30 November 2008
OK, so you have completed your first product/service and you are ready to launch. Now what? Planning the actual launch event/vehicle is crucial to your company’s success. Here are several items you will need to line up before the launch:
- Line up at least one analyst who understands your business proposition, is familiar with your solution and who is willing to be quote in the press.
- Locate some friendly bloggers/press who you can pre-brief and guarantee some initial coverage. If you have worked properly with a reputable PR agency, this should be a done deal.
- Leverage your design partners – if you have worked correctly, with design partners (see earlier post), then make sure they are available for the initial launch. This includes the following:
o Quote in press release
o Speak to analysts and press about the solution
o Be reference for a limited number of interested prospects
o Be used in a case study outlining how the product/service solved a business problem for the customer
- Prepare release materials, for example:
o Press release with clear value proposition, analyst and customer quote, product description with availability and pricing information.
o Data sheet
o Customer case study
o Business white paper describing the market need and value proposition. A good use of objective market data is particularly important. If the product has a strong technical bent, a paper describing why the technology is special will appeal to a certain press/analyst element as well.
o Supporting website with appropriate messaging and sign-up pages for marketing materials. Make sure you can capture your visitors details and make sure contact information is easily visible.
Next, select your the launch venue. The venue should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:
- Be an event well-attended by your target market
- Be a high-profile event with big-name press looking for stories like yours
- Be a co-branded event arranged with a big-name that can provide some credibility to the event and will attract press. This event could be a face-to-face event or an online event. A webinar is an example of an online event, but this would need a big draw (speaker, partner, or customer) in order to be successful.
- Be an event hosted by one of your brand-name customers or brand-name analyst covering your particular area of expertise.
Once the release materials are ready and the venue is arranged, you will need to pre-brief key analysts/press so that you are assured a powerful launch that accurately captures your value and identifies you as a company to be contacted to solve a pressing business problem.
If you can, try and sign up for a new product award for one that addresses your particular business problem.
If you do this properly, you can bask in the glory of your success for a day or two…and then get back to work, because you are only getting started…