A component that can be overlooked in product launch planning and execution is establishing the metrics that you and your team will use to inform the goals of the launch. Metrics are datapoints that are captured to track progress and evaluate what is or what is not working. While there are key decisions to be made regarding strategy, messaging, and more, applying the right metrics is just as important as they provide objective indicators of a new product launch. Consider your product launch across three phases – pre-launch, during launch, and after launch – to help you more easily identify what to track and why.
Pre-Launch Phase: Define
In the pre-launch phase, define the metrics that will be tracked and measured and articulate why they in particular are important to the launch. This depends largely on your product launch strategy and the accompanying goals you have set but selecting metrics that align with and enhance your strategy is a place to start. To define your metrics, consider these touchpoints:
- Buyer Pain Points: Typically, products that are successful are perceived as something buyers either need to relieve a pain point or could use to achieve one or more of their business objectives. To gauge this, conduct customer surveys and interviews to get information on what people are coping with and brainstorm how your offering might address it. Determining that your product clears this hurdle signals that you are on the right track.
- Price: Defining the price of your product is significant in the launch of your product. There are a variety of pricing strategies one can apply. Your pricing strategy should align with your overall product strategy. Common pricing approaches include:
- Marketing Content: Marketing your product drives interest. Without it, no one will know your product exists. Advertising on websites, via outreach emails, and at events is a great way to promote the launch of your new product. With these promotional materials, define what metrics matter to each. For example, at an event, you can track the number of conversations you have with attendees, those who sign up for more information and even those who scan a QR code you have at your booth.
During-Launch Phase: Monitor
It’s hard to define this phase since it does not necessarily have to fit a set timeframe. As your product is initially launched, below are some key metrics to consider tracking:
- Website Engagement: When the product is first launched, measuring the engagement is a great place to start. On your website, you can track landing page visits, average time on site, acquisition and more. With these metrics, you can make conclusions as to how many users are on your site and from where as well as if they are viewing your new product landing page and what actions they are taking.
- Email Metrics: Marketing your product is crucial before and after a launch. But during the launch phase, these metrics can show if certain content in the emails, whether it be a short video or learn more call-to-action, are performing better in terms of engagement and conversions.
- Lead Generation: While lead generation coincides with website engagement, generating leads is one step further than tracking pageviews. When a user takes an action that requires you to contact them or provide them with some sort of content, this is when they become a lead. A consumer trying to learn more and wanting to schedule a demo is exactly the kind of activity you want to generate when you launch a new product. An increasing number of leads shows that your product is gaining more traction in the market.
Post-Launch Phase: Assess
While it also might be difficult to define the exact time frame of the post-launch phase, this step of the process is about assessing and collecting feedback. With the abundance of data from the pre- and during- launch phases, this can outline what could be reassessed and adjusted in marketing or product aspects. Collecting and reviewing feedback from different people is important at this point as well.
- Internal Feedback: Feedback from your marketing team, sales reps, product managers and executives on how the launch process was and the progress so far can be insightful as to the internal planning and execution. This can provide guidance for internal efforts moving forward.
- External Feedback: Feedback from prospects and customers is insightful for customer experiences. Knowing what customers liked and didn’t like about their buying journey as well as their thoughts on the product itself will be useful for all members involved in the launch.
In this phase, you also want to know how much revenue you have generated so far from your new product. Money matters, and if you aren’t seeing the revenue you anticipated or hoped for, this can prompt reassessing components of your plan.
Defining and applying the right metrics helps organizations and teams objectively gauge product launch success. While qualitative assessments are also important, they can be especially prone to bias. Assess the right indicators for each phase of your next product launch to move forward with confidence and clarity.