The Product Launch: skirmish or campaign?

A recent article called Power Past that Press Release on Savvy B2B Marketing got me thinking about product launches, and if they’ve really changed over the years. I don’t think they have really, which might be a waste of new opportunities.

What do you do when it comes to a major new product launch? Let the journals know with a press release, maybe a presentation at The First Friday Club? Hold a “launch day” for customers and prospects? All of these things are fine, but they’re trying to make an “event” of the launch, when really the budget might suggest a less risky approach. What if your single big splash doesn’t make itself heard above the noise?

Perhaps it’s the word “launch” which is leading us astray. Does it really have to be a brief, high-impact exercise? Maybe it would make sense to plan a whole series of lower-key but smarter activities over a longer period. After all, one of the biggest let-downs of a traditional, press-centred product launch is that after your big day, you have to wait days or weeks to see what results you achieved – and even longer for the enquiries to roll in.

Online marketing gives you considerably more scope to build up interest in a new product before it’s available, highlighting prospects’ needs to them which you’re about to cater for. Develop a community of people who might be interested in the product (which can include “influencers” as well as buyers), and you can target them with a series of announcements relating not only to the product, but also its initial successes and future developments.

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