DID YOU KNOW THAT AROUND 85% OF NEW PRODUCTS FAIL? HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL WENT AS FAR AS SAYING THAT THIS NUMBER CAN RISE TO AROUND 95%. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE A PART OF THAT SMALL, SUCCESSFUL PERCENTAGE?
I have over 25 years experience in sales and marketing, and over 9 years experience in Social Media and Digital Marketing. I have had great successes, but I have also had great losses and because of this; I understand what it takes to launch a new product and the importance of this.
Did you know that 84% of customer say that is important that a company is innovate, and improving/adding new products/services to their line? The questions is; what are you doing to be as innovative as possible?
As someone who has just launched a new business, and new online courses around my speciality in Social Media and Digital Marketing, I wanted to share with you the process I went through, in the hope that it can do for you, what it did for me and create a great product launch checklist
When launching a new product/service, the first part is actually the product itself. I have broken the product launch checklist down into 4 sections.
1. LEGAL & COMMERCIAL
Have you thought about everything that is needed from a legal standpoint when launching a product? Is the business registered, do you have your T&C’s? If you work with suppliers, do you have contracts in place?
2. PRODUCT PROPOSITION
Part of building a new product or service is doing your research, and finding a need in the market. I knew who my target customer was, and that online courses were what THEY wanted. You then need to think about a NAME for your product/service.
When I launched Think Digital First, I had this name in mind, as an extension to my book Think #Digital First but this took a lot of research. Sit down with a group of people, and have a brainstorming session. Think about your competition, and your USP. WHY are your target audience going to buy your product and more importantly; what PAIN are you solving?
3. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Now it’s time to develop your product. When I built Think Digital First and the online courses I now deliver, I had to make sure that everything was in place to run them successfully and this included getting my team ready, finding the software to run the courses as well as making sure the course runs smoothly by testing it.
4. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
This is one of the most important steps. To make your new product/service or business a success, you must offer a great customer experience. Ask yourself the following questions;
- Can your target audience FIND your products easily?
- Can your target audience BUY your products easily?
- How do they RECEIVE your product/service?
- How are you offering SUPPORT and REFUNDS if necessary?
After you have decided on your product, how you are going to position it, and how your customers can get hold of it; you then need to think about promotion and this is broken down into 5 different sections.
When launching a new product/service, you must think about how you are going to share this with the world, and this is where press comes in. Are you going to write a Press Release and if so, do you have all of the journalist and news outlet contacts for your industry?
2. MARKETING COMMUNICATION
You now need to think about how you are going to market the product to your target audience. Are you going to have a launch event? When I launched Think Digital First I reached out to all of my audience via Social Media and email to tell them about it.
Think about how you can entice your audience by offering a promotion for being one of the first people to be a part of your new launch; this is what I did for my 6 Week Social Media Bootcamp.
3. LEAD GENERATION
There are various tools I use for lead generation purposes. I use Openr to promote a product/service of mine (this could be free or paid) on my latest blogs, and I will set up email autoresponders for my free guides/resources with an upsell at the end to one of my paid courses.
4. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Part of having a successful launch is having your team around you communicating on a daily basis. When I launched Think Digital First, I was having daily meetings (face-to-face or remotely) with my team, including my website designer to iron out all problems. Are you going to do the same?
Collateral to me, means having content ready to support your new product/service. This could be in the form of White Papers, Infographics, Blogs, Guest Blogs, and Email Marketing.
This is going to be one of the most difficult stages to launching a new product/service. This is broken down into 4 sections.
1. CHANNEL PRICING
Because I work with various partners when running my live online courses, I have different channel pricing. There is always a discount for those that come from partners of mine, and this is something you will need to account for.
2. PRICING STRUCTURE
Do you have a pricing strategy in place? Each of my online courses has a different pricing structure based on the length of the course, and how much content they will receive and how much of my time I give to the course in terms of live trainings. Part of my pricing strategy is to offer a discounted ticket price to a “team member” of someone who has paid for a full-price ticket.
3. PRICING TOOLS
Tools are an extremely important part of launching a new product/service if you want to save time and make your process a lot smoother. When it comes to pricing tools, I use spreadsheets to keep track of income, as well as using PayPal to take payments that include VAT which is all set up before I promote a product so that there are no issues.
4. COMPETITIVE PRICING ANALYSIS
Do you know how much your competitor is selling a similar product/service to you, and more importantly; are YOU making sure your prices are competitive? Do your research, and make sure that your target audience do not choose a competitor of yours because they can get the product MUCH cheaper.
CHANNELS TO MARKET
With all the logistics in place for launching your product/service, you now need to sit down and work out HOW you are going to market your business, and this can be broken down into 3 sections.
1. CHANNEL PLANS
Having channels in place to market your product/service is crucial. Think about your partners, and set up meetings to put a plan in place. When I knew I was launching a host of online courses, I reach out to all of the events, and organisations I work with to put a plan in place for marketing.
2. CHANNEL STRATEGY
This is where you look at all of the sales channels, and put a strategy in place. This is where you need to think your partners, and take the plans from the previous point, and turn them into a working, and successful strategy.
3. CHANNEL STOCK
If you have a physical product, this is something you are going to have to pay close attention to. The last thing you want is a partner of yours selling your products, when you can’t provide the product because it is sold out.
Whilst we have covered plans above, the type of “plan” you now must create is around launching your product/service.
Ask yourself the following questions for pre launch;
- Do you have a launch date set?
- Is your marketing strategy finished, and ready to be implemented?
- Are your sales targets in place?
Ask yourself the following questions for post launch;
- Have you done your analysis?
- Are you meeting your sales targets?
- Have you gathered feedback from your customers?
- How happy are your partners with the launch?
On-going support after the launch is very important, as post launch is where you find out HOW well your launch went, and what you could do BETTER.
Are all of your processes working nicely, or do they need a relook? Have you analysed your statistics to see if there is anything you can do better? This is something I do after every live session has begun, to make sure that I am reaching my audience, and giving them what they NEED.
I hope that the above will help you have a great launch for your new product/service, and don’t forget to always be looking at ways to improve what you are offering; research is key.
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DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?
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