An A-Z guide to a successful product launch aided with digitization
New product introduction via virtual events is seeing a rise amongst marketers as it boosts engagement, has wider reach, selective audience targeting and reduces cost, especially in the current pandemic.
Not long ago, organizations introduced new products with traditional strategies such as print advertisements, radio advertisements, billboards, store, and exhibition openings. As time went on, businesses became more inventive and started utilizing their resources to go all out with their product releases.
Bill Gates, back in 2001, did a massive worldwide launch party to introduce Windows XP. The launch event had everything from personally autographed copies of the software, in-store software, tv advertisements, giant blimps displaying Microsoft's newest product, and celebrity musical performances from Madonna and Sting.
The product launch proved to be highly effective as Microsoft could sell 400 million copies of the software in just under 5 years.
Similarly, in 2007, the world was introduced to the iPhone in a packed auditorium at the Macworld convention, San Francisco. The only thing Apple Inc needed to execute a successful product and transform the landscape of global product launches was a massive stage with a giant screen, worldwide broadcasting, and Steve Jobs.
Currently, product launch standards have changed slightly but not significantly. Almost every organization has followed the same script: the most popular figure, i.e., the CEO, introduces the product to the public and then shows a visually appealing presentation.
Today, product launches are eye-catching and appealing enough to engage the customer towards the product. But one must ask themselves, is this enough to pull off a successful product launch?
The New Product Introduction (NPI) landscape has turned upside down. Hybrid events will replace the NPI gala events and roadshows. Marketers will need to work within a limited budget to create the same business outcomes as expected before.
Through this blog, we shall learn whether the current product launch tactics are enough to convert prospects into customers and what are the ways of achieving a successful product launch with interactive content.
Challenges of a product launch
'Lack of preparation' is indeed one of the common problems most companies face during any product launch, claims Harvard Business School(1).
A product goes as far as you take it. So, what is your plan for a successful product launch? It is time to take the right marketing decisions and introduce the latest interactive and immersive solutions for the launch. With visually powerful and stimulating solutions, you can help customers and stakeholders make sense of the product and make the best use of it.
We at Ethosh Digital believe that product launches are a three-step process, with each step being vital to convert a prospect to a consumer successfully. The three steps are Pre-Launch, During Launch, and Post-Launch. Each stage has specific responsibilities and challenges that organizations need to understand before they take any critical steps in the future. The challenges of each step of the product launch are explained below:
1. Pre-Product launch: (How do I introduce the product?) - Creating rich, exciting, and engaging product glimpses, building intrigue in the customers, leaving them asking for more, to finally winning them over.
2. During Product Launch: (Will they find the product relevant?) - Creating an air of excitement for customers, internal & external stakeholders, delivering enriching product experiences, assisting them in gauging benefits and value addition.
3. Post Product Launch: (Are all the salespeople saying the same thing?)- Empowering your sales and channels with complete & consistent product knowledge about benefits, positioning, competitive advantage, objection handling.
Needs and requirements of a product launch
As per Labs42(2), 84% of consumers believe that the company they buy from must be innovative. And according to a report published on Strategy&(3), around 43% of business executives agree that innovation is the mandatory competitive necessity for any product launch to be successful. So, it is time to put on the innovation cap and take a dive into the market with a novel approach for product launch.
After understanding the challenges, organizations can create an action plan through which an objective could be made for each stage. To ensure that their objectives are followed as planned, they will need substantial resources to help corporations achieve the target.
The following highlight some of the essential aspects to pull off a successful product launch:
1. Out-of-the-box & creative design of customer experience
2. Think repurposing and reusability of content to reduce the investment required
3. Timely delivery of communication collaterals
4. Partner who requires minimum handholding understands your needs and bring expertise
A definitive approach
A successful product launch needs a 360° approach for communicating with all stakeholders. Here are its key elements:
- Visual & interactive customer training
- Intuitive & easy visual instructions for end-user training
- Visual & guided instructions for basic maintenance
- Brilliant product launch videos using VR & AR
- Exciting marketing collateral such as brochures, leaflets, emailers, etc.
