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Product Launch 2024

Product Launch 2024

What You Need to Know if You Are Planning a Product Launch in 2024 or 2025

How are companies readying for product launches in 2024 and 2025? Coming out of years of supply chain delays, uncertainty, and conservative investments, many companies have the opportunity to differentiate, increase revenue, and enter new markets with new product launches, but they share some challenges:

  • Lack of team alignment and project velocity
  • Budget constraints
  • “Wait and see” attitudes in an election year
  • Reduced tradeshow involvement, which has traditionally determined product launch dates

Here are 3 recent product launches you can learn from.

1. Forced Product Launch Readiness

This company planned a late 2Q 2024 product launch after the product passed all testing successfully. Thanks to an unknown leak, the product ‘launched itself.’

Scenario

The company had decided to wait for the testing data before planning a rigorous US roll-out for a new product. In the process, a leak appeared in industry groups on Reddit and later Facebook, prompting many calls and direct messages to their customer service team to confirm the availability of the new product.

Response

Leadership, marketing, and sales moved quickly to address the information and misinformation in order of importance, first customer service messaging, then web, social media, and PR—based on customer inquiries and approval timelines. They kept the message simple and added information as available to address and slow down the rumor mill.

Lessons Learned

Given the number of partners, reps, and employees involved in product development, this isn't a unique circumstance. NDAs will not fully protect you from someone mentioning to a customer that a solution may be coming. This can stall sales for existing products and breed misinformation. Here are takeaways you can use for your next product launch:

  • Establish the plan early—3-6 months before the planned roll-out. This should include agreed-upon key messages, channels, and approved FAQs.
  • Prep your sales and customer service in advance
  • Monitor—Set up social media listening and Google alerts for related terms (including problems, partners, etc.).
  • Listen, even if you don’t post, to the channels your customers are in. Be ready for rapid responses to direct messages. Channels like Reddit may not be at the top of your mind, but they may be exactly where your customers are talking and gathering information.
  • Do it. Sure, the deal may not go through, or the product may not pass its gates. It’s easier to pivot than scramble. The investment in planning is a fraction of the investment in R&D.
  • Control the story….even if it leaks. Move fast to get the right message out.
  • Many overestimate how big their news is; occasionally, you seize the opportunity—you may get more buzz organically.
  • Ensure your whole product team is on the same page regarding the gates. Set your dates for planning, and know they’ll shift.

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2. Product Line Expansion Through Acquisition

M&A deal flow was down significantly in 2023, but the faucet is back on—deals are already up 15% this year. When one company made an acquisition that expanded product lines for both companies and created the opportunity to increase customer penetration, they needed to act together for a unified, clear vision and message to the market.

Scenario

The acquired company offered new products and capabilities, many of which could compete and create confusion. There were now two business development teams with their own customer bases (some overlapping), sales processes, and goals. Timing depended on the deal closing and was not readily tied to a major tradeshow or in-person event.

Response

The acquiring company invested in the sales toolkit and in-person sales training in anticipation of the deal closing. Company messaging and a three-month roll-out plan were developed collaboratively to leverage both companies’ audiences best and create a clear and cohesive story for the market. By rationalizing product families, the newly combined company could better tell a customer-focused ‘problem and technology’. A virtual live social announcement and on-demand video can generate buzz and leads in lieu of a live event.

Lessons Learned
  • Spend the time. Collaborative work can help to set a cooperative culture in the future, and avoid external disconnects.
  • It’s not one-and-done. To maximize returns from your news, plan on a three-month (or even longer!) rollout.

  • Near term, think product families. Over time, rationalize products based on demand and margin.
  • Prep early and quietly. Like in the above scenario, many companies are reluctant to plan a rollout until the deal is done, but the investment is a fraction of the cost of due diligence. Dig in now.
  • Anticipate questions. Good internal and external FAQs can help to head off miscommunications and concerns.

3. High Potential, Niche Market B2B Product Launch

Are you looking to launch a B2B or B2G product in a niche market? ABM, or account-based marketing, might be the right approach to rapid product penetration into a narrow audience.

Scenario

This systems technology offered a clear advantage to 20-30 companies worldwide. While tradeshows still work, especially to build initial intrigue—to build a pipeline that matched product availability and launch timeline, this company used a targeted ABM approach to product launch.

Response

Working together with leadership and business development, marketing created the product launch strategy, account targets, and product positioning specific to those companies and buyers. This product positioning and key messages were played out in a white paper for lead generation, video demos, and ads for LinkedIn, targeted specifically to those companies and job titles identified.

Lessons Learned
  • Don’t shortchange market research. Know the gap and best fit for your product launch.
  • Know your customer personas. Purchasing, C-Suite, and engineering managers have their own challenges, motivations, and requirements. Segment and target.
  • Generating the lead is only step one. Use sales automation to nurture and educate the lead until they are ready for engagement.
  • Watch your KPIs. Know the benchmarks for CTR and cost per lead.
  • Collaborate with your sales team for a seamless customer experience and effective conversion of leads to deals.

With increasing market uncertainty, budget constraints, and lagging product development in many companies, we expect an increase in fall product launches. Proper product launch planning and demand generation can help you gain awareness and hit your revenue targets in 2024. Request a consult or download our product launch planning resources.

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