In this Product Launch Strategy blog series, Forward Vision Marketing’s Philip Sorrells shares the secret to a successful product launch. Topics include How to Ace Your Product Launch, Steps to Avoid a Product Launch Flop, Launch Your Product the Right Way, The Secret Sauce in Every Successful Product Launch, Messaging Around the Buyer’s Journey, and Being the Hero in a Flawless Product Launch.
Few things are more important when introducing your hot new product than having a keen understanding of potential buyers. There is one key prerequisite to achieving this profound understanding — developing a highly detailed buyer persona or Voice of the Customer (VoC). This single step will guide you throughout the entire launch process.
Your buyer persona will change over time. As you gather data from the behavior of prospects through their online interaction and engagement, you’ll gain insights about their preferences that can sharpen your VoC, allowing you to be even more accurate in engaging the audience. Rather than simply collecting data, VoC focuses on understanding and continually re-evaluating it at a deep level.
For example, if you know customers are having problems, it’s your goal to get to the root of these problems. On the flip side, if you know where customers are finding enjoyment in your product, find out why and capitalize on it.
Typically, the buyer’s journey has three stages: 1) the Awareness Stage, when prospects realize they have a problem; 2) the Consideration stage, when they define their problem and look for options to solve it; and 3) the Decision Stage, when they choose a solution. Delivering relevant content that matches each of these stages will boost sales.
Today’s buyers live in an always-on world. It is a universe of instantly available information about products and services they need. Your job is to position your product so it can be found. If you can anticipate customer needs and deliver relevant, personalized content that matches their place in the buyer’s journey, your efforts will succeed. Cookie-cutter one-size-fits all content likely will get lost.
Develop a Go-To-Market Plan
Before your new product faces the gale-force winds of market competition, you will need a step-by-step tactical plan that lays out actions to take. A good go-to-market strategy encompasses not just a marketing plan but a sales strategy that aligns with all parts of the company. The plan should identify a problem, position your offering as the solution, and describe the steps you will take.
- What are buyers’ pain points and frustrations you are addressing?
- How much will prospects be willing to pay for it?
- Who already offers what you are launching? Is there demand or is the market oversaturated?
- Through what channels will you sell? A website, an app, or a third-party distributor?
Any go-to-market strategy will fail without powerful content to fuel it. To break through the clutter created by the proliferation of channels and devices, your content must be fresh, personally tailored to readers’ needs and quenching their thirst for knowledge and useful information.
Create Compelling Content
In the B2B industry, the buyer’s journey can be long and complex, often involving multiple stakeholders along the way. This is why you will need to identify what types of content drive the highest levels of traffic. Whitepapers, infographics, blogs, webinars, press releases and podcasts are just a few.
The best content informs, entertains, educates, and offers utility – all while connecting with prospects at their point in the buyer’s journey.
If something is performing better than expected, double down on it. If something isn’t working, eliminate that tactic and focus on a new, untried tactic. Don’t stick with your initial ideas or concepts if they don’t yield results.
In the B2B world, most buyers aren’t ready to open up their wallets the first time they read about you. They need multiple exposures. Before creating your next piece of content, write out the following sentence and fill in the blank: “The target reader of this content is in the ____ stage of the buying process.” Do this every time until it becomes a subconscious part of your content strategy.
Content should be:
- Unique and highly relevant and timely to the reader
- Engaging and informative
- Reader-friendly, well-structured, and error-free
- Optimized for search engines
In today’s information-rich environment, there is good reason why “content is king.” It focuses on customers first. It attracts prospects rather than interrupts them. And it aims to solve their problem, not just improve your sales. Effective content is like having salespeople who work 24/7, helping customers with what they need, when they it. It is essential to a winning product launch strategy.
At Forward Vision, our experts use the “Start Right – Finish Well” launch management process as a proven methodology to give new products the lift they need. Watch our webinar or download our eBook to learn more.