Your product launch may have a set date, but approaching it as a single event would be a major mistake.
To alter a cliché, product launches are neither a sprint nor a marathon: they’re more like a triathlon, and you’ll need to combine different sets of actions over a long period time in order to reach your goal. And like any triathlete, you’ve got to start training well before the big day.
Remember Murphy’s Law
As the old adage goes, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Having a proper launch sequence and marketing plan in place ahead of time will save you lots of pain down the road. By knowing what is affected downstream, plans can be adjusted accordingly.
Pragmatic Marketing, a company that specializes in tech product management and education, recommends that you evaluate your product on these three dimensions:
- Launch goals: everyone on your team must thoroughly understand what is expected to come from the launch so that resources don’t go to waste and ROI can be measured effectively.
- Launch readiness: the product is obviously the star here, but don’t neglect your customer support, delivery readiness, accounting and legal teams during this period. Alignment between teams is key to ensuring things go smoothly.
- Launch constraints: it’s a given that lack of time, money and resources will all conspire against you as you approach your launch deadline. But, by anticipating these needs, you can avoid miscommunications about expectations and avoid missed opportunities. Speaking of which…
Communicate, Communicate, Then Communicate Some More
Everyone on your team should strive to be expert communicators within their departments and across the entire organization. Cross-team communication helps everyone address readiness gaps better, solve challenges quicker and adjust launch goals effectively so that a smooth launch can take place.
You can only manage what you measure, and the pre-launch stage is where success metrics should be implemented. Think of how your startup will begin measuring the key performance indicators (KPIs), like cost of conversion ratings, customer acquisition costs, and customer retention. This might also include implementing a system to measure site visits, traffic sources, time spent on the site and other metrics.
This universal understanding and calculated measurement during the pre-launch stage helps lead to a clearer and stronger PR, more sales and a product that does not fail.
Feature Photo Credit: Juhan Sonin via Flickr