Turnaround time 2-3 weeks
Taking you to new stratospheres!
A launch strategy is an action plan created to launch a new product, service or business taking it to market. The goal of most businesses is to launch something and get as much growth and traction as quickly as possible. Many steps, actions, and people are involved in a project launch process.
Because of this, having a launch strategy helps you stay focused on achieving the end goal and recognising progress via the small wins that happen on the timeline. It is important to identify and test and speak to multiple audiences so your product can reach critical mass. When it comes to launching marketing… the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all.
I can create a plan to suit your needs a large detailed deck or a simple few pages.
6 MAIN sections to your launch strategy
- Soft Launch
- Official Launch
- Post Launch
- Big Picture
- Next Steps
10 KEY steps of your launch strategy
Step 1 – Business / Brand review
- Let’s review where we are now and what we have done to date what worked and what didn’t
- How do we define a successful launch? What are our goals, milestones and KPIs?
- What is the biggest definition of long term success aligned to our business plan?
- Data dissemination Review R&D Research and development to date (This could be researching on the business or brand, products, marketplace, target market, competitors, sales numbers and customers)
Step 2 – Focus on launch challenges and opportunities
- This is where you turn the data dissemination activity in step one into valuable information and insights and where you can create a lean spend that converts
- Be rudely brave in your honesty in identifying challenges and threats and timelines. Always manage expectations here under-promise and be realistic
- Focus on what needs to be resolved and invested in now and list the key things that need to be brought up to standard or quality maintained (This maybe elevation of digital assets or staff to be trained and up-skilled)
Step 3 – Brand or Business Sales Targets and Objectives
- What results do we want and when do we want them by talk. Get detailed here on return on investment and return on influence
- If we are running a digital ads campaign calculate the investment needed based on testing stats for cost per click and cost per acquisition and keep it real with both numbers and timeframe
- Avoid focusing on vanity metrics of likes and fans and followers look at commitment and in-depth engagement the longer tail DMs, the conversions, the shares, the referrals
- You should know by now what you need to achieve from a brand/ business and indeed sales point of view
- It’s all well and good having a loud and proud launch that everyone is talking about but has it positively impacted your bottom line?
Step 4 – Identify your personas and avatars and drill your psychographics
Target markets and marketing aims and objectives
- Clever work on personas and avatars here. Looking at your high thirst audience – quick to convert
- Also, identify and grow your ‘sneezers” these are your audience that is quick to love and share your content. Define the groups of people with common characteristics, purchasing needs and buying habits that are likely to buy products/services in sufficient quantities to achieve your brand or business goals
- Once you have defined these people (the target markets) it’s much easier to understand their behaviour as well as find more of them! Mirroring audiences and increasing reach can help a brand scale intentionally with true controlled growth online.
- Fanocracy strategies in terms of launch content marketing are key here to create high-value content that your fans and customers actually want to connect, consume and engage with
- You can stay targeted by knowing your market where they shop, how old their children are and where they live and where they get their news or watch their entertainment
- Embrace your weirdness and talk about it often. Specialise or niche to stand out above your competition, better serve your audience, and authenticate your brand
- Your target market should be large enough to warrant your attention (you also need to be able to reach and communicate with them regularly in fresh and exciting ways and build relationships online!)
Step 5 – Prepare and Plan strategies ready for full implementation
- Vision and mission statement for the launch ready to send and share and sponsor
- Values statement ready and published. To refer to with any launch queries for alignment
- ‘Project Personality’ and reputation Define and develop what you want people to think of and associate with the brand/product versus the competition.
- Your launch tactics and over-arching strategy will help detail how you will achieve the objectives
Step 6 – Launch Comms goalposts
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency roll out a common theme and core message to what is being communicated across all mediums
- It’s no good having a billboard and podcast campaign saying one thing, a website presenting something else and an in-store message or salesperson which is conflicting with what people are expecting to see and hear
- Consistency and continuity matter and are always remembered from a launch as first impressions last the longest!
