Product development is a labor of love. After dedicating countless hours to design, development, and testing, you must ensure your product generates the attention it deserves.
One strategic tool that can help keep all product-launch-related activities on track and on time is a product launch checklist.
Why does using a product launch checklist matter? And what should be included on it?
This article highlights everything you need to know about using a product launch checklist to strengthen your product strategy. It also provides the building blocks for creating your own checklist.
Why Use a B2B Product Launch Checklist?
A product launch checklist can be more useful than you might think. You may wonder, How can that help me solve my product launch challenges?
Here are some of the benefits of a checklist for launching a new product or service:
- It outlines all processes, steps, and assets that are associated with the new product or service.
- It ensures everyone has a clear understanding of project responsibilities and helps with accountability.
- It fosters better collaboration and teamwork.
- It helps better prepare for challenges or unknown circumstances by keeping everything in one place, accessible to all.
Eight Elements to Include in a Product Launch Checklist
All organizations are different, but some checklist components are a necessity no matter the industry or the organization. Here are must-have checklist elements to ensure product launch success.
1. Product Testing
This might seem like a no-brainer, but product testing is critical. When you understand how customers will interact with your product, you can troubleshoot before launching.
2. Goals and Launch Date
The next priority is to set up your timeline and identify key goals.
Before solidifying a launch date, start with goal-setting to gauge how much needs to be done to accurately inform your timeline. Get as granular as needed, but start by setting goals that relate to the overall business. Then, move into goals for each team supporting the launch.
3. Audience Alignment
New product and service offerings are created with a target audience in mind, and aligning everyone on the characteristics of that target audience is important. Understanding whom the product is for influences the activities of Marketing, Sales and other teams.
Know the product, know the audience.
4. Messaging and Branding
It is important to identify the branding of marketing and sales collateral that will be created—from colors to icons and more. You'll need guidelines for all asset branding.
Messaging is also where the magic happens. The messaging points, taglines, and more for the new product or service should align with what audiences are looking for, and they should make an impact.
5. Marketing Plan
Having a solid marketing plan in place is a driving element in the success of a product launch checklist. Plan all activities, such as press releases, social media, content marketing, and email marketing. If you outline activities for each area, as well as when they happen and who is responsible, you will keep everyone accountable and clear on deadlines.
As for what to include in the marketing plan, think about your target audience. What will resonate most? Social media posts or short videos? Will a blog post or an infographic be more effective in communicating what the new product does?
6. Asset Creation
Once you have a defined marketing plan outlining all content needed to support marketing activities, it will be time to create the assets.
To help keep track of asset production, create a master spreadsheet. Outlining what assets are needed for each marketing area keeps things extra clear. For example, social media might need a few short videos and graphics for posting. Reserving one section of the spreadsheet for those specific activities helps even more in sorting out what is needed and when.
7. Support and Documentation
Customer Success is vital in any organization, especially when launching a new product.
Your customer advocates should be well-versed and capable of answering any questions a prospect might have about the product.
Create detailed onboarding walkthroughs, training guides, and other product-support documentation to give your customers more assistance with the new product and to serve as a reference point for your customer success team.
8. Evaluation and Analysis
The final part of the product launch checklist is evaluation and analysis:
- How did the product launch go?
- Did you meet your short-term goals?
- What were some things that went well?
- How did the metrics you were tracking fare against the goals you set?
There are endless questions to answer when evaluating a new product launch, but refer back to your initial goals as a guidepost. Conduct a comparison to understand whether those goals were achieved—and whether spot on or below or above expectations. All conclusions drawn from the effort will provide a great starting point for organizational discussions.
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With a B2B product launch checklist in hand, you will be well on your way to exceeding expectations for your next launch.
More Resources on Launching a B2B Product
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