In Week 1 of the Product Launch 30 Day Plan the focus was on the most basic product launch information. In Week 2 you will gather more information, assess your organization’s strengths/weaknesses, and organize a cross functional launch team.
After Week 1 you have the following completed:
- Defined product launch goals
- Established product launch priority
- Refined target market segments
- Chosen product launch strategies to support the launch goals
I suggest you complete the these deliverables before continuing Week 2’s assignment. It’s OK if it takes longer than a week to complete Week 1’s deliverables. It’s better to complete the deliverables from beginning to end before continuing with Week 2 of Product Launch 30 Day Plan.
Understand Your Buyers
Who are the people you need to achieve your product launch goals? These are the people who need to take an action you want. They are people who are within your target market segments. The tool used to represent these people is a Buyer Persona.
The purpose of the Buyer Persona is to provide the launch team a common picture of a buyer. Much has been written about Buyer Personas so I won’t to go into great detail here (it’s also covered in the Pragmatic Marketing Market class). A Buyer Persona is a tool that reflects the most common attributes, behaviors, and concerns of an individual in a market segment. You want Buyer Personas to take an action that drives an outcome you are measuring.
Better knowledge of your buyers leads to a more focused use of resources.
Build a Compelling Message
You can do a fantastic job of understanding your buyers. Resources are squandered and money is wasted when you don’t deliver an attention-grabbing message.
On average you have 8 seconds to get the attention of a potential buyer. Technology companies tend to waste too much time talking about what their product does and not enough time talking about what it does for their buyers. Buyers become confused or misinformed, and move on to something else.
The key to building a compelling message is to grab a buyer’s attention fast and get them to engage. The way to connect what a buyer needs with product capabilities is through Marketecture. Marketecture is a technique taught in the Pragmatic Marketing Foundations class. The Marketecture for a product leads to a Positioning Document. The Positioning Document forms the basis of consistent communication with your buyers.
An example of Marketecture is on the Nest thermostat website. The Nest thermostat has a lot of cool technical features but they are not front and center. Their message focuses on what a Nest thermostat can do for you.
Now is a good time to build your Marketecture and produce a Positioning Document, if this is not yet completed. It’s also a good time to revisit your Positioning Document to reflect the final product.
Identify Launch Readiness Gaps
Product launch readiness goes beyond getting the product ready. Think about promoting, selling, delivering, booking revenue, support, professional services, customer training, and more.
Every organization has strengths and weakness that impact a product launch. Failing to identify and address the weakness could result in a disastrous launch. Different product launches also need different skill sets and resource. New weaknesses (gaps) emerge. You need to fix those weakness before the product launch is launched.
Conducting Readiness Assessments is the tool to help you identify readiness gaps. Spend time with a representative of each affected functional area. This individual can represent the interests and concerns of their department. Work with that individual to understand what exists and what is missing. The Readiness Assessment tool (and process) is in the Pragmatic Marketing Launch class.
You are ready to organize your Cross Functional Team (CFT) once you identify your readiness gaps . You will understand the skills needed and how to focus your resources to ensure the best launch readiness.
Organize Your Cross Functional Team
It is not realistic to believe you could understand every job and every nuance within your organization. You need people who understand those jobs and important details. These are the people that become members of your cross functional team (CFT) for your product launch.
Assign the work of developing readiness plans for each functional area to members of your CFT. Each readiness plan defines the tasks and deliverables needed to get a functional area ready for launch.
It’s possible new gaps are found after going through the readiness planning process. You will also have a better sense of the level of effort and time required to completed the readiness plans.
There are books written about organizing and managing CFTs. I want to offer a few insights that will help you.
- CFTs need a leader
- Meet with a cadence
- Meet as a team – you’ll miss big things if you meet one on one
- Document everything – people forget stuff
- Be patient but clear
- Drive results, don’t wait for them to happen on their own
The CFT Team Tracker is helpful in tracking the activities of your CFT. It is available in the Pragmatic Marketing Alumni Resource Center. Click on the link and register to get access (note: for alumni only). Use the CFT Team Tracker to track assigned action items, issues, and team decisions.
Reassess Launch Goals
Now would be a good time to reflect on your launch goals. Given the gaps you’ve identified, are the launch goals still in workable? If not, are there more resources/skills/experience needed? Is there enough time to get your organization ready to launch?
If you have any questions about this post, feel free to put them in the comments section. It’s likely your question is relevant to other readers.