- Stay focused on your key values and messages and repeat the answers for FAQs throughout your content to break down friction to purchase
Step 7 – Tactical launch marketing tools
- Identify the marketing tactics and activities making up your plan.
- Refine the tools to get the message out there and to make the sales process as easy as possible
- This could include tools such as your brand identity guidelines, website, promotional video, launch video, values statement, influencer videos, sales literature and CRM
- While your customer acquisition strategies could range from the traditional – media, direct mail, publicity and events to digital marketing (SEO/SEM, Online advertising, Social Media and email marketing
Step 8 – Budget, ROI (Return on Investment and Return on Influence) and Schedule on a Web Calendar
- A launch budget must be defined and a budget planner used and updated with every detail. A launch budget typically allows for 3 to 5 % of revenue. Sometimes more, for new business or product launch particularly when there is a key figure or personal brand or celebrity behind the launch
- This can get a little tricky and subject to many factors such as market share, brand awareness, sales objectives
- Work out the return on investment and return on influence and start to put some numbers on a calendar of marketing activities for the launch timeframe
Step 9 – Ideas are a pound a dozen but what really matters is implementation
- “Let’s Make it happen!”
- All the planning is useless unless you take action and do it
Step 10 – Always Evaluate and handover
- What worked? Why? What didn’t work? Why?
- A safe space to fail means that after launch you can ensure that monies are invested well into the marketing tactics that work and continue to work
- Remember, your launch plan helps with your over-arching digital marketing and PR strategy and with this “the paint never dries” it is constantly being developed and layered – it should move and evolve as you learn from each campaign
- Saying this you also don’t chop and change things you allow things enough time to be tested properly and explored. You never plant seeds in a garden and then keep digging them up to see if they’ve grown, well the same applies to strategies, let the playbook, play out! (and then come back to me for your next strategy and game plan!)
Some Tactics that may be used
- Poll your audience
- Free offer or opt-ins
- Email campaign and flow for your list (Your database is gold dust)
- Blog post (Yours and a high profile guest one)
- Lead the storytelling with a reel
- Release a promo video and sponsor a key audience
- Social Media posts
- Post to Instagram stories daily
- Go Live on Facebook and interact with viewers don’t just broadcast
- Ask people to share for you, a brand launch and brand story are told by many voices
- Create a giveaway (collaborate on one if you don’t have a big enough audience)
- Build hype with a count down and employ a many voice strategy here
Preparation is paramount, understand the vision of what is being launched in great detail.
Ask lots of silly questions so that you can explain what you are launching to a 6-year-old without any confusion.
- What is the problem you are looking to solve?
- What is the experience you are looking to sell?
- What do you want to accomplish from the launch? Big wins and small wins
Before you launch, take the time to get really close to the philosophy of the business, brand or product range. Try and get involved in market research and consumer testing. Work with your team to understand the problems they are trying to solve. This is where in-depth interviews should happen.
By understanding the business, brand or product range and performing market research, you’ll be able to align your messaging strategy with the product. The primary goal will be to bridge the gap between what the prospects’ pains are and what the competition is not doing to address them.
The pre-launch stage also includes the necessary promotion planning as you decide:
- Where you’ll advertise (e.g. search engines, social media, traditional channels)
- Where you’ll promote your message organically (e.g. social media, blog, website homepage, events)
- How you’ll get picked up by media outlets (i.e. your PR strategy and media outreach)
- Who you’ll rely on to spread the word (e.g. partners, communities, forums, third-party marketplaces)
- What content can you create to share prior to the launch to help people understand the “what” and the “why” of what your offer is?
- Where will you send people to check out your new offer, is that ready?
- How will they “check out” or provide payment for your offer?
- How will you promote the offer? What copy and graphics will you need?
- What does the offer delivery look like for you? Do you need emails or systems to help?
- How will you follow up with your new customers? Plan for that!
- Think through: email marketing, landing or sales pages, social media marketing, ad strategy, and where they offer will be hosted or live.
