Take B2B products to market more effectively with a purposeful plan
The number of products introduced each year in different markets around the world is vast. So, it’s hard to quantify just how many of those launches are successful. But it’s safe to say the figure might not encourage a B2B product marketer:
- Only 40% of products make it to market – and of those, only 60% will generate any revenue. (Marketing Research Association)
- Among 30,000 products released each year, 95% fail. (Inc. Magazine)
- 45% of product launches are delayed by at least one month. (Gartner)
In the face of odds like these, it would be easy to lose heart. On the other hand, they might just make you more determined to succeed.
If that’s the case, read onward. A killer product marketing strategy starts with just that: a strategy. To help create yours, we’ve gathered eight practical ideas meant to drive better results from your B2B product launches.
1. Know who your audience is and what they want
Marketers know they need to learn everything they can about the ideal customers they want to attract. But as you begin that research, a key aspect of your product idea needs to be addressed. You must validate that the product you are developing will solve a real problem for those particular prospects. A product or service that helps people save time, save money, or make tasks easier provides value.
Imagine yourself in your customer’s place and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” That’s the key. Like flowers bending to sunlight, business decision-makers will move based on the value something can bring to their organization.
2. Target your buyer personas more effectively
Want to get your prospective buyers interested? Make time to dig deeper into who they are through persona research. Surveys, social media feedback, consumer reviews, and one-to-one persona interviews are all useful here. Once you’ve identified and defined your target audience, you’ll be better positioned to craft an authentic, meaningful message you can deliver through the right channels.
3. Decide how your product should be positioned
Accurately positioning your product will require competitive research and a pricing exercise. In fact, here is the perfect place to make sure you’ve covered the four P’s – product, place, price, and promotion.
But, you’ll also want to tell the story of your product based on a clear outline. At this point in the process that story might seem simple or obvious to you. But it could be an important piece of the puzzle for your audience. Tell them why your product was made in the first place. What challenges does it really help them overcome? What makes it better or different than any other product in its category?
4. Frame up a strategic plan for your product launch
Once you have more confidence that the ideal audience will view your product as valuable, you must plan a product launch, develop a compelling marketing campaign, then oversee that campaign.
Would you believe that some organizations don’t establish a strategic plan for taking products to market? Don’t be one of them. Follow a plan built on market analysis and competitive research. Work to clarify your product’s value proposition, messaging, and roadmap so you can take it to market effectively and with purpose.
5. Craft authentic messaging that helps your product stand out
Reflect on the ideal customer profile you’ve established. What decisions did you make about positioning? Does the product address your audience in a unique way? Does it set you apart from the competition? Does it speak to the personas and market segments you are most interested in persuading? Make sure the answers to these questions are made clear through your messaging from the start.
6. Align stakeholders from your product, sales, and marketing teams
Even at the same company, an executive leading one business unit will have different expectations placed on them than those from other units. That means individual department heads are unlikely to have the same agenda you do.
A salesperson, for example, might perceive a launch date that’s been mentioned internally very differently than you would. If a sales team expects a product to be rolling out on a specific date, but you know the reality is quite different, it could lead to conflict. Streamline your product marketing efforts by making sure your product, sales, and marketing teams are on the same page.
7. Prepare for the day you release a product into the wild
The day you launch any key product can be quite exciting. But leading up to that, you’ll be preparing for both the internal and external aspects of that launch. Certainly, you can get the word out through your website and social media channels. But you also want to make sure your marketing, sales, and support teams are prepared to field customer queries from day one.
8. Keep your product relevant over the long-term
A successful product launch does not mark the end of your work. To extend the length of your product’s lifecycle, gather feedback from existing customers, test changes that seem worth pursuing, and optimize for the next iteration.
Among a sea of new products launched each day, the idea that you can achieve success with yours might seem daunting. But if you’re willing to define the right audience, take a hard look at how much value your product would really deliver, and work through an organized rollout, you can tilt the odds in your favor.