Product launch is not for the faint of heart. So many things, both big and tiny, may go wrong. Coca-Cola discontinued New Coke because the product development team could not guarantee that Coca-Cola fans would accept a modification to their favourite soft drink. Samsung was forced to recall its Note 7 cellphones due to exploding batteries. Privacy issues, glitches, limited battery life, restrictions from public areas, and a failure to live up to the hype all hampered public acceptance of Google Glass.
Thankfully, not many product launches fail in such a dramatic way.
Let’s start with defining a product launch first.
What is a Product launch?
Product launch is the release stage of a product to the market, accompanied by intensive communication with the target audience, a marketing campaign with a specific tactical sequence, and various communication channels.
Purpose of Product launch
Before the new product hits the market, it is intended to garner interest and create demand before it sells. You should spark consumers’ curiosity and persuade them to buy your product during its launch by communicating with the target market.
Product launch responsibilities:
- inform people about the new product
- increase exposure and stimulate demand for the product
- raise brand recognition and loyalty
- take pre-orders from early adopters
Why is Product Launch Communication a Two-Way Street?
Communication is a critical skill frequently seen as essential for product marketers. Developing a two-way communication mechanism should be at the top of any product marketer’s priority list. Interactions between your team and other parts of the firm will keep your colleagues engaged. When your teammates are encouraged to speak up, they feel appreciated; when individuals feel good about themselves, they’ll run through stone walls for you, and that’s priceless. Product launches frequently fail to meet market expectations and lack actual product-market fit. In my experience working with product teams, one of the most prevalent causes of poor product launches is insufficient communication throughout the launch process. And I refer to more than just the absence of emails, Slack conversations, or conferences.
What, if not a lack of words, causes communication and structure to fail during a product launch? Most frequently, cross-functional groups speak at each other instead of working together to reach a goal because they are not paying attention and are not being intentional. It also helps in your Jobs to be done.
Let me begin by distinguishing between what I have referred to as one-way and two-way street communication.
One way Communication
Building a baseball diamond amid a Kansas cornfield and expecting people to turn up is similar to one-way communication. Kevin Costner made it work, but success in the real world is doubtful.
In this instance, product experts inform other stakeholders of their actions, their justifications, and their timing. When stakeholders get perplexed, the remedy is to restate the information via Zoom meetings, documentation, and on a road map. One-way communication is sometimes misconstrued for alignment, but all you’ve done is conveyed data and hope for the best.
Two-way communication entails sharing your launch plans and soliciting comments. It depends on the product specialist comprehending what the stakeholders are (or aren’t) passionate about and what they will require to accomplish their tasks effectively. Ensuring they understand what they must do to execute their duties properly is another vital aim. The most important advantage of two-way communication is that each individual becomes engaged in the accomplishment because they feel like a crucial component of the launch process instead of a passive participant in the product person’s strategy.
What does Two-Way Product Launch Communication Look Like in Practice?
Achieving two-way communication in product launches necessitates a determined effort, particularly from the product person in charge.
You’re communicating with those involved in the product launch early and frequently:
Presenting your product launch plan is an incremental method that necessitates communication with stakeholders at each stage.
Your product roadmap must convey the strategic objectives and top priorities of the product team regarding the overall goals of the company. After all, the development and product groups’ ultimate objective is to assist the consumer. Stakeholders may demand progress updates, whereas marketing may require information on how to connect to your intended audience.
Roadmaps are excellent tools for communicating the progress of initiatives and providing milestones that correspond to your strategic goals. In product launches, two-way communication breaks silos and can assist minimise inefficiencies all through the launch process.
You’re making yourself approachable for stakeholder queries and proactively giving guidance throughout the launch-preparation stage:
You are the primary point of contact and information for all corporate stakeholders as the product specialist who is driving the launch. Understanding what your cross-functional team needs to succeed is vital, and using your interactions with them to guide them through what is frequently a challenging and drawn-out process can give them a boost.
It is critical not to drive yourself insane by assuming you comprehend all of your stakeholders’ wants and problems. You are not a mind reader. However, you may leverage your consumer experiences to narrow down the issues to ask your stakeholders like:
- Do you know when the product will be accessible?
- Is your team ready for the big day?
- What can the product development team provide you in terms of crafting a successful marketing message?
- Do you believe the product answers the issues of our customers?
- Do you have any ideas regarding how customers could respond or what inquiries they might ask?
Implementing two-way communication helps you to properly communicate the aims and objectives of your launch to stakeholders. Set up 1:1 meetings with stakeholders from multiple departments to do this.
The discussion does not end when the product is released:
A successful product launch continues even when the product is released to the market. Keeping an eye on how the market reacts to your product may either inspire your team or expose serious flaws in the product launch process.
When end-users interact with your goods or services, your staff will understand it was a success. Your end-user will comprehend the advantages of your merchandise or service if you offer accurate information to sales and marketing.
Following the launch, your team should maintain contact with your consumers. Customer feedback may give your team product insights to help them market their product. The product launch procedure is continuous. With each launch, fresh discoveries are made.
Last minute guide:
- Two-way communication and cross-functional alignment enable your team to launch a product successfully. With a good launch, you might have the opportunity to achieve the seemingly impossible.
- Choose the objective, the content, the cadence, and the measurement measures with your various stakeholders to ensure effective communication.
- Start with the fundamentals of communicating a product release, and once that procedure is established, you will be better equipped to manage more complicated situations, such as an unexpected crisis.
- By hosting customer gatherings, and holding networking events, you may increase engagement to a new level.
Such efforts will not only keep your clients interested and satisfied but will also aid in developing a superior product.
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