The product launch and the product release (technical release) are different aspects of product development. (You can read more about product release in the article Determining the product release.) For a launch, you must plan and complete several activities, most of which are business-related, to ensure that your product is ready to launch and purchase.
Orchestrating your product launch timing
Engage in launch activities in parallel with the technical delivery of your product. Your goal is to have both your team set to launch and your product ready to go at the same time. If this is not possible, hold one until the other is complete so that the launch can include the two.
While having the product ready to be delivered to customers is extremely important, its impact will be less if your organization and marketing efforts are not prepared. Not having the technical aspects ready will jeopardize the revenue-making capability of your launch.
Elements of your product launch plan
Each product launch should include the following business deliverables:
Complete your documentation for the product launch to ensure that customers understand the product’s functionality and can look up answers to their questions.
Create a legal agreement that outlines your liabilities and promises to the customer.
Although your engineers and testers might fully understand the functionality that is being delivered, train the rest of your team. This includes instruction on how the product works, what can go wrong and how to handle commonly asked questions.
Prepare the tools that you can use while selling (for example, sell sheets, white papers). These tools will provide customers with product-related material that they can review and also share with others.
Review how your product is delivered to the customer. How do they buy? How will they receive the product? What happens upon installation?
Each new product release can impact your organization and existing customers. Understand if there is the upgrade path and how it will change the product experience.
Announce your launch to the world. Use different methods to accomplish these goals, depending on your available resources (budget, manpower, and so on).
As with every plan, set goals and measure results
As part of your plan for the product launch, set goals for your organization—and then measure your results against those goals.
You can measure your success in different ways, such as the number of orders, downloads or distributions of a press release. For more information, see Product launch goals.
Cooper, R.G. (2001). Winning at New Products: Accelerating the Process from Idea to Launch(3rd ed.). New York: Perseus Publishing.
Daniels, D. (2010). Product Launch Readiness: Planning for Sales Velocity. Pragmatic Marketing. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/08/product-launch-readiness-planning-for-sales-velocity/?searchterm=launch%20planning
Daniels, D. (2010). 6 Secrets of a Winning Product Launch. Pragmatic Marketing. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/07/6-secrets-of-a-winning-product-launch/?searchterm=launch%20planning
Daniels, D. (2010). Goals, Readiness and Constraints: The Three Dimensions of Product Launch. Pragmatic Marketing. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/7/2/goals-readiness-and-constraints-the-three-dimensions-of-product-launch