Prepare for liftoff: Five key factors for a successful product launch
One of the most critical moments in any brand journey is the launch. Your new designer homeware brand, your venture into artisanal coffee grounds, movie trailer reveal, the launch is the big decider on your success. Making the right kind of noise is essential - but it’s a tough balance between bullseye and a clear miss. Not convinced?
Jean-Philippe Maheu, vice president client partnerships at Twitter US, and Laura Beaudin, partner at Bain & Company will have some answers.
According to new research from Bain & Company, marketing launches are proliferating which is why making a big splash - the right kind of splash - plays an increasingly critical role for long term success in consumer markets.
Given the greater emphasis on launch success, Twitter partnered up with Bain & Company who surveyed 650 marketers in the US across all industries and found that using the launch best practices allows companies to realize 1.5 to 2 times higher revenue growth rates for a brand.
Launches rose an average 27 percent per company in 2018 – with some product and service launches seeing even steeper growth. Companies are spending upwards of $10 million per launch, but many of them are not using launch best practices, which the research found can realize 1.5 to 2 times higher revenue growth rates for a brand.
Among the findings, the research showed that launch leaders who had the most successful launches did five things exceptionally well.
Learn before you launch
You’ll have assumptions about what kind of audience will react to your launch in the best way, but it’s essential you get up close and personal with that audience. By listening to your customers, you will learn about their habits, likes and the ways they interact online, giving you a solid foundation of knowledge that can best inform your launch. This will guide you to specific platforms and away from certain sales tactics.
Launch leaders are 2.4 times more likely than other companies to use social listening data to refine their launch strategies, message and offerings, the Bain survey shows. As a result, they are 2.3 times more likely to understand the priorities of their target audience.
According to Maheu, people come to Twitter to see what is new and trending so launching something new on the platform is one of the most successful ways brands can tap into Twitter’s influential and receptive audience.
Say something in the content and messaging to connect with their consumers
Lift off for your launch doesn’t just mean making a lot of noise. Sure, make a big bang when you enter stage right, but don’t shy away from the power of emotion and storytelling in building resonance in your audience.
The research showed that launch leaders are 2.3 times more likely to emphasize evoking an emotional response and twice as likely to assert that audiences viewed their messaging as authentic. And as the video explains, “brands that win launches have something to say, and they connect emotionally.”
Influence is greater than reach
Influence is everything in the digital age and reaching a small amount of influential people that will spread your message in such a loud online din is invaluable to launches. Any brand will struggle to pack a punch if it aims at simply reaching the most people possible - discovering and nurturing your brand evangelists will create a lasting impact and a loyalty that’s worth more than the millions you could reach at one time.
Leading marketers and content creators are 1.8 times more likely than others to invest early in specific audiences that are more likely to engage with content. They are 2.4 times more likely to create shareable content, so that fans spread the word, which helps promote early success.
According to Laura Beaudin, partner at Bain & Company, launch leaders should “leverage their fan base in order to create greater influence rather than just reach.”
Go BIG on the reveal
“Launch leaders carefully plan out their budget to go big on the reveal,” Beaudin explains. Many launch budgets are stretched thin by those planning the battle plan. Launch leaders - those who lead the most successful launches - spend much of their budget by the end of launch day, ensuring the power behind that launch is maximized to its fullest potential.
Launch leaders are 1.7 times more likely to blitz on three or more channels at once when they introduce a product or brand. On average, blitzers use six channels at once, including the array of digital social media, display ads and paid search, as well as more traditional print, direct mail and public relations campaigns.
By spending big over a select few channels, you can propel your launch forward and create a successful campaign that doesn’t need an additional push five weeks down the line.
Prepare to pivot
“Launch day is incredibly important but so is all the time that follows,” Beaudin adds.
The digital world is ever-changing, along with the attention-span of your target market. Never assume that something you plan six months ahead of time is set in stone.
Launch leaders are 2.9 times more likely to monitor all their platforms during launch and make real-time adjustments to their content and strategy. They most often make adjustments in messaging, followed by channel mix. One reason they can make adjustments on the fly: They are 2.5 times more likely to have the right analytical talent and coordination across marketing silos.
Maheu advises marketers to adapt with the times and to not launch products the same way they’ve been doing it for the past 10 or 20 years. By listening to the conversation, identifying and leveraging influencers, and making sure that during the launch period you look at the results so you can pivot and change your strategy, marketers can chart a course for long-term success.
Check out the research conducted by Bain and Twitter, Let’s Do Launch: The 5 Best Moves for Your Marketing Launch Playbook and watch this video to further explore the power of launch and why it’s important.
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