8 secrets of a successful product launch

Posted on May 21, 2014


successful product launch

Another favorite session from Product Camp at the Microsoft NERD Center was given by Hubspot, a Cambridge-based company that is the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform.
Maggie Hibma and Jeffery Russo, Product Marketing Specialists at Hubspot. There are no secrets really, but this makes for an intriguing title, doesn’t it?

It’s all quite simple really, no secrets involved.  The theme is the customer and creating a great experience for them.

Here are 8 tips for a successful product launch.

1. Understand your audience.

Offer product demos and capture user feedback.
Do User testing.
Interview customers.

A great way to really nail this is to develop buyer personas. Go into as much detail as you can; name, hobbies, likes, dislikes etc.

2. Tell a good story.

Marketing is all about connecting with people. How do you connect with people? Tell a good story.

Make it a priority to educate your customers.  After all, if your customer isn’t aware of your product or doesn’t understand how to use it, your product won’t go anywhere.

3. Develop a clear, articulated vision.

I’m reminded of something my Dad used to say, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

4. Have a deep product knowledge.

Be knowledgeable and passionate about the product.  This excitement can be catching and will create a lot of ‘buzz’ around the product.

5. Work backwards from the customer.

I love this tip! Most of the time, we start with a product idea, work to bring it to market, and the market it. How about starting with an unmet customer need and reverse engineer a solution?

Hubspot goes one step further and writes a press release for the new product while the product is still in early development. This forces them to really articulate a. what the product is and b. how it will benefit a customer.

6. Continuously work on content creation.

Gone are the days of push marketing, where you are in the face of your target customers, interrupting them with annoying tv ads. The way to reach customers is by providing something they want, like good content.

Content creation can be started at the beginning of a product life cycle, no need to wait until the product has launched.

Some examples of good content:

* thought leadership pieces, e.g. best practices.
* Sales resources
* Customer resources.

7. Be organized with a checklist.

In these days of quick development, it’s easy to just work it on the fly. It really helps to have a checklist of things like:

* Metrics
* Channels
* Schedule.

8. Measure awareness post-launch.

Media coverage
Social media
New leads
Conversions e.g. someone who becomes a paying customer
Referring traffic
Lead to customer conversion
Adoption, e.g. is the product actually being used?

This talk was in the context of a new product launch, but I found these tips helpful when it comes to blogging.  Do you have any other tips on successful product launches?

This colorful rocket launch is courtesy of Steve Jurvetson’s Flickr Photo Stream, under Creative Commons Licensing.