer feedback, finds out what they’re missing for ease of working with the platform, and adds the missing features.
You know when the market is ready for your product
When a product comes out too early, users may perceive it as not good enough. If you release a product late, your company risks missing opportunities and losing to competitors.
This is what happened to the Vreal platform in 2018. This startup wanted to create a VR environment for video game streamers to interact with viewers. The project seemed interesting and generated investment, but the market was not ready for such an innovation. Equipment and technology did not develop as fast as the startup needed. Therefore, its activities came to an end. The product was ahead of its time and failed.
To get off to a successful start, you need to know what customers think about your brand and your new product – and whether they expect the product to hit the market. Consider a competent promotion strategy and analyze the results at every step. Using the six milestones mentioned above, you can determine if your company is ready to enter the market with the help of a product launch strategy.