Use a system such as Trello, asana or monday.com for all things launch organising and management. I would advise creating a “template” board that covers all the various pieces and parts of your launch strategy that you can then copy and update for each launch rather than recreating the same cycle again and again.
In the pre-launch phase, you’ll have identified what platforms and channels to promote on, established relationships with many suppliers, influencers and partners who will help you do so, and created the digital brand assets that will ‘disrupt the scroll’ and draw attention to your messaging on these channels.
The launch phase is simply the implementation of your strategy. All your planning can help you jump from stepping stone to stepping stone which is all laid out in your strategy. Be prepared to firefight as needed and stay bendy as things may need to adapt and rigidity blocks a successful launch.
During your initial launch week, your web calendar and project manager will mark out what happens and is due to happen day by day. I also find it helps to add in any PR pieces when they go live online and in print to the calendar so that you can look back and see where any sales spikes have come from in addition to tracking backlinks and click-throughs on the referral traffic.
Very important to know about your email comms and the order in which it is being sent so that your real-time responses make sense and are completely in a timely fashion. The same applies to social posts going up and being sponsored, any big social media sponsors and ad campaigns I would also track in the calendar. This helps hugely with the post-launch evaluation. Most of our launches are a week so it’s easy to stay on top of everything if you are organised and detail orientated with documenting the activity.
Keep referring back to your values at launch and think about the transformation you are creating and the experience that you are selling.
Remember a popular way to launch an offer or release an early bird sale is often via webinars or free Facebook groups or Zoom masterclasses, especially for thought leader course launches. If you are a thought leader looking to do this it must be high educational value where bookers feel that they have learnt new things and not just been sold to. These don’t need to be hours and hours, no one has time for that and the best way to sell is to leave an audience wanting more.
Try out “5-minute webinars” or masterclasses and focus on high-value fast tips and debunking common myths. This method is often used by Jenna Kutcher and was originally developed by Jamie Cross and derived from Russell Brunson’s “perfect webinar formula!”
Deploying emails throughout the seven-day launch helps to reply to any objections, share end results, answer frequently asked questions, generate hype and time sensitivity high-quality urgency, and continue sharing the value of the offerings.
Stay loud and proud and launch with high energy and gusto!
The work isn’t over … this bit is often skipped but it’s the bit that helps drive all future success in terms of campaign results.
Let’s call it a true retrospective, back to data dissemination the good the bad and the ugly. Let’s own what worked, what flopped and what had potential but was missing an adequate budget to test or some other factors or resources. Could the media and PR have been higher, would this be better if we took Sian’s advice and had a publicist on a monthly retainer? Or do we need to train up someone in-house?
In addition, a brand, business or product range also needs evaluation and in order to serve customers then we must really listen to their feedback and refine the offering. This helps us to maintain adoption and retention and stay ‘remarkable”
After decompressing and documenting think about how different elements of the launch actually made you feel? what left you stressed, nervous, anxious, or worried about spending not getting results or costing too much, what felt out of visibility or your control? and what moved the needle the most. If you have a team, collect their feedback as well! Think about love languages as part of your campaign marketing too. The stuff that felt heavy, can you delegate it better or to an expert! Your aces in places matter to your calm and centred leadership.
Ensure that this doesn’t get dragged out and we will look at that at a later stage or by the next launch. WHILST IT IS FRESH TAKE ACTION!
Re-organise your launch assets and your deck of to do’s and your template on project management in asana, trill or Monday and update it based on this launch review and evaluation.
Store all this info so you can recap before the next launch.
THE BIG PICTURE
You now have created a master plan for a stress-free launch thanks to your launch strategy created by Sian Gunney and these smart launch implementation pointers.
Discuss what the next steps are and implement them right away, whilst this is all top of mind. Build the relationships you want for the next campaign, nurture these online and offline and an important personalised step is to send thank you cards or gifts. This makes all the difference, relationships are everything in business, s/he who cares, always wins the long race!