Welcome to part 2 of Let’s Launch, where we look at translating your brand elements into your website and marketing collateral and the specific steps needed to launch. If you haven’t read the first part yet, review it now, as it covers all the work you need to do to create your brand identity. Let’s get started!
Website & Collateral
Once you’ve created your look and feel, you can get going on the key marketing communications elements of your launch – ensuring your website reflects your brand identity and messaging. We advise selecting your archetypes/metaphors, clarifying your messaging and positioning, and figuring our your messaging pillars before diving into a new website and collateral, but sometimes this work is done alongside the brand identity work when timelines are tight. It’s not ideal, but it happens. You’ll need what’s known as an MVP (minimal viable product) website and a basic set of collateral such as a datasheet and white paper, at the very least. If you are not sure what you need, read this blog post to get an idea of the kind of content you’ll need for the buyer journey.
We’ve come to the place in your launch plans where we need to talk about scope creep. The website is usually the place where a company’s wish list is bigger than its timeline or budget, so figure out if you really need that customer video, animated explainer video, 10 white papers, and 25 blog posts for launch. Chances are, you don’t. What you need is a compelling message delivered clearly through the right channels. Often times, those channels extend beyond your website to include third parties, so let’s look at that next.
Media, Analyst & Influencer Relations
Crucial to a successful launch is the priming of the marketplace through briefings with key influencers such as industry analysts, independent consultants, and top professionals in your field (some of the latter will likely be potential customers). These briefings are usually held under embargo to test messaging, make sure you’ve identified the key pain points you’re solving, and get feedback on features and their benefits. Use this learning to craft a killer pitch for the press and arrange interviews with trade and business media. The feedback will also inform your launch news release and any updates you want to make to marketing copy. Make sure you are holding meetings far enough ahead of the launch (but not too far!) that analysts and media have time to write up the story they’ll publish upon your launch.
On a side note, this is the time when you should be arranging all of your marketing operations and channels: marketing automation, social media, email marketing, PPC accounts, content syndication, etc. We’ll look at those elements in a future blog post.
As you began planning your launch, perhaps 3-6 months ago, you fixed a date to make your story public. That’s the date you’ll go live with your new website (or the new product section of your website) and distribute your news release. It’s also the date anyone who has been embargoed can publish their findings. (Make sure you promote them in your social media and on your website.)
Sometimes companies tie their launch to an event such as RSA, but we find that doing so is often noisy and it’s easy to get lost in other company’s news. Plan to launch a week or two ahead of a big event so that you have been properly introduced to the marketplace by the time you arrive.
So that’s a summary of the key steps you should take to launch your product or company. In reality, it often feels like an overwhelming amount of work, but not to worry – AimPoint can help. We have former marketing executives and technology experts on demand who can craft the perfect launch plan, take your company through visual and verbal branding, and work on all elements of a successful marketplace introduction. Contact us today for a free strategy session; together we’ll look at your needs and map the best path forward.