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Product Launch Timeline: Tips and an Infographic

20 Sep

Conceiving new products and then developing them into commercially viable products can be time-consuming and complex. First of all, many needed steps in new-product planning do receive proper attention by firms. However, the buildup to the product launch also needs planning through a product launch timeline. That’s why careers in product management are so appealing. Most of all, thanks to Convertkit for the content that follows about the product launch timeline.

As Dani Stewart notes for Convertkit (a firm specializing in E-mail marketing for professional bloggers):

“Every good [new] product deserves a great product launch timeline. Because of the work you’ve put into creating your beautiful, world-changing product, you need to the recognition due. Enter the product launch timeline. Especially relevant: learn about your customers, write persuasive content, beta test, and choose the best promotion channels. It’s important to put a product launch timeline into place so you don’t miss a thing. Therefore, to help start your product launch timeline, here are steps to help gain momentum and have a successful launch.”

 

The steps for a superior product launch timeline are highlighted here and in the infographic below.

 

Product Launch Timeline: Months Out
  • 4 months to launch — “Get advice: Start talking about your product to your mentors, people in the real world, and potential customers. Get that elevator pitch ready. Customer development: Your product should be a reflection of your customers. To find out if what you want to create is something your customers need, you first have to know your customers. Implement the 10-Person Rule  and create avatars. Messaging and positioning: Once you have the information using  the 10 Person Rule, it’s time to come up with messaging. How will you position your product? Think about Who it’s for? What does it do? Why it’s better than similar products?”
  • 3 months to launch — “Create a launch plan: Work backward from your goal launch date and think about every step and marketing activity needed for a successful launch. Create launch content: Think about all the collateral you will need to sell you product. Start drafting  demo decks, product screenshots, sales materials, the landing page, Web site updates, E-mails, etc. Choose specific social media channels. Prep your team: If you have a team, teach them your positioning/message. Make sure they are ready to sell. Go-to-market strategy: Compile all this information in one place for easy access. This can include pricing recommendations, market research, competitive analysis, and any other information you might need. Find promoters/affiliates: You most likely can’t launch on your own. Find influencers in your industry who might be interested in helping you. Take time to make a list of influencers to contact.”
  • 2 Months to launch — “Beta: Write and send an E-mail to potential affiliates and send them your product to test and review. Make it easy on them to review by including swipe copy for their blogs and social media. This beta step is very important. Because you want influencers to help you evaluate your product before public release and give you feedback about what works and what doesn’t. Start building anticipation: You can’t just release in one day. Without notice, no one will know what you’re talking about and they won’t care. Hence, here are some examples of building anticipation. Most of all: Create a landing page about the product with a ‘stay in touch’ opt-in form. Put a banner on your site hyping the product that links to your product landing page. Talk to your social media followers and ask them questions to make sure you’re on track. Finalize launch content: Take all customer information you’ve been gathering and make sure launch content is still on par. Ask a friend/hire a professional to look over it and edit to make sure it launch worthy. Gather reviews from your beta testers: Add beta reviews to your landing page and seed throughout social media. These reviews will add to your social clout and brand authority and trust.”
  • 1 month to launch — “Announce your launch: It’s time to start announcing your product to the public! Post about your launch on your blog. Have your opt-in form link to your landing page. Start your E-mail sequence to your opt-in list. In addition, set up your opt-in form for your blog main page.”

 

Product Launch Timeline: Weeks Out
  • 3 weeks to launch — “Check in with affiliates: Make sure your promoters have everything needed to spread news about your product. Start seeding social media: And Post teaser videos and images on social channels, blog posts, etc.”
  • 2 weeks to launch — “Set up shopping cart. Research paid traffic: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. if interested. Create sales funnel: For people who click to opt-in and for after they’ve purchased. Create thank you page: For people who purchase.”
  • 1 week to launch — “Set up your product in your storefront. Check all your links! Before launch, do a final check to ensure that everything works. Therefore, see if buttons are functioning, forms are working, copy and creative looks good, etc.”
  • Week of launch — “Keep sharing on social media and through your E-mail list. Make your launch an event: Everything is more exciting when you take the time to promote it well. Hence, here are ideas how to make your launch extra exciting. Host a webinar. Hit the podcast circuit. Host a TwitterChat. In addition, release a new (longer-than-a-teaser) promo.”

 

Product Launch Timeline: Post-Launch
  • After launch — “Pop the champagne! As a result of your efforts, you did it! Launching a product is no easy feat. It’s easy to jump from prep-work to post-work, but it’s important to celebrate every little victory you can. So take a little time to reveal in your success. Follow up for testimonials: Consequently, about a month after launch, send an E-mail asking new customers what they thought about your product. Take your feedback and make your product better: Because everything your customers tell you is important. Therefore, listen to them and take data from your launch to re-work your product for your next launch.”

 

Product Launch Timeline Infographic
 

Revitalizing Toyota Camry’s Image

14 Sep

The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling non-pickup truck brand in the United States for several years. Nonetheless, the brand’s image has been been rather “vanilla.” It’s trying now to change that.

As Edmunds reported:

“Toyota pulled the wraps off the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Though sedan sales have lost ground to crossovers in recent years, any manufacturer would be thrilled to offer a vehicle in its lineup that could emulate the Camry’s perennially robust sales performance. So, yes, the debut of new Camry is a big deal.”

