Releasing Your Product to the World: Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

Mike Taylor | 4 October 2018
It's launch day, are you ready!

The time is approaching, it’s the moment you have been waiting for, it’s time to show the world your grand idea. This is when all your hard work, blood, sweat and tears pay off. What time is it? It’s launch day!

In sports, this is similar to making the game-winning play, its Kyrie game 7, Stephan Donald in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. And, just like in sports, launch day is the combination of months and years of hard work all rolled into that magic moment when you finally get to push ‘go’.

Over the past few years, we have been lucky enough to play a major role in bringing products to market. However, every product is different and every launch is unique. In our experience, our smoothest launches have been when all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed. The key to a successful launch is having a solid strategy in place, where everyone involved has a clear understanding of processes and next steps when you push ‘go’.

Now’s the right time!

If you’re on the verge of launching your product, you’ve probably asked yourself, “when is the right time to launch?” It’s a good question but it is a tough question. Whenever we bring a product to market or go live on a website or marketing campaign, this is always a massive talking point.

The honest answer, the right time to launch is once you are confident the product is capable of performing everything it is hyped to do. Once all the testing is completed, and we recommend ample testing and QA, kick things off.

You are always able to add on new features, upgrade current features or adapt the UX/UI after a month or so. But if you are constantly holding off launching in order to create the perfect product, your launch date could be in 2025.

What does your strategy say?

Now, you’re ready for launch, you’re happy the product is ready. Now take a step back. Go back to your strategy. For us, strategy underpins everything we do, it is the road we take to success. While your product will tell you when to launch, your strategy will tell you how and where to launch.

To stagger or go full tilt?

How are you planning to execute launch? Are you going to go all guns blazing and launch all at once or is it better for you to stagger the launch in pre-determined, strategic intervals.

While this decision will be largely driven by your product, this is a very important one to get right. For example, if you are launching a website along with a large Google Ads campaign, it’s definitely better for you to go live with everything at once. However, if you’re trying to break into a saturated marketplace, would a soft launch be better?

A soft launch would include launching your website and Google Ads campaign to gather data about the market. Then after a few weeks launching a full-scale public marketing campaign that drives everyone to your website. The benefit of this is you’ll have a much better understanding of what you are up against and the interest in your product.

But, much like ‘when to launch’, ‘how to launch’ is highly dependent on your offering.

Who are you targeting?

Now, chances are you’ve been building your target audience since day one. It generally comes before you even think of your brilliant idea. In most cases, a product or offering comes about from the desire to solve a problem for a certain group of people.

But having this general idea of who you are targeting, shouldn’t inform the launch. In order to generate maximum traction and ROI, you will need to break this audience down in much smaller segments.

We suggest, taking this audience and creating several customer personas. These are highly detailed descriptions of your audience, which outlines everything about your target audience. Such as age, hobbies, work duties, male or female, the more detailed, the better the marketing messages.

We are then able to take these personas and let the digital world do its thing. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google are able to take this information and produce a realistic audience size. And, just like that, you have your target audiences for your initial launch.

Launching a product is an exciting but tense time. However, in this wonderful world of digital, we have access to so much data about our audience, industry and product, that we are able to tailor our launches to exactly who you want to target. So it becomes less of just throwing your offering out there and hoping to strike gold, to a highly targeted, direct lines of communication with your market.