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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

As We Celebrate 10 Years of the iPhone, What Can We Learn from Apple?

12 Sep

Last month, we discussed that Apple — the world’s most valuable company — is once again rolling (after a grief hiccup). Soon, the company will begin selling the 10-year anniversary models of the iPhone. Today is announcement day for the new iPhone! [Please be sure to read both parts of this post and look at the infographic below regarding what we can learn from Apple.]

According to various observers, at least one version of the new iPhone will sell for more than $1,000. Are you iPhone loyalists really ready for this?

Here’s what Tripp Mickle and Timothy W. Martin are reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

“Prepare for smartphone sticker shock. A decade into the smartphone era, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are betting they can increase sales by jacking up the price of their flagship products — bucking the usual downward arc for prices of consumer electronics in the years after introduction.”

“Apple on Tuesday [today] is expected to unveil a more-advanced iPhone — also known as the anniversary iPhone, the iPhone 8, or iPhone X — which analysts predict will carry a starting retail price of about $1,000. That would be about 50% more than the cheapest version of the iPhone 7 Apple introduced last year at $649, and about 30% more than the larger iPhone 7 Plus, at $769. (On Tuesday, Apple also is expected to show off updated versions of those phones with prices similar to last year’s models.)”

While we wait for the latest iPhones to be available for sale, let’s consider what else we can learn from Apple. The Website Group has these observations; and it designed the infographic shown below.

“[Apple uses] unpaid marketing at its very best! You might not think it, but this marketing strategy is used for some of the biggest companies around the world. In particular – we’re talking Apple. Another popular strategy from Apple is its ability to create mystery around a product launch. Nobody likes a spoiler but everyone loves a surprise; so keep your goodies to yourself until the day comes to pull the rabbit out of the hat — just as Apple taught us. It leaves you hanging until the very last minute so that when they finally unveil a product you can’t wait any longer to get your hands on it!”

“These are just a couple of marketing lessons that we can learn from Apple, but there are plenty more! Read on for a list of 10 marketing techniques that Apple has used to build one of the most well-known brands in the world!”


Courtesy of: The Website Group


Customer Service — Or Lip Service?

31 Aug

Are companies doing a good job with customer service (the customer experience) — or is it just hype? Some companies are doing well, other not so much.

Forrester recently released the results of its research involving its U.S. 2017 Customer Experience Index. Forrester at looks more than 300 brands in deciding its rankings. In a press release, Forrester noted the following for the 2017 study:

“The combination of growing consumer expectations, rising customer churn rates, and more options with lower barriers to switch is placing a company’s customer experience (CX) center stage. CX leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference, and can charge more for their products. But according to Forrester’s US 2017 Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), CX quality worsened between 2016 and 2017: Twice as many brand scores fell as rose, and losses were bigger than gains.

“Based on a survey of nearly 120,000 U.S. online adult consumers, Forrester’s CX Index measures and ranks more than 300 U.S. brands across 21 industries to identify how well a brand’s customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. Key findings include that not a single industry average improved this year and that emotion continues to have a bigger influence on customer loyalty than effectiveness or ease in nearly every industry. ‘If brands want to break away from the pack and become CX leaders, they must focus on emotion,’ Cliff Condon, chief research and product officer at Forrester, said. ‘Best-in-class brands average 17 emotionally positive experiences for every negative experience, while the lowest-performing brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative one. Emotion is critical to a brand’s bottom line. For example, the TV service provider industry had the largest percentage of customers who felt annoyed of any industry in the study. Among those annoyed customers, only 17% plan to stay with the brand, 12% plan to increase their spending, and 11% will advocate for the brand. A large TV service provider leaves $104 million on the table for every one-point decline in its CX Index score.‘”


Here are the leading companies in various industries.


Impact on Phone Carriers of Unlimited Plans

30 Aug

The price competition among wireless phone service providers has certainly benefited consumers. But the extensive marketing of unlimited usage plans — at the same time that prices have been dropping — is impacting on network speed for Verizon and AT&T customers.
Rayna Hollander describes it thusly for Business Insider:

Verizon’s and AT&T’s reactive moves to expand unlimited data plans may be stifling their network speeds, according to T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray. A nosedive in megabits per second (Mbps) for the two companies during Q2 2017, coinciding with the launch of their new unlimited offerings, could suggest that the two networks were strained by the sudden uptick in data consumption.”

“It was only after the first full quarter since offering an unlimited plan that Verizon plummeted to third place, behind AT&T on network speed. Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s network ranks first in download speed and LTE availability in the U.S., Ray said, referring to Ookla data. In Q2 2017, the carrier reached average speeds of 27 Mbps. The success of T-Mobile’s strategy signifies how smaller companies can fly past competitors and swiftly disrupt markets, specifically the U.S. carrier model.”

“As smartphone and tablet adoption in the U.S. approaches saturation, carriers have begun fighting over the same subscriber base. T-Mobile’s disruptive, yet appealing, unlimited offerings have continued to eat into the customer base of rival carriers Verizon and AT&T. In Q1 2017, T-Mobile added 1.1 million customers, and Verizon had a net decline of 307,000 wireless postpaid connections.”



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