“With that said, the Camry has a reputation of being plain vanilla (we’ll only point out that vanilla is far and away the most popular flavor of ice cream). The 2018 model apparently aims to reverse that perception. The SE and XSE trim levels represent what is easily the boldest Camry yet, with a hint of rear fender bulge, well-considered proportions, and a confident face. Entry-level LE and XLE models are more subdued, save for an imposing grille. Sure, the new Camry’s various creases on the hood and the flanks are a bit fussy, but the new car’s attitude is undeniable.”

“Beyond the striking new styling, Toyota promises that the new car is significantly more driver-focused, offering superior driving dynamics. Engineers point to its lower roof and seating position, both of which drop an inch compared to the current model to help lower its center of gravity. A 1.5-inch-lower hoodline is said to improve outward visibility in the bargain, so it won’t feel as if you’re sitting in bathtub.”

 

 

In addition to revamping the Camry for 2018, Toyota is updating its advertising strategy on social media and for TV — including the use of emojis.

Acording to E.J. Schultz, writing for Advertising Age:

“Twitter introduced emoji targeting last year, allowing advertisers to steer ads to people that have recently tweeted emojis or engaged with other emoji-laden tweets to determine a person’s interests and mood. Toyota’s campaign shows a huge array of videos featuring Camry drivers with emojis as heads. For instance, a person who recently tweeted a smiley face icon could be targeted with a promoted tweet. The campaign also includes more traditional elements, like TV ads. The spots pair music with music-like sounds coming from the Camry, such as an engine revving.”

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on the 16th Anniversary of 9/11

11 Sep

It has now been 16 years since one of the worst days in American history — a tragedy that many of us will remember forever. On this anniversary, it is a good time to reflect.

Each year on this date, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has a “Tribute in Light”. This is

“a commemorative public art installation first presented six months after 9/11 and then every year thereafter, from dusk to dawn, on the night of September 11. It has become an iconic symbol that both honors those killed and celebrates the unbreakable spirit of New York.”

“For 2017, we are extraordinarily grateful to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which stepped forward to be our first presenting sponsor for Tribute in Light. Through its generosity, we were also able to launch a program for small businesses in lower Manhattan — our neighboring hotels, retailers and restaurants — to come together and support this iconic tribute.”

“Assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage south of the 9/11 Memorial, the twin beams reach up to four miles into the sky and are comprised of 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs in two 48-foot squares, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. Tribute in Light was conceived by several artists and designers who were brought together by the Municipal Art Society and Creative Time.”


The 9/11 Memorial & Museum also has available online multimedia information about an incredible exhibit called “Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11.” Click on the preceding link to see the summary. Here is a video clip about one of the works of art. It is very moving. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum says about the clip:

“Papers, letters, business forms, and personal notes flutter through the air in this film by the creative collective, Blue Man Group. Inspired by the scraps of paper that blew from the World Trade Center into the yard of their rehearsal space in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, the members of Blue Man Group wrote the song, “Exhibit 13,” featuring spoken recitations of the papers’ contents, and created the accompanying video, both named after one of the scorched pieces of paper they found. Blue Man Group members Chris Wink, Matt Goldman,and Phil Stanton are New York residents and were in various locations in Manhattan on 9/11. The performance group is based in New York.”


 

Facebook and Google: Stronger Rules for Online Advertisers

5 Sep

In response to some complaints about online ads, both Facebook and Google have been working on expanded rules for advertisers to follow.

FACEBOOK

As described by Working Media Group:

“Facebook continues to crack down on the shady side of its social network. Last month, Facebook announced that it has started fighting back against advertisers and page owners that link to sites that violate Facebook’s rules but hide those links from Facebook’s reviewers. In the past, these offenders would disguise the actual destination of the link attached to an ad or post, or they would come up with ways to dupe Facebook’s reviewers by directing them to a dummy page when vetting a link but would take people using Facebook’s mobile app to the offending page. But Facebook has figured out how to detect these so-called ‘cloaking’ schemes.”

“Any advertiser or page that Facebook finds disguising links that violate its Advertising Policies and/or Community Standards will be banned, the company said. Pages that don’t use cloaking shouldn’t be affected. Since going after cloaked links over the past few months, Facebook has fended off “thousands of these offenders,” according to the blog post.”

 

Click the image to read more from Facebook about its new process.

 

GOOGLE

As George Slefo reports for Advertising Age:

“Betty Crocker might want to check her inbox Thursday [last month]. The iconic brand is one of roughly a thousand online publishers were set to receive an email from Google warning them that they are showing ‘highly annoying, misleading, or harmful’ ads. Although there aren’t many ads on Betty Crocker’s Web site, it does have popups, especially on its mobile site. And that’s in violation of the Better Ads Standard, an industry effort born within the Coalition for Better Ads. Google is part of the Justice League-type group, as are Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Washington Post,Interactive Advertising Bureau, ad-buying giant GroupM, Association of National Advertisers, and others. But Google carries particular weight because it’s the self-appointed hero that plans to block ‘annoying’ ads in its popular Chrome browser starting early next year.”

 

Credit: Illustration by Tam Nguyen/ Ad Age

 

Click here to access the site of the Coalition for Better Ads.

Click here to access Google’s Ad Experience Report tool.

 

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