f your product team is working on the next big thing, there ought to be an equally awesome launch plan in the works to accompany it.
While some companies are guilty of drafting a press release, crossing their fingers, and hoping that the users will come, there’s actually much more to it than that.
Quite simply: If you have big news, you need a big plan. And that’s where the product launch comes in. From establishing the proper messaging and creating the assets to enabling your sales team and keeping momentum, there’s a lot that goes into putting together a solid product launch plan.
At HubSpot, I work on the product marketing team, and we’re responsible for launching all of HubSpot’s new products. Our experience has shown us that there are three distinct phases of a product launch: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. Let’s walk through them below.
18 Foolproof Product Launch Tips
Before you launch, take the time to get really close to the product. Work with your product team to understand the problem they are trying to solve. Join them as they do users tests. Chat with them about their product philosophy. And most of all, ask a ton of questions — especially if you’re not familiar with the space.
Focus on understanding their vision and becoming a product expert. Outside of the product manager, the marketer launching the product should be the most knowledgeable person at your company about that product.
1) Research the space in-depth.
At most companies, the product manager will own the problem that the product solves. They’ll have a deep understanding of who the end user is and what their unique needs are.
The product marketer’s job is to understand the market. They must be able to answer questions like:
- What’s the larger narrative around this space?
- How do current customers feel about it?
- What do people like and dislike?
- Is it growing and cutting edge or old and getting disrupted?
- What are the leading strategies and tactics in this space?
- What is your company’s unique point of view when it comes to this space?
- How does your new product fit in?
2) Focus on a single buyer persona.
You may not need to reinvent an existing buyer persona, but you should outline who amongst your target audience is a great fit for this new product. What kind of challenges do they have? How do they work? How big is there team? Talk to people who fit this profile to really understand their needs and goals.
3) Write a mock press release.
At HubSpot, we write a mock press release before we launch a product. We do this very early on in the product’s life to ensure that everyone involved in the launch is aligned on the messaging.