- Intelligently designed microsite & landing pages
- Guided troubleshooting as confidence boosters
- Visual aids for technicians to effectively install, service & maintain product
- Immersive technical training using Augmented Reality (AR)
- Self-learning modules for sales training
- Product feature and explainer videos
- Digital sales companion, sales presentations as confidence boosters
- Product configurator
- Immersive product presentation using VR
How can corporations use technology to their advantage?
As technology advances time and time on, corporations need to realize the opportunity and use it to its full advantage. In 2016, during the launch event of the Samsung Galaxy S7. Samsung announced its partnership with Mark Zuckerberg-owned Oculus, which provides the best engaging experiences on a smartphone through VR Technology.
During the event, audiences were provided with Samsung Smart Gear VR Headsets powered by Oculus technology, which allowed the audience members to experience the magic that is virtual reality. This brought a different yet unique approach to a product launch. Hence what we are trying to convey through this example is that there are many ways through a product launch can be carried out.
Some of the ways through which technology could be used as a resource to launch a product: -
- Augmented Reality
- Virtual Reality
- Video Content Production
- Mobile and Web Experiences
- Marketing Automation
- Virtual Events
Digital experiences aiding a successful product launch
Jamieson Medical Technologies is preparing to unveil a brand-new line of linear accelerators at the upcoming Medical Technology Exhibition next month. As a result, the crew began designing posters, PowerPoint presentations, and brochures for the exhibition. Jamieson Medical Technologies' marketing director, Roger Stevenson, handled all the product launch preparations and was sure that his team would successfully launch the product.
Roger spends his free time listening to 'The Revolutionary Marketing Manoeuvres,' a podcast on Spotify. The podcast discusses how organizations made strategic marketing decisions that led to their success in their respective sectors. One day while listening to the podcast, Roger came across Rahul Deshpande and Harshad Jangidhar, the executives from Ethosh Digital.
Rahul and Harshad discussed how digitalization had a significant impact on marketing operations across businesses. They explained how immersive technologies, mobile/web experiences, and video content development have allowed the organization to reach out to various clients worldwide. They believe that digitization has given businesses an unfair competitive advantage. They also encourage companies to switch to digitization and discover how much difference it can make to their businesses.
After listening to the podcast, Roger searched Rahul and Harshad on LinkedIn and went through the profiles of both executives. Apart from this, he also checked out Ethosh's LinkedIn page and came across videos that explain the positive impact of bringing digitalization to modern marketing. One of the videos on Ethosh's LinkedIn page highlighted the use of mixed reality in introducing brand-new MRI equipment at last year's medical technology exhibition.
Roger realized he needed to make up a lot of ground to ensure that his company's product launch went smoothly. He decided to contact Rahul and Harshad through LinkedIn and received a reply quickly. The three of them decided to phone each other to develop a new strategy for launching a successful product.
Let us look at how Ethosh used digital experiences to help Jamieson Medical create a successful product launch.
15 days before the exhibition, Ethosh helped Roger and his team segregate Jamieson Medical's customer prospects into two segments, i.e., existing, and new customers.
1. Existing customers
According to Ethosh, Jamieson Medical should use marketing automation software like HubSpot to contact existing clients via email marketing and educate them about the debut of the brand-new Linear Accelerator at this year's annual medical technology exhibition.
2. New customers
Create digital banners and advertisements for social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. These advertisements are targeted at medical professionals who require new equipment. In this case, the advertisements targeted oncologists.
Ethosh advised Roger that the company may pique a prospect's interest by producing blogs on issues like Technology's Importance in Cancer Treatment and publishing them on the Jamieson medical website.
Rahul also advised that Jamieson publish blogs on social media sites like LinkedIn and open discussion sites like Reddit, allowing the company to generate excitement about the product launch.
Before the exhibition, Harshad suggested that Roger and his team create a brand-new prospect database. They would market and promote the product to the target market before the formal launch if they created a new database.
