In the first article of this special feature: The launching of a product: part 1/2, the four key steps, Product Managers introduced you a pragmatic and efficient methodology in four steps to prepare the launching of your product on the market.
- Step 1: Put the finishing touches to the positioning of your offer
- Step 2: Build all the marketing and sales tools
- Step 3: prepare the Marketing Plan in order to install your renown
- Step 4: Give information and train your sales forces and business partners
In this second article, Product Managers introduce you the practical details of the implementation of your product’s launching.
Step 1: Put the finishing touches to the positioning of your offer
4 factors that might influence the positioning of your offer:
The analysis consists in understanding as much as possible the influencing factors:
- Competition: identify the competing offers, direct or indirect.
Pick the most representative to analyze their offer in detail and identify their differentiation point.
- Potential and actual customers:
conduct several interviews of your potential or actual customers to obtain their reactions/feeling concerning your value proposition. During this consolidation stage, each visit to a customer has to be followed by a feedback
- Opinion leaders:
you have to be referenced by the analysts, institutions and association that count in your domain, otherwise you will be invisible. Your French, German, or Chinese potential customers, read the journals, website, blogs and other communications of the opinion leaders and specialists that are published … in the United States and/or in English ! Make the effort to understand how you are situated according to the categories established by the analysts. Even if you do not have the means to appear in the Garner’s Magic Quadrant or another publication of Forrester, do not hesitate to talk to them and to position yourself according to their categories. Prepare also yourself to communicate in international journals and global websites… in Shakespeare language!
- Other actors: identify the other actors in your sector and analyze their communication, business partners and membership to one or another opinion group. This will allow you to understand the mechanisms that rule the sector and to be where you will need to be.
Step 2: Build all the marketing and sales tools
The main pitfall is the language. Very often, you will have a local reference market that will force you to communicate in its language. But, from the very first day you should think GLOBAL which means: Anglo-Saxon and French (or local, whatever the country is).
GLOBAL does not mean translation! You need to offer a bi-cultural image. An Anglo-Saxon or an Asiatic person browsing on your website should think that you are Anglo-Saxon and a French person should think that you are French. None of them should have the feeling that you translated the content…
This has a cost but this is also the key of a global position that will open up wider horizons for your offer than a local-only approach.
Once again, do not only target the United States, you should offer an Anglo-Saxon image because it is renowned as the reference in the high-tech sector.
Step 3: Prepare the Marketing Plan in order to install your renown
No renown without communication. And to communicate… you would better have something to say!
Here are some key elements to your communication (by order of priority):
- A reference : one of your customer that accepts to communicate or even to become your sponsor
- A partnership with a research laboratory to prove your technological lead
- A technological partnership to prove the innovative side of your offer
- A partnership with an actor, already well implanted in your sector, to provide evidence of his confidence in your offer in order to perpetuate it
- A certification to perpetuate your methodology or solution
- A fund raising shows the interest of the market
On this basis, build “stories” for the media and analysts.
After that, contact few analysts, international and local media (press is much more local than analysts) to test the feedback.
Then, refine your approach.
Step 4: Give information and train your sales forces and business partners
Training and information are process that you need to take care of and to maintain over time. When you launch an offer, be sure to train the whole of your direct and indirect sales forces :
- For your direct sales forces, that you can easily gather, prepare a file collecting together the main marketing tools and show them the customer presentation. Don’t forget to give (and explain) them all the elements relative to the price and sales conditions.
- For an indirect or spread out sales forces, create a training module that you can easily provide on the Internet. Nowadays, a lot of agencies can assist you in the creation and implementation of this for a reasonable budget. This is a success key factor that should not be neglected.
The success of your product launching depends entirely on how well you will carry out those four key steps. So don’t neglect them!