5 things to remember when building a launch marketing campaign.
These five points come to mind as indicators of launch marketing success and will help you in building a successful launch marketing campaign.
1. Prove product/market fit.
One of the things both startups and corporates often do wrong in planning a launch is think about marketing communications at the wrong time. In the case of startups, many invest too early hoping to gain traction. In the case of corporates, too much time can be spent mitigating risk or in modeling price and the marketing communications aren’t given sufficient time to be crafted.
The confidence to know your product meets the needs of a target market is something that needs to be proven quickly. In an innovative environment of iteration and problem solving, a common trap is to prove only that there’s a solution to a problem, not that your product is necessarily that solution. The nuances of product design or the feature set could be the difference between adoption and rejection. It is widely recognised that you have product/market fit once 40% of your customers say they would be very disappointed to be denied the product. Without this benchmark, any attempt to scale through your launch makreting campaign would be wasted effort. Startups are often forced to accept this, but corporates may have to ignore it to meet launch deadlines imposed to align to broader business objectives.
2. Employee engagement.
This is always the most obvious one but often the one that receives the least emphasis in the launch plan. Ensuring that your staff are not just advocates for your product but informed and empowered to solve issues and aligned to the customer’s needs, is a great way to convert your early adopters into ambassadors. Involving all parts of the business in the journey and rolling out a structured programme of communications is a guaranteed way to launch strongly. We know that in low performing organisations, as few as 36% of employees understand what their brand stands for.
3. Focus on first experience.
Going beyond sustainable limits of service to ensure a positive first impression of the thing you’re launching is a huge contributor to success. Your efforts here shouldn’t be scalable – again, you’re looking for advocacy. What are the points of friction in that first experience and what can be done to remove them from your launch marketing campaign in time for the big day? It’s unlikely you’ll get a second chance to impress your customer. In one of our Launch Marketing Council sessions, one panelist floated the notion of taking a Minimum Loveable Product to market instead of a Minimum Viable Product. This perfectly captures the point of ensuring the customer is delighted by their first interaction with your new product.
4. Optimise the channel mix in your launch marketing campaign.
Our test and learn approach typically sees us using PPC and Facebook ads to help determine the messaging that is most likely to resonate in our launch marketing campaign. But those ‘performance’ media channels aren’t necessarily the best place to advertise. Launching through a sponsorship property and finding the right synergies with other media to support that might be the best approach depending on the audience, brand values, category and timings. We know that radio and OOH combine well also. (see our Launch Marketing Report to determine what channels resonate most in the consumer’s mind). It’s been proven that a multi-channel approach to marketing delivers better results than focusing your spend in one place and that long term success relies on a 60% budget allocation towards building your brand in market rather than having a total reliance on performance media to drive short term sales or installs. Getting the channel mix right at launch means your marketing starts off strongly.
5. Deploy a Red Team.
When we spoke to the British Army about how they launch military campaigns, we received plenty of insights. One of the most telling related to their practice of involving an independent group of colleagues who’d not been part of the planning process to interrogate their strategy. The fresh eyes of this so-called Red Team often revealed potential weaknesses that those absorbed in the plan had failed to see. Any launch marketing campaign plan will have potential oversights and inviting an independent peer group to evaluate your work before you commit to it, has proved valuable.
By Matt Lawton
Managing Director, AU