This post was originally published on MarketingProfs.
Product development is a labor of love. After dedicating countless hours to design, development and testing, it is critical to ensure your product generates the attention it deserves. One tool that can help keep all product launch-related activities on track and on time is a product launch checklist. Why does utilizing a product launch checklist matter? What should be included? This blog highlights everything you need to know about using a product launch checklist and provides the building blocks to start creating one.
Why Utilize a B2B Product Launch Checklist?
A product launch checklist can be more useful than one might think. You may not be convinced and wonder, how can it help me solve my product launch challenges? Here are some of the benefits of using a checklist for launching a new product or service.
- Outlines all processes, steps and assets that are associated with the new product or service
- Ensures everyone has a clear understanding of project responsibilities and helps with accountability
- Fosters better collaboration and teamwork
- Helps better prepare for challenges or unknown circumstances by keeping everything in one place and accessible to all
Elements to Include in a Product Launch Checklist
All organizations are different, but some checklist components are a necessity to include. Here are the must-have checklist elements to ensure product launch success.
1. Product Testing
This might seem like a no-brainer, but product testing is critical. When you understand how customers will interact with your product, you can troubleshoot proactively before launching.
2. Set Goals and Launch Date
The next priority will be to set up your timeline and identify key goals. Before solidifying a launch date, start with goal-setting to gauge how much needs to be done to accurately inform your timeline. Get as granular as needed but start by setting goals that relate to the overall business. Then, move into goals for each team supporting the launch. For example, marketing should set measurable KPIs for revenue generation and the customer success team should set goals related to customer satisfaction and response time.
3. Audience Alignment
New product and service offerings are created with a target audience in mind and aligning everyone on the characteristics of the target audience is important. Understanding who the product is for influences the activities of marketing, sales and other teams. Know the product, know the audience.
4. Messaging and Branding
It is important to identify the branding of marketing and sales collateral that will be created. From colors to icons and more, this step provides guidelines for asset branding. Messaging is also where the magic happens. Crafting the messaging points, taglines and more for the new product or service should align with what audiences are looking for and make an impact.
5. Marketing Strategy and Plan
As a driving element in the success of a product launch checklist, it is important to have a solid marketing strategy and plan in place. Plan all activities such as press releases, social media, content marketing and email marketing. If you outline what happens for each area, when and who is responsible you will keep everyone accountable and clear on deadlines. As for what to include in the marketing plan, think about your target audience. What will resonate most? Is it social media posts or short videos? Will a blog or an infographic be more effective in communicating what the new product does?
6. Asset Creation
With a defined marketing plan outlining all content needed to support marketing activities, it is time to create the assets. To help keep track of asset production, it can be useful to create a master spreadsheet. Outlining what assets are needed for each marketing area keeps things extra clear. For example, social media needs a few short videos and graphics created for posting. Reserving one section of the spreadsheet for these specific activities helps even more in sorting out what is needed and when.
7. Support and Documentation
Customer success is vital in any organization, especially when launching a new product. Your customer advocates should be well-versed in product knowledge and capable of answering any questions a prospect might have about the product. Create detailed onboarding walkthroughs, training guides and other product support documentation to give your customer more assistance with the new product and to serve as a reference point for your customer success team.
The exciting part of the product launch checklist is evaluation and analysis:
- How did the product launch go?
- Did we meet our short-term goals?
- What were some things that went well?
- How were the metrics we were tracking fare against the goals we set?
There are endless questions to answer when evaluating a new product launch but refer back to the initial goals set as a guiding light. Conduct a comparison to understand if goals were achieved, spot on or below expectation. All conclusions drawn from this effort will provide a great starting point for organizational discussions.
With a B2B product checklist in hand, you will be well on your way to exceeding expectations for your next launch. Looking for experts to help with your company or product/service launch? Look no further. We’ve helped countless clients successfully launch their company or new product or service into the market. Want to learn more? Contact us today or request a free marketing consultation!