The Product Launch 30 Day Plan – Week 1
Product Launch 30 Day Plan
The purpose of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan is to provide a starting point for Launch seminar attendees to get started planning a product launch. Think of it like a Quick Start Guide that is designed to get customers up and running quickly, and to help put into action what was learned in the Launch seminar.
I like to think of it like cooking. When you attend the Launch seminar, you learn about the cooking tools and the ingredients. The next step is to prepare a meal and for that you need a recipe. Think of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan as a recipe. The recipe will need to (and should) be adjusted to suit your tastes.
Don’t think of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan as an absolute. Think of it like a guide that’s intended to provide the insight and foundation for your successful product launch. Every organization is different and every market segment has its idiosyncrasies that have to be factored into the Product Launch 30 Day Plan.
Good luck, think about the ‘big picture’, and have fun!
Week 1 – Product Launch Basics
The first week of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan is critical. It’s the time you spend to define and set expectations for your product launch.
Like any major project it’s important to start with what you are trying to accomplish. Without measurable goals, a product launch is subject to differences of opinion, inefficient use of resources, the risk of confusing your sales channels, and worse, confusing your market.
Define Launch Goals
Your product launch goals must be measurable. “Selling as much as we can” is not a measurable launch goal because it’s open to interpretation. “To become the recognized leader in [fill in the blank]” may be desirable but how will you measure it? How will you connect the relatively short-term project of a product launch with a potentially longer term goal like “recognized leader”? It may be necessary to break down the bigger goal into a set of smaller goals that can be measured within a product launch.
Goals that can be measured are like revenue, units shipped, references and reviews, market share, and sales pipeline growth.
Revenue goals may need to be reduced to simpler short-term goals. In the case of a long sales cycle measuring the success of a product launch in revenue would be unproductive. But measuring the launch in terms of growth in the sales pipeline would be productive and measurable.
Finally, product launch goals need to have a timeframe. How quickly will you be expected to accomplish the launch goals? Having a time limit creates urgency and focus. A year is too long and a week is too short. Find a balance.
At this early phase in the Product Launch 30 Day Plan don’t worry about the precision of the launch goals yet. As more information is gathered the launch goals will become clearer and refined.
Prioritize Product Launch Resources
Not all product launches are alike and not every product launch needs every available resource. Following the link the product launch tiers post for more details.
There is a simple way to identify the priority of a product launch based on the impact to your organization and the impact to the market. On a scale of 1 to 3 where 1 is highest and 3 is lowest, what is the impact of this launch on:
- Your organization
- Your target market segments
It may turn out that the impact to your organization is low and the impact on a target market segment is high, again a Tier 1 launch: highest priority.
It may be that the impact to your organization is low and the impact on a target market segment is high, yet again a Tier 1 launch: highest priority.
Take a moment now, in light of the product launch goals and your organization’s expectations, to determine which Launch Tier your product launch will be: Tier 1 (high), Tier 2 (mid), Tier 3 (low).
Refine Your Target Market Segment(s)
You now have product launch goals, but where are you going to focus within a market to achieve the launch goals with the fewest amount of resources and in the shortest period of time?
Take a deep breath. Consider the market segments your organization is serving today. Is there a single, target market segment that could help you accomplish your launch goal if you focused all your attention on that one market segment? If not a single market segment, what is the smallest subset of market segments you can focus on?
The problem many technology companies make is to define target market segments too loosely. So loose that just about anyone would will fit the definition. Now would be a good time refine the definition of your target market segments. Your resources will be used more wisely and your results will be improved.
The bigger picture is that you can’t do everything for everybody.
Consider Your Launch Strategy Options
If you have attended Pragmatic Institute’s Launch seminar you were introduced to 7 launch strategies.
In light of your launch goals and target market segments, consider which part of each market segment represents the shortest path to accomplishing the launch goal. In a market segment some number of people have already bought, some number are looking to buy, and some number are on the sidelines completely disinterested. Which one of those represents the shortest path to launch success? Let your launch goals and target market segments guide your thinking.
The shortest path to accomplishing your launch goals might be your customer base. These are the people who are familiar with your company and offerings. It may require less effort to buy and less effort to sell, compressing the timeframe to your launch goals.
It might be efficient to target a weak competitor who’s customer base is dissatisfied. Just be careful. You can’t predict what will happen when you swat the hornet’s nest.
Perhaps your target market segment is teaming with buyers that need little in the way of convincing to consider your category of product.
It’s also important to consider that different target market segments will likely require different product launch strategies.
And one last reminder on launch strategies. You can’t do everything for everyone. Voices in your company will question why you took one path and ignored another. It’s all in the quest to achieve the agreed upon launch goals, which sets the stage for the company’s success.
Start planning your product launch using the 4 items above. If you have any questions, comments, or need advice please use the comments area below.
Update: Added links to related posts.
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