Whether you have a company, product or service that you are looking to launch or re-introduce into the marketplace, you need to make sure your go-to-market strategy aligns with your overall business objectives, and are designed to give you business traction. In this post, we discuss three key factors that you will need to consider prior to your launch.

1.Business Objectives.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, your go-to-market strategy needs to be in sync with business objectives otherwise you will have a harder time reaching an ROI that your senior management cares about. So, as you are organizing your thoughts around this, here are some preliminary questions to ask yourself:

Corporate Goals Questions:

• What corporate goal does this program align to?
• How will this effort contribute (qualitatively and quantitatively)?
• What does product launch success look like at a corporate level (e.g. ROI/sales/reputation) and marketing department level (e.g. leads/database/ customer engagement)?

Business-Alignment Questions:

• What markets do we pursue with this product launch effort?
• What opportunities and challenges (e.g. SWOT analysis) do we need to be aware of?
• What is the buyer’s purchase path, and how do we tap into it?
• How are we positioning ourselves differently from the competition?

Notes:

You’ll be amazed how many people say “Well, that’s obvious…it will improve leads” or “It will increase our visibility” without thinking through what that means from a business success perspective (and connecting the dots that will achieve that desired outcome).

2. Target Audience(s):

The verbal and visual communication you do needs to not only sound and look professional, it also needs to align to your buyer’s business goals in order to jump start leads and sales.  Otherwise, it is just pretty words and pictures.  As you are wrapping your arms around the target audience for this campaign effort, some initial questions to ask include:

Target Audience Questions:

• Who is your target audience? (Vertical? market segment? Distributors? Demographic?)
• What is each target audience’s purchase path?
• Where is your target audience so you can focus your content and advertisement efforts? (Tradeshows? Geography? Mobile? Online Publications? Email? Social Media?)

Buyer Motivations Questions:

• Why this target audience?
• Why now? What challenges or opportunities are we looking to impact with our efforts?
• What is the sense of urgency we want to create?
• How are we helping these buyers in a way that is different from what is currently available in the marketplace?

Notes:

The messaging and design of your marketing materials needs to clearly convey your company’s business purpose by aligning to your buyer’s business motivations. That’s how the buyer will then connect the dots between what you do and why they need you –now!

3. Go-to-Market Launch Tactics:

Whether targeting a specific market segment, demographic, vertical, or geography, outlining your outreach tactics is critical to intersecting with your buyer when it counts.  When trying to decide on what to develop for your launch efforts, think about three things:

Impact:

Get in your buyer’s shoes –is the message you are sending helping them think? Are you helping them solve problems? Is it coming to them via a medium where they will view it and process it?

Every time you put your brand out there, you want people to remember why you exist (and belong) in the marketplace. Communicating your impact (not your features and benefits), on platforms your buyers frequent, is what makes you relevant, memorable and viral.

Location, Location, Location:

It is important to understand where your buyer gets their information in order to prioritize WHERE you focus your communication efforts.

This may seem obvious, but many people work off a standard checklist without thinking this through. Think outside of the “website, PR, event, social media, email and brochure” checklist. Digital marketing and just plain outside the box thinking is important (see CSI Laboratories campaign activation and unique viewer targeted a hard-to-reach decision maker).

This is where working with an innovative marketing firm, that has a business focus, will help bring some creativity designed to cut through the noise and activate your target buyers.

Pre, During, and Post:

Clearly, doing strategic and tactical business planning is a key ingredient to a marketing program that gives you traction. While you want to make sure you have a schedule of outreach and follow-up efforts, as a marketer it is important to remember to maintain a drumbeat of activities after your launch. Many people think of a launch as something with a start and stop date (and in some cases this makes sense) but, most of the time, it is an opportunity for you to keep going and stay “top of mind.”

This steady drumbeat is how a simple launch and your marketing leadership can change everything for a company and its brand.

Successful business focus fuels successful marketing programs. Hopefully this article helps you think about some key elements that will help develop key product launch plans, improve marketing campaign efforts, and ultimately increase qualified leads for all your products and services.

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