Looking to get more bang for your buck when you announce your new product or service? The Savvy Sisters welcomes Rebel Brown, who shares an innovative approach to launches.
Launches are one of the most important areas of marketing responsibility. Giving our product or company the perfect market introduction is the first step toward a successful revenue stream.
For years we’ve looked at launches as the big corporate TA DA. ‘Launch’ has come to mean a big event, a big day, a press release and more. We all have checklists of all the items we need to create and execute, from collateral to publicity to media relations to lead generation. We focus on that big day – drop the press release and work the crowd – and then, we go back to business as usual. Sometimes we win big, more often we wonder why we didn’t get more UMPH from our launch.
What if I told you there was a better way? A way to power your launch, to gather momentum like you’ve never experienced before? Interested? Here’s how.
I’ve used a Rolling Thunder launch approach for over a decade now. Rather than viewing a market launch as a single bolt of lightning, I execute launches as a series of Rolling Thunder, building in power and momentum over a period of weeks and months.
So what is Rolling Thunder?
With a Rolling Thunder launch, we announce success, not availability. Rolling Thunder also builds momentum over time.
We don’t hold our story close to the corporate vest until our big day. Just the opposite. We share our story, plant our seeds, gather our evidence and create buzz and expectation in the market far ahead of our actual announcement.
When we do announce, we already have momentum, excitement, a market waiting to hear our news. We have customers and partners supporting us, social media spreading the news, industry leaders singing our praises, a sales force that is already winning – we launch with credibility. Who can argue with that?
A key point for marketing: Power past the press release.
Just because you drop the press release doesn't mean the launch is over. In fact, that's when the Thunder really begins. Launches aren't about press releases or press coverage or big events or fancy videos and websites. Launches are all about driving revenue. Be ready with follow up marketing tools and campaigns to keep the thunder rolling.
One key area that often gets lost in the launch shuffle is demand generation.
One of the most important aspects of the launch is providing the sales force with qualified leads. It's kind of a double bind since you can't do mass demand generation until you announce the product. Yet you need to offer leads as soon as you announce. Too many people assume the press release will drive leads. That's not the case.
Marketing must provide leads as a key component of overall launch success. So how do you avoid the double bind?
- Have a set of current customers and new prospects identified that match the profiles of the early customers we've already sold. We already know our strategy works for those customers, so they are the low hanging fruit. Get the sales reps focused on that list the day we drop the announcement. They have prospects to focus on, and we have time to pull more into the funnel.
- Be prepared with a complete campaign and launch it on announcement day. Use all the customer stories and evidence you've collected to bring home the point that you're announcing success, not something new for trial. Ensure your content is mapped to your buyer profiles and be sure to feature customer evidence prominently. Also prepare to nurture over a period of time and don't play the one-hit wonder game.
Qualified leads are the most important gift we can give our sales force. They're also the key to launch success, so make demand generation a prominent part of your preparation.
About the author: Rebel Brown is CEO and Chief Spin Doctor at PeopleWhoKnow, a Silicon Valley strategic consulting firm. She is also the author of numerous articles and the business blog Phoenix Rising, where she shares her tried and true strategies for transformation. Her latest eBook -- Rolling Thunder, Powering Momentous Market Launches -- shares her innovative approach to market launches for companies and for products.