Launching great products
You’ve designed and built a great product that everyone will want to use and tell their friends about. It is destined to be “the next big thing”. But you still have one more major hurdle to overcome, and this will possibly be the biggest challenge. How will you tell the world about your product? This final section deals with launching great products.
Ineffective product management can lead to 1 in 3 product launches failing. You did a great job with Design and Build. Finish strong with a great product launch.
This phase is where the work you did at the start putting together a business case comes into play. In the business case, you defined your Routes To Market (RTM) which answers questions like:
- Who are you going to sell the product to (e.g. end users, ISVs, SIs, VARs?
- Are your buyers consumers or businesses?
- Who makes the purchasing decision?
- Where are they in the world (i.e., do you have a global, regional, or local market for your product)?
- How will they purchase your product (e.g., via App store or online marketplace, from business partners, on your website, through enterprise sellers)?
The Launch process primarily involves executing the Go-To-Market strategy (ideally) put together during the Designing phase. Product Management is the driver of creation and execution of the GTM Strategy, involving Marketing, Sales, Press Relations, Analyst Relations, Customer Support, and the partner ecosystem.
As a Product Manager, this phase may involve travel if your GTM Strategy has in-person enablement sellers and partners. You may also participate in calls with analysts and press, working with the teams that handle Analyst and Press Relations. And lastly, one of the best ways to get visibility for your new offering is at conferences – speaking, hosting events, and having an expo booth.
Products That Count can help
At Products That Count, we believe that everyone can design, build, and launch the great products that they’ve designed and built.
Products That Count has thousands of free resources to help you design, build, and launch great products. Our podcasts, eBooks, videos, articles, blogs, and infographics will help you learn the craft of product
Our resources are straight from the minds of C/VP-level product leaders from companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Etsy, who understand the unique challenges of product management. These diverse product executives are actively engaging in solving similar challenges to what you’re encountering in your product roles and are excited to share how they’re doing it. Learn how to build great products from practitioners, not consultants.
For example, check out Amazon Sr. Product Leader on Mastering the Art of Product Launches.
Here’s how to start
Your approach to launching great products should include these steps:
- Go-To-Market Strategy – this is your plan to announce and deliver your new product to the target market, as well as build up the supporting ecosystem (e.g., business partners).
- Product Marketing – deals with the messaging as well as how word about your product will be communicated across the various Routes-To-Market identified in the GTM Strategy This step could will involve social media, advertisements, press, and analysts.
- Pricing Strategies – what are the processes and methodologies that you will use to price your new product or service? Will there be a trial or freemium version? Tiered pricing for small, medium, and large businesses? Will your product be a one-time purchase (e.g., a game app) or include a subscription? Is support included? And some apps may be free (e.g., a flashlight app or social media); how will you monetize the users even though you’re not charging for use of your product?
- Brand Positioning – this step describes how your new offering is positioned not only within the market, but also within your company’s strategy. Your product could be standalone, or part of a family of offerings.
- Acquisition, Conversion, & Retention – this step is your sales funnel and deals with how you drive prospects into the funnel, get them to purchase your offering (or whatever convert means for your product), and then keep them. For SaaS products, it is often measured by Monthly Active Users (MAU) – how many customers did you acquire versus lose.
- Prioritization – compromises again need to be made, especially with Marketing as there will be limited resources ($) to promote your great product globally and to train sellers and partners how to sell it.
- Customer focus – social proof is a key aspect of launching your product. Will your beta users and key stakeholders provide testimonials, reviews, and case studies? How will you watch what your customers are saying as your product takes off?
- Market & Customer Research – just like during the Designing and Building stages, market and customer needs will change during the Launch process. Stay on top of what’s going on. Ensure your messaging defines your product’s differentiated value.
- Competitive Analysis – your competitors won’t stand still once you’ve launched your great product. Monitor what they’re saying and shipping, and compare it to your proposed offering. Does any messaging need to tweaked? Are your differentiators still accurate?
- Measuring Success – what metrics and KPIs will determine whether your product is successful once it ships. Customer acquisition and retention will play a key role. Which new features are being adopted, and can you do anything to accelerate the adoption of lesser-used features? Are you achieving the revenue targets identified in your business case? Unfortunately, product quality can also become a concern once your product ships.
Use the best tools for launching your product
The 2022 Product Awards from Products That Count celebrate the tools that give Product Managers their superpowers, enabling them to deliver market-leading products & services that delight existing customers and bring in future customers across current and new markets. Check out the Product Award Series to learn about the award-winning products that you should be using when launching great products, including
- Developing an informed GTM Strategy– explains how you will tell the new segments and new markets about your great new product (using the RTMs), as well as how you plan to build an ecosystem that sells, uses, and supports your product.
- Responsive Product Accountability – define and communicate success metrics to help business leaders chart their direction.
Continue the journey
Characteristics of Great Products
What makes a product great?
FAQs about Great Products
Get your pressing questions answered.
Designing Great Products
Best Practices for designing the Best Products.
Building Great Products
Build the products you envision and the market wants.
Need more help?
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- offer guidance to transform your company to be Product-Led,
- provide continuous PM training and ongoing mentoring to level-up your Product team,
- train PMs and PLs that are new to their roles,
- help executives establish consistency and structure in the midst of Product Team restructuring, growth, and M&A activities,
- share best practices for product management and leadership.
Click the green “Live Chat” button to the right to talk with a Products That Count staff member about the Strategic PM Bootcamp and Personalized Mentoring for your Product Team.