Product Launch 30 Day Plan – Week 4
Week 4 of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan is about refining and finalizing the launch plan. Through the third week you have developed a general approach to achieving your product launch goals. Now is the time to rationalize. It’s not possible to do all things for all people. Choices have to be made. Trade-offs need evaluation.
The driving principal to rationalization should be your launch goals. What is the shortest path to achieving those goals?
Not all Market Segments are Equal
The purpose of product launch is to create momentum. Momentum isn’t possible when there is a lack of focus, a lack of direction. That’s the reason why the Product Launch 30 Day Plan starts with defining launch goals.
The first question to ask is “Which market segment(s) provide the shortest path to accomplishing our launch goals?”. Once you have that list of market segments, the next question to ask is “Which of those market segment(s) should we focus on?”. If you don’t have the resources (or the market segment expertise) it isn’t a wise decision to go after every market segment.
There are two things you are doing. Launch goals create a measurement of success and an urgency. Identifying the best market segments creates focus.
One would expect the target market segment(s) are defined prior to building the product. For some of you that’s not going to happen. The product was built. It’s cool. Now launch it. We will figure it out as we go. If that’s your situation you will make some hard choices. With limited resources and time, you can’t do everything.
Below is one way to evaluate a market segment based on a Kiviat diagram (Spider Chart in MS Excel). In the example, six dimensions are evaluated: Strategy, Size, Access, Need, Fit, and Competition. All are ranked from 0 (low/least favorable) to 5 (high/most favorable). Here we have an excellent market segment based on Strategy, Size, Competition, and Fit. Very good (4) in terms of Need, but our Access score is low.
Strategy – does this market segment fit the organization’s strategic direction?
Size – is the market segment large enough to support the business goals? Is it growing?
Access – do we have access to buyers in this market segment in a cost-efficient way?
Need – how important is it to buyers to solve this problem?
Fit – how good of a match is our solution to solving this problem?
Competition – do we have unrestricted competition?
This technique provides a visual way to evaluate market segments. A more completely filled diagram indicates a more desirable market segment (completely filled would be ideal). The discussion surrounding this market segment would be around Access – how to get better access at a reasonable cost. You could easily add weighting factors to each of the dimensions as a more advanced evaluation technique. You could also add or remove variables to suit your organization’s market segment evaluation needs.
Use this technique to find the most ideal market segment in a set of market segments your organization is considering targeting.
Identify Points of Leverage
Leverage helps you achieve more work with less effort. Leverage helps you reach a market more efficiently. Consider as many points of leverage you have at your discretion. Are there publications your market segment follows? Are there influential bloggers? Industry analysts? Are there partners (or potential partners, or investors) that could provide trusted introductions? Could you lean on your customer support team to introduce your customer base to new ideas?
Review the Buyer’s Journey you mapped out in Week 3. What is the first thing buyers do? What information do they need first? Look for the information buyers need and when they need it. Where do they go to get it? What do they expect to find? What do they expect of their influencers? The strategy game here is to find influencers and then identify how to influence them. Sometimes you can do this directly. Sometimes it takes a little help.
Review Launch Readiness Plans
By now you should have launch readiness plans to review. Maybe not all of them are completed but there should be important progress in that direction.
Review the launch readiness plans for their articulation of the gaps identified and the recommended actions to close the gaps. Send plans back for refinement if it isn’t clear how the gaps will be closed.
Re-Assess Launch Goals
As in Weeks 2 and 3 it’s time to review your Launch Goals. New insights into organizational strengths and weaknesses may lead to a resetting launch goals.
Remember it’s not possible to pull off a successful product launch and please everyone. Always let the launch goals be your guide to focus on doing the right things or the right reasons.
If you have any comments or questions feel free to post them in the comments. Your feedback improves the Product Launch 30 Day Plan which helps everyone have a more successful product launch.
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