Whether it involves expanding your scale or workshopping your messaging, a well-considered approach to launching a new tech product can really pay off. Here are a few ideas to get going.
Launching a new digital product or service for your members soon? It can feel a bit nerve-wracking, of course.
But there are opportunities to help ensure the launch actually gets airborne and doesn’t flag (or worse, crash).
A few ideas from the worlds of marketing and technology:
Think big. If you’re releasing a big feature or an impressive tool, you can’t just announce it with a ho-hum approach, says Aileen Horgan of Atlassian. She suggests treating the launch as a journey. “Launching a new product (or completely overhauling an existing one) will have a big impact on your organization. It’s also an opportunity to develop a long-lasting relationship with customers, both new and existing,” she explains. “So think of the product launch as the start of a journey, one that could dramatically boost the exposure and awareness of your brand.”
Consider your target audience, and the best way to reach them. Not every product is going to be a perfect fit for every one of your members, so it’s necessary to pinpoint where you want to have the most impact. In comments to Forbes, Megan Shroy of Approach Marketing says this can help make messaging a bit easier, too. “Clearly defining your target audience gives you direction in your marketing, facilitates more consistency in your messaging, and allows you to authentically connect with your customers,” she says.
Workshop the message internally before you launch. A guide from the marketing platform HubSpot suggests a variety of steps for building out your messaging for the first time, including creating mock press releases and workshopping it internally. The company’s Marcus Andrews makes the case that you may want to work that messaging up the food chain as you’re perfecting it. “It’s good to start with individuals who may be a little more forgiving and honest before presenting to executives. Use every meeting to pitch people and ask questions,” he writes. “You want to gather as much info as possible here and root out any confusing or bad messages.”
Embrace (or find) your community. Having a group of people who are already into your work is important, especially when you’re coming to the market with something new. It can help make selling the idea just a little easier, says former Code School CEO Gregg Pollack. “Tap into the power of community early on,” he told CIO. “In other words, find a community of like-minded people who would use your product or service and engage that community either via social media or in person.”
Have a post-launch strategy. HubSpot’s Andrews says that it’s important not to let your momentum wane after the product has gotten out of the gate, and that re-engagement strategies are necessary—especially when your new offering costs a lot of money. “You’ll reach a lot of people with your launch, but it often takes several touch points before someone is convinced to start a trial or get a demo,” he writes. “Make sure to continue to move folks who’ve raised their hands as ‘interested but not ready to buy’ down your funnel.”