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How To Launch A Product: 7 Tips To Drive Demand

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A Product Manager's Job
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How To Launch A Product: 7 Tips To Drive Demand

  1. 1. A 7 Step Checklist to Nail Your Next Product Launch and Drive Demand
  2. 2. Whether you’re launching something
  3. 3. Launching something
  4. 4. Or launching to your product
  5. 5. Product launches can be a huge source of ________ .
  6. 6. to make sure you have your bases covered and to set you up to So we wanted to create a your next product launch.
  7. 7. Product Marketers Growth Marketers Customer Marketers And anyone in-between that’s focused on launching a product and driving demand.
  8. 8. Just in case you only take ONE slide from this deck.
  9. 9. Just in case you only take ONE slide from this deck. (Go ahead, this is your chance to take a screenshot) 1. Talk to customers and do your research. 2. Create your positioning and messaging. 3. Share that positioning and messaging with key teams/stakeholders. 4. Create a list of all possible launch activities. 5. Create all of your launch assets and product content. 6. Get the whole team prepared and on the same page. 7. Launch.
  10. 10. But in reality, there are no shortcuts. So, instead of the TL: DR version
  11. 11. PS. Want product marketing tips right to your inbox once a week? Click here to subscribe. (no spam, just one email, once a week)
  12. 12. Yes, we believe in shipping fast. That’s our CEO @dcancel. His motto is “just ship it!”
  13. 13. ...there’s never been a successful launch that wasn’t grounded in at least a little bit of research.
  14. 14. Neil Patel Co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics The sooner you learn about your customers, the faster you’ll be able to pivot and serve them better.
  15. 15. Some call it research. Some call it customer development.
  16. 16. But regardless of what you call it,
  17. 17. That you get out of the building and
  18. 18. When you’re talking to customers, you’re going to hear a lot of things like: and
  19. 19. But as a marketer it’s your job to filter out the noise and only listen for one thing:
  20. 20. Push yourself to go deeper, ask better questions and you’ll get better answers.
  21. 21. One of the best frameworks for discovering pain is
  22. 22. Sandler’s process pushes you to go deeper and uncover the underlying reasons for your prospect’s pain vs. stopping at the surface. Learn more about the Sandler methodology here.
  23. 23. You don’t need to talk to the entire world when doing research! Just 12-15 one-on-one customer interviews will reveal about 80% of all possible pain points for your segment. Henry Devries & Chris Stiehl’s Pain Killer Marketing, 2008
  24. 24. Now it’s time to turn all of that customer development research into something actionable.
  25. 25. There are a million ways to write a positioning statement.
  26. 26. But you don’t need to get caught up in all of the textbooks, tutorials, and worksheets.
  27. 27. Just focus on answering these three questions when it comes to your product:
  28. 28. *But if you do want a worksheet. Here’s a good exercise to nail down your positioning.
  29. 29. Just fill out each one of these bullets: Source: Mike Troiano & Intelligently
  30. 30. And then turn those answers into a Mad Lib style sentence: “For target who are segment, brand provides the category with distinction because of proof.”
  31. 31. “For target who are segment, brand provides the category with distinction because of proof.” “For drivers who value auto performance, BMW provides luxury vehicle that deliver joy through German engineering.” “For people around the world, Coca-Cola is the soft drink that has been the real thing since 1886.”
  32. 32. Don’t think about what your product does. Anyone can write about features. Think about the super powers that your product gives to your customers. Your product is the spinach. Popeye is the customer. The ability to lift 1,000 pounds is the super power. Credit to Justin Jackson for this one. Check out his Tiny Marketing Wins to get awesome daily nuggets like these.
  33. 33. Now that you have positioning, everyone at your company needs to know it.
  34. 34. This step is hugely underrated.
  35. 35. Positioning will never stick unless everyone is on the same page. If you can’t even get employees to buy-in, what makes you think that customers will?
  36. 36. Spend the time to key stakeholders on board. The more people internally that are invested and excited about your launch, the more resources you will have to succeed. Just be careful managing all of the cooks in the kitchen and make sure you build time in your plan to get their feedback.
  37. 37. There’s usually a great plan behind every
  38. 38. As Ben Franklin once said (most likely about product launches):
  39. 39. Don’t let all of your hard work on customer development and positioning go to waste.
  40. 40. When creating your launch plan, start with your goal and work backwards.
  41. 41. If your goal is 100 new customers, what do you need to do to get there? If your goal is to cross-sell to 3,000 existing customers, what do you need to do to get there?
  42. 42. Once you’ve set a clear goal, make a list of every single marketing activity you can think of. Don’t take anything off the table.
  43. 43. Don’t just think of things like “we’ll write a blog post” and “we’ll send an email.” Those are table stakes.
  44. 44. Think of things like using SumoMe to do a homepage takeover to capture email addresses, posting on sites like Reddit and, and giving VIP customers/partners early access if they blog about your launch.
  45. 45. Once you have your list of ideas, go through it again and pick out 2-3 activities for each channel. You don’t have to do them all, but you won’t know the universe of activities unless you make an effort to think through each one.
  46. 46. “The biggest problem we’ve encountered is lack of preparation: Companies are so focused on designing and manufacturing new products that they postpone the hard work of getting ready to market them until too late in the game.” Harvard Business Review, April 2011 on “Why Most Product Launches Fail.”
  47. 47. Getting marketing ready is just as important as getting the product ready.
  48. 48. Choosing which channels to include in your plan can be overwhelming. Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares provide a helpful (and simple) framework for identifying all of the possible channels in their book Traction, including how to narrow down the channels you should focus on and how to execute. Check out their Bullseye framework.
  49. 49. Now that you’ve prioritized all of your launch activities, it’s time to get to work on creating all of the assets you’ll need.
  50. 50. This should be everything from demo decks to product screenshots, sales materials, landing pages and website updates.
  51. 51. If you need creative or web design resources to help with these assets, make sure those deadlines are factored into your launch plan. Make it your responsibility to keep them on track for launch.
  52. 52. Don’t forget about tracking. Think of tracking as an asset you’re creating. It’s just as important to be able to measure demand as it is to drive it.
  53. 53. Seed the market. Just because you haven’t launched yet doesn’t mean you can’t be out there sharing that content and talking about what you’re going to launch. If you aren’t comfortable revealing specifics, take a thought leadership angle and talk about things like upcoming trends and best practices.
  54. 54. Internal communication can be just as important as external communication with a product launch.
  55. 55. Before launch, make sure all key stakeholders are prepped and ready to go.
  56. 56. Email, Slack and the Wiki are great channels to reinforce messages, but if you are getting ready for a big launch, don’t hide behind technology. Get up in front of the room or hold individual meetings and make sure everyone is on the same page and send them any relevant links after.
  57. 57. Regardless of whether you’re an early stage startup or have a product marketing army at your disposal, using this checklist can help you launch your next product with a bang.
  58. 58. But just remember. That’s Mike Tyson. He said this.
  59. 59. So be ready to adjust on the fly.
  60. 60. Thanks for reading!