Professional selling is all about opportunity—and opportunity isn’t bound by the brackets of chance. Even if your industry’s success barrier entries are infrequent and fleeting, as if appearing on a lottery basis, you can still invest in many tickets.
Product Launches: BigTime Bucks or Bank-Breaking Busts?
Many fledgling businesses make a killing on launch day—even if it’s their first product rollout. The success of any product is derived from many variables, and you can make the most out of these variables by utilizing every tool your business possesses.
But First, Let’s Face the Facts
Businesses introduce over 30,000 new products every year and 95 percent of them fail. Even grocery stores face hefty failing grade rates—taking roughly a 70 to 80 percent dropout toll on goods that often benefit from static demand.
Why don’t new products make the cut?
Mostly, it’s because successful product launches—and successful adoption, thereafter—require the perfect blend of product integrity, innovation and a keen eye for the above-mentioned industry opportunities. But let’s break it down further.
The Product Development Cycle
Product development success boils down to a resource game. If you want to make an effective product, you’ll need high-quality components. If you want a successful launch, you’ll need high-quality marketing resources. To have either, you’ll need high-quality research only the best industry professionals can offer.
The Capable Consumer
Rarely do brands balance each factor capably. Or, if they do, they fail to meet a standard that surpasses the consumer’s ideation of quality. Interestingly enough, buyers can be better judges than their providers can be.
About 43 percent of consumers research products on social media before they consider making a purchase. While most of this research stems from social media, social media itself spans across product review sights, Quora, Reddit and more.
The Need for Customization
Modular design doesn’t get enough credit—nor is it used enough in today’s products. Custom product development methodologies might be expensive, upfront, but they pay off rather well.
That said one needs to calculate these up-front costs with fervor before stepping foot into physical development. Customizable retail products, for example, favor well with customers. They also often require approval up to 12 months in advance without any release date variations.
Failure to establish concrete expectations, in the product creation game, result in expensive corporate disruption.
Growth Hacking: True or Trend?
The term “growth hacking” is a big buzzword—yes. It almost always refers to non-traditional online marketing strategies promising big growth—definitely.
Still, a lot of startup teams and solo entrepreneurs seem to have “growth hacking” tactics somewhere in their toolkit. Despite the aspiring marketer’s headshake at anything buzzword related, maybe there’s some truth to these strategies.
Not adhering to the term “hacking,” particularly, but adhering to the sense that it’s possible to sidestep the many quandaries which swallow 95 percent of product rollouts. Once we consider that consumers themselves play a major roll in successful product introductions—30 percent follow in line with the reviews of like-minded thinkers—the product launch game, then, can be approached from a marketing-first standpoint if one’s development resources are thin.
In a sense, growth hacking is true.
How to Crush Your Product Launch in 2020
As explored above, we have a primary tactic foundation to keep in mind: Never forget the details.
Successful startups, founders and entrepreneurs all get excited about what they’re building—but they never forget their audience. They don’t forget any of the pre-launch steps, either, taking things like development, product cycles and the importance of streamlined business communications.
They don’t forget these strategies, either:
Strategy One: Boost Your Visibility
For your product to have a huge rollout, it needs to have a big audience beforehand. Having a well-positioned website on Google’s search results helps a lot—so make sure your brand’s SEO is on point.
As it is, many brands do the opposite: Focusing on releasing a product before worrying about SEO at all. This is a big misstep in the product presentation game, as Google display campaigns can reach as much as 80 percent of the world’s Internet users—and two-thirds tend to click Google search advertisements.
For your Google positioning to work, whether it’s based upon visual ads or text, you should give users the information that’s beneficial to them. To do so, always keep these tips in mind:
-Don’t use keywords your brand would use to describe itself. Use keywords customers would use to find your product.
-In any content piece, explain your product in as little time as possible.
-Use effective meta descriptions, but remember that Google might ignore this description. Make your page’s first text lines count, too.
Strategy Two: Be Shareable
A relevant brand gets a lot of visibility. If you consistently create content that isn’t only informative, but interesting, you’ll have a much larger social media following.
Creating high-quality posts about topics relating to your business is a great first step. The goal, here, is to prompt users to market your content themselves. In most cases, content is shared when consumers feel it’s lesser-known—so try including insights about your product, brand or surrounding culture which might not regularly be displayed.
Strategy Three: Mobilize
In 2020, mobile-based marketing strategies are invaluable. Smartphones account for 50 percent of today’s organic search visits. Likewise, location-based queries—often entered via smartphone—can give a branded website’s desktop version a four-percent CTR boost if they’re ranked first. Their mobile-based website can gain as much as a 6.32 percent increase.
Even if you’re primarily selling online, it’s important to link your brand to customers in the real world. Consider linking your promotions with small businesses around your biggest target market. Or, determine your audience’s hobbies that are grounded in the real world. Catering to beach-goers with an online fishing supply store deal, here, is a good example.
Strategy Four: Have a Pre-Launch Giveaway
Your product will take off quickly if there’s a lot of excitement about it. Pre-launch contests and giveaways are popular techniques to increase this excitement, as they provide value to customers before they’ve ever spent a dollar on your brand.
To do this effectively, however, you’ll need to kick off the giveaway several weeks—if not months—before your product release. Consider giving away some of your products for free at launch, and make its recipient group an exclusive one.
Contests centered around social media shares and creative design will connect you to Instagram and Facebook audiences by default. A lottery-based system, meanwhile, can be a great way to increase your branded website’s visitor numbers—and even email list numbers—before you launch your product.
Strategy Five: Give Your Website a Once-Over
Over 50 percent of digital marketers are implementing new technology, annually, to become more effective. You needn’t revamp your website completely to stay competitive, either.
As simple as it sounds, fast websites result in fast-growing audiences. Customers despise slow loading speeds, and they’ll quickly ditch a new brand for one which has a fluid user experience—even if it’s ranked lower on Google.
To increase your website’s loading times, contact an expert. In the meantime, make sure your images aren’t weighing your pages down. Make your UI a neat one. Align your desktop website with your mobile website.
Strategy Six: Connect With Influencers
In the world of brand promotion, networking can’t be forgotten. Influencers pave the road to success, and they hold the keys to the loyal audiences you need. Consumers follow the recommendations of influencers they trust—whether these influencers are bloggers, photographers or YouTubers.
Reach out to these influencers, but keep in mind that you can’t purchase their recommendation. Investigate which influencers might enjoy your brand, beforehand. Then, ask them if they’d be interested in doing a review for their audience’s entertainment.
Strategy Seven: Align Culture with Development
On the production end of things, it’s a good idea to eliminate the gap between your brand’s development processes and its culture. Your product’s launch, in the end, can only withstand the tension of your business’s weakest link—so make sure this link is one that won’t unravel any core processes.
After your product launches, you’ll need to be ready for anything which might alter your business’s growth rate. Scaling is a vital consideration of any business, but it isn’t always a process governed by slow growth.
In the same way business booms after many years of careful selling strategies, a startup can accumulate massive audiences right out of the gate. So prepare for anything, as your first product rollout might be as big as it gets.