Harshad recommended LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which allows one to connect with millions of prospects worldwide. The filter feature aids in the identification of specific leads. In this case, Jamieson would be looking for oncologists, hospital deans, and medical professionals. Jamieson Medical uses the sales navigator tools to find new prospects for their email marketing campaign.
Ethosh assisted Jamieson in putting together a media kit for potential clients. A press release, a brief letter of welcome to the prospective customer, a miniature prototype of the linear accelerator, a QR Code that highlights the product characteristics, and a Jamieson Medical corporate backgrounder are all included in the media kit.
Ethosh Digital and Jamieson Medical went above and beyond preparing for the launch. Everything hinged on the product introduction, which took place at the Med Tech Exhibition.
During the launch:
The stage was set for the medical technology exhibition to kick off. All medical technology organizations were busy setting up their stalls. Rahul and Harshad accompanied Roger and his team to the event. First up in the exhibit's itinerary was the introduction of new products, where organizations get the opportunity to introduce their products to the med-tech community.
Jamieson Medical Technologies CEO, Michael Lawler, was in attendance and was ready to give the presentation with Roger. Michael and Roger introduced the brand-new linear accelerator that will be the present and future of oncology. They showed a teaser video highlighting the product's various characteristics to the audience.
In addition, Roger and Michael explained how to use the product via a mixed reality interactive product demonstration that demonstrated how the linear accelerator works. Towards the end, Michael introduced the mobile app of Jamieson Technologies. It allowed customers to scan the product they purchased and access information such as product features and tutorial videos. These included videos on setting up the product, using the product, onboarding new employees, and product performance analysis.
Michael and Roger were able to give a successful presentation because of the AR/VR-based product demonstration, video trailer, and mobile application built by Ethosh. In the past, Jamieson Technologies relied on Powerpoint presentations and simple modules. But after Ethosh's suggestion, they opted for an interactive digital solution, which was promising to keep prospects' attention during the presentation.
Hundreds of oncologists and medical professionals flocked to Jamieson Technology's booth to see the AR/VR-based interactive product demonstration. Prospects who wanted to test the linear accelerator were given VR headsets by Roger's team volunteers. Jamieson catered to those who were physically present and those who had joined the event via virtual platforms.
Ethosh worked with Jamieson to build a virtual event that is a digital reproduction of Jamieson Tech's stall at the show. Visitors could interact and learn about the product through interactive product demonstrations and virtual presentations. Aside from that, attendees would have the opportunity to connect with medical professionals and oncology experts who will be attending the virtual event.
The event was a definitive success. Many industrial specialists appreciated the product and the launch concept, and it made representatives from Jamieson Medical Technology extremely happy.
After the event, Rahul and Harshad advised Roger and Michael to take advantage of the opportunity and collect valuable feedback from those who stopped by the stall. They approached the prospects and requested video testimonials from their customers. These testimonials were posted on Jamieson Technologies' website, intended to be a resource for a new prospect coming to the site.
Apart from that, Ethosh recommended that the company deliver interactive product samples to medical critics and influencers. Mixed reality and mobile/web experiences are among the interactive product demos, allowing prospects to have a first-hand look at the product.
Ethosh, a one-stop solution for NPI
From digital media planning, buying, and execution to digital content production to virtual event hosting, Ethosh Digital can cater to all needs. We can craft a program to build customer confidence and trust at every buyer journey stage, quickly turning new customers into brand advocates.
Our managed services approach considers all your internal and external needs for a high-quality NPI program and develops and executes a comprehensive strategy with absolute reliability and credibility.
We use a single platform for virtual event management, a unified digital media planning and buying for optimum cost per lead and run digital marketing campaigns targeted to specific personas. At Ethosh, we make sure to use all the resources creatively to gain maximum output from NPI.
Reference and Citation-
- Harvard Business School- https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/clay-christensens-milkshake-marketing
- Labs24- https://www.saasworthy.com/blog/top-product-launch-statistics-for-2022/
- Strategy&- https://www.strategy-business.com/feature/What-the-Top-Innovators-Get-Right