Resources > Articles

Do You Have the Right Product Launch Goals?

Post Author
  • Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a leading provider of cloud-based roadmap software for product and marketing teams. For more than 15 years he has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Prior to AppFolio, Jim validated and created version 1.0 product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at www.productplan.com/blog. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimSemick.

goals

You’re working hard toward launching your next product. Your project plan is glorious. The deliverables are well defined. The activities are noted. The interdependencies areÊevident in the Gantt chart. You have the best people on your cross-functional product launch team. You are set. Or are you?

Do you and your team know what a successful product launch looks like? How will the success of the product launch be measured by the executive team?

goals
Photo By Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you can’t answers those questions you’re not alone. Many companies get so fixated on getting “stuff” done in support of a product launch, they lose sight of what’s really important: achieving business goals.

To start to nail your product launch goals you have to backtrack to what the business is trying to accomplish. Then you can identify metrics that are in support of those goals.

Maybe you’re introducing a new product. It’s a product that – naturally – the executive team expects to add to the top/bottom line of the business. Chances are they have a specific set of numbers in mind… add $3.2 million in incremental revenue… increase margin by 17%… increase the customer renewal rate from 78% to 85%… establish a beachhead in a new market segment by landing three bluechip customers.

What we have to do is get a clear understanding of the expectation of the product launch and then translate that into metrics that can be used to track product launch progress.

Let’s say you are introducing a new product to gain entry into a new market segment. The executive team is expecting $3.2 million in incremental revenue plus establish credibility in the market segment. What metrics could we use to track product launch progress? The obvious is revenue, but what if there is a long sales cycle? What if this is a risk-averse market segment that needs customer references?

In support of the revenue goal you could focus on growth in the pipeline. That is, are we driving interest in our new product to a level that gets participants in the market segment to engage and consider it as an answer to their problems. But you would also try to focus your energy on finding buyers that are representative of the new market segment that could also be good candidates for becoming customer references, which drive additional revenue in a risk-averse market segment AND provides evidence of a beachhead.

To avoid wasting product launch budget, you might consider keeping the initial product launch activities relatively low key until the early adopters become references. At a later time you could make a bigger marketing splash and tout your initial success with “launch customers”, providing an element of safety for the majority of buyers in the new market segment.

What are your launch goals?

Author

  • Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a leading provider of cloud-based roadmap software for product and marketing teams. For more than 15 years he has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Prior to AppFolio, Jim validated and created version 1.0 product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at www.productplan.com/blog. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimSemick.

Author:

Other Resources in this Series

Most Recent

Article

What is Product Management?

Product management oversees a product's development and life cycle. The ultimate goal is to create and deliver a product that meets customers' needs and generates revenue for the company.
Product Principles for 2023 and an image of a hand holding a clock
Article

6 Principles for Successful Product Management in 2023

A principle is something that guides us in how we perceive things and the decisions that we make. These principles will reduce our decision time and our decision fatigue and help us navigate any uncertainties this year will bring.
People figures with two in different colors
Article

The Ultimate Guide to Positioning

Ask five people what positioning means, and you’ll likely get five different answers. Positioning is often used in place of value proposition and vice versa (sometimes both get confused with messaging) There is agreement on one
Four blue chairs, one is yellow with text "positioning strategy"
Article

A Look at Clarity in Positioning

Positioning is a process that focuses on conveying product value to buyers, resulting in a family of documents that drives all outbound communications. The best positioning clearly states how the product will solve specific customer problems.
Person working on laptop. On the screen is assessment, analysis, progress.
Article

How to Approach Asset Assessment

This article will help you get started with asset assessment, identify file naming conventions, and help you explore some potential tools to improve your processes.

OTHER ArticleS

Article

What is Product Management?

Product management oversees a product's development and life cycle. The ultimate goal is to create and deliver a product that meets customers' needs and generates revenue for the company.
Product Principles for 2023 and an image of a hand holding a clock
Article

6 Principles for Successful Product Management in 2023

A principle is something that guides us in how we perceive things and the decisions that we make. These principles will reduce our decision time and our decision fatigue and help us navigate any uncertainties this year will bring.

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Sign up to received invites to upcoming webinars, updates on our recent podcast episodes and the latest on industry best practices.

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

Subscribe

Subscribe

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.