Product Managers introduce you a pragmatic and efficient methodology for the launching of a product on a market segment. This method has been tested along the years for a large variety of SME of the high-tech market.
In this special feature made of 2 articles Product Managers will explain:
- The four key steps of the launching of a product – Part 1/2
- The operational details of its implementation – Part 2/2
Discover this four-step methodology for an easy and efficient product launching.
Step 1: Put the finishing touches to the positioning of your offer
- To which precise customers’ need do you offer an answer?
- To which existing offer it can be compared?
- What is its unique selling point / what does it provide that the others don’t?
- To which key words is it linked?
- What is the terminology used by your customers on this topic?
If you are able to answer to these questions: you can take the plunge and go on the market!
(The steps of a market analysis are explained in detail inth Part2/2 of this article)
Step 2: Build all the marketing and sales tools
Once the positioning is clearly established, it can be translated into the value proposition. It constitutes the very first step of all your marketing tools.
Be careful, the first version is very seldom the right one, it will change, as time goes by and as it will be confronted with the potential customers. If the offer concerns several distinct market segment, it is important to define one value proposition for each of them.
The illustration below gives you the structure for a good value proposition:
The value proposition will settle down the foundation of the marketing speech.
All the marketing tools will be developed around this proposition:
- Product presentation:
Power point file, animated film, video… for the salesmen, the professional exhibitions but also for your website. Think in terms of “recycling” to minimize your costs.
- Product sheet,
to be given to a potential customer during a visit or to be used for an exhibition.
- “Use Case”, Customer Testimonials,
essential for comforting your future customer in their choice. It is necessary to consider this possibility from the contract signature to obtain the rights to communicate with it.
Step 3: prepare the Marketing Plan in order to install your renown
Your offer is defined and comparable to other offers. The differentiation points are clearly identified and you have the evidence that it is valued by your customers – according to “The 9X theory”, by John Gourville, Harvard Business School. (Reminder: A new product has to offer a nine times improvement over the existing solution in order to be immediately or easily adopted).
It is now the time to build your communication tools:
- Briefing for analysts
- Briefing for journalists (or press kit)
- A press release for the launching
- “Stories”: the topics that will be used as the basis for communication
- A Communication Plan making an inventory, according to the priorities: the medias used, the covered countries, the events that you should be part of, the associations and professional institutions that you should join…
The goal is to build the renown of your product, inside the business ecosystem in which you want to integrate your offer.
Key factors to succeed in this step and the pitfalls to avoid in the Part2/2
Step 4: Give information and train your sales forces and business partners
One very important point: the understanding of your offer and of its competitive advantages and targets by the whole of your sales forces (intern and extern).
Your teams have to be trained so that they can share the same understanding of the offer and explain it in a coherent way.
Introduce your offer to your sales forces “as if you were in front of a potential customer”. You will introduce and make comments on all the marketing tools including their use, their content and the key message delivered.
This sketch summarizes the chronology of the sequence of the events of these four steps: