How to Successfully Launch a New B2B Product
How to launch a new b2b product with success - Launching a new product or service for a B2B company is no easy task. It's critical to take your time and plan out your new offering's introduction one step at a time. That said, the hard part is over—your new product or service is now complete—and the fun is just getting started.
Let's take a step back and look at what goes into the most successful product launches before we go into the comprehensive guide on launching a new B2B product or service:
- Team Collaboration (51% correlation with success)
- Incorporating Market Insights (44%)
- Planning Upcoming Launches (38%)
Essentially, if you work together, do your homework, and stick to a well-organized approach, you'll be successful.
Are you ready to jump right in? When introducing a new B2B product or service, here's how to position your company for success.
The allure of releasing a new product is this: You're introducing a slew of new customers to prospective business prospects. It's time to meet your next major client.
The most effective campaigns are propelled by thoughtful, data-driven strategies—especially when introducing a new product—and knowing who you're going at is the most critical component of that strategy.
So, what can you do to have a better grasp of your target market? Creating buyer personas is the best method to get to know your new potential clients.
- Their Relationship with the Decision-Making Process
- Their Company's Role Preferred Social Platforms
- Watering Holes in the Industry (more on this later)
- Points of Distress
- Wants and Needs for Their Business is the reason for contacting your company.
What about your present consumers now that you know who your potential new customers are? Upsell opportunities abound with new items. Now is the moment to figure out who among your present clientele shares your target purchasers' goals, issues, or wants. You don't want your customers to lose out on the excitement when you unveil your new product to the globe.
The disadvantage of launching a new product is as follows: You're inviting a swarm of new competitors into your business. That's fine—after all, who doesn't enjoy a little healthy competition?
It's crucial to know who you're up against before confronting them.
Begin by making a list of all of your current rivals. Even if you're releasing a new product, you're almost certainly still in the same industry.
You probably have this list in your file system (or in your head), but when was the last time you updated it?
To perform comprehensive market research, you can use a variety of techniques. With a brand new B2B product on the horizon, it's time to take a fresh look at the market. You want to be able to throw a punch into the ring.
Here's what you should know about your rivals:
- Names of Companies and Affiliates
- Location in the World
- Advertising Strategies for a Web Presence
- Members of the SEO/Keyword Standing Leadership Team Target Customers
- Offerings of Products and Services
- Weaknesses of Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)
Because the list can change depending on your business, you may find that you require more information for your specific competition.
What is our recommendation? Less is never more when it comes to competitive analysis.
Finding your ideal customers is only half the battle. You need to know where they are now that you know who they are.
Take the phrase "He could sell timber to a forest." If you're selling wood to a forest, chances are you haven't done enough market research to figure out who needs it and where they operate.
We talk about "business watering places" a lot—a lot—at Hudson Fusion. You'd think all of our clients were based in the Sahara. Watering holes, on the other hand, are more than just oases in the desert.
Marketing jargon for "where your client's search for information" is "industry watering hole."
You'll need to answer the following questions to figure out where your right-fit clients are:
- What is their preferred method of purchasing your goods or service?
- What is their preferred method of purchasing your goods or service?
- What information do they require to make an informed decision?
- Do you make that information available to them?
- What methods do they use to do their research?
- What is the location of their research?
- What trade shows or conferences do you think they'd like to attend?
- What are their preferred communication methods?
- What are the themes that they are interested in?
- When looking for answers on the internet, what keywords do people use?
- What other companies do they collaborate with?
It's crucial to figure out where, when, and how potential customers may come across your goods. The launch process requires a thorough understanding of their purchase habits.
Now that you know who you're selling to and where they can be found, you need to convince them why they should choose you over a competition. So, what makes you different from the rest of the pack?
There may be dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors in your niche offering similar items, but no two firms can provide the same level of service.
To help give your product launch that extra oomph, you'll need to be able to summarize your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) in brief, appealing messaging. Here's how to figure out what makes you "it":
- Make a list of your top three advantages. Start with the aspects of your product that will be most beneficial to your target audience.
- Make a list of all the characteristics that distinguish your goods. There are undoubtedly components of your new product that stand out from your competition, whether it's your brand, your staff, or your service package.
- Make a list of the services your product offers. We want to be able to target specific pain points that your products or services address for right-fit buyers when we talk about marketing messaging.
- Combine the three aspects to create compelling, hard-hitting messaging. This will be difficult, but attempt to condense the thoughts you've described into a single sentence. Don't try to fit a round peg into a square hole if you can't fit them into one sentence. Try to think of a way to bring all of those things together in the shortest possible time.
This could be the most challenging stage of the entire launch. There's a reason why so many small businesses hire a marketing agency to help them create these crucial brand assets: the professionals know what they're doing.
You're ready to start working on the foundations of your launch strategy: your marketing collateral, now that you know who you're talking to, where they operate, and what message you want to send.
There are many different types of collateral you can use for a successful product launch, but before you decide which digital and printed assets you'll need, you need to figure out how you'll reach your target audience.
You've already decided which industry hangouts you'll frequent. Determine what forms of collateral will best benefit each of those sectors from there.
For example, if you're going to a tradeshow to announce the introduction of your new service, you could want to include the following:
- Web Page: The web page is likely the sole unquestionable requirement for your launch campaign. If you're launching a new service, you'll need a web page on your website that describes the service and includes clear user routes for visitors to schedule a consultation, learn more, or access extra information to support your nurturing efforts.
- Sheets to Sell: Describe your company and the new service you want to offer, including contact information for those who want to learn more. These might be standard A4 PDFs, brochures, or rack cards, for example.
- Digital Ads: Run paid ad campaigns in the weeks leading up to the trade show, concentrating on "an important announcement" you'll be making on the day of the event.
- Business Cards: Have clearly branded business cards with your contact information on hand for the organic conversation-seekers so they can contact you directly.
- Blog Posts: In the same manner that your sponsored ad campaign teases the introduction of your new service, you can double-down with charitable content based around the approaching tradeshow and your "big reveal."
That said, we can't stress enough how many different sorts of material you can use in your marketing. This is only a sample set for a specific case, but depending on how inventive your marketing team is, the list of potential materials is endless.
You’ve set the stage for a successful launch, and now, all you have to do is execute it.
Unlike product launches, you’re in much more control of your go-to-market date when you’re launching a new service. Once you’ve solidified what your service entails, developed the tools/tactics your business needs to provide it, and finalized the fine print in your service agreements, all you need to do is determine how—and when—you’ll introduce it to the world.
Here’s a starting timeline to help you get started:
- Define your objectives.
Coming up with a set of SMART goals is the greatest approach to track the finish line of any marketing effort (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound). HubSpot offers a free template to assist you in creating your own SMART goals.
- Make a list of your buyer personas.
We've already discussed how to accomplish it, but keep in mind that this is one of the first and most important steps in launching a successful B2B product.
- Conduct a competitor analysis
Return to the second step of this guide. To have an effective launch strategy, you must first understand the market to whom your product will be introduced.
- Create a messaging strategy
Step 4 will assist you in developing the messaging for your launch campaign. To have the biggest impact, remember to concentrate on your UVP.
- Choose Your Platforms
What platforms will you be using to promote your product? You'll need to use all of your research to figure out where and how you'll promote the debut of your new service. You'll want to account for each of your channels in your launch timeline, whether you're attending an upcoming trade show, preparing a paid PPC campaign, building social media buzz, or using any other marketing platform.
- Increase the amount of marketing collateral you have.
You can figure out what kind of collateral you'll need to stoke the fire once you've determined which channels you'll be using in your launch strategy. Ensure that all of your marketing masters are aware of not only what assets need to be generated, but also when, to accomplish your SMART goals, whether you're working with an in-house marketing team or an outsourced agency. If there's one piece of advice we can give you before you begin, it's to not rush. Too many B2B launch initiatives fail due to inadequate preparation, and you can't guarantee good execution if you don't lay the groundwork first.
Who is truly in charge of the product launch? (Hint: it has nothing to do with marketing.) A "whole organization" approach is used in the most successful launches. At least one member from each functional area of the firm, such as leadership, engineering, marketing, sales, service, legal, and so on, makes up the ideal Launch Team.
This team must be created early—at the very least, before new product development is complete—ideally, concurrently with product development—not after.
The product launch's goal and vision, as well as the business case and objectives, brand strategy, fit within the overall product range, and uncertainties and risks, are all foundational strategies.
These strategies must be created in conjunction with the overall business strategy and product portfolio plan, and they must be defined early on. They serve to provide direction and clarity for what is required to launch and sustain the new product in the market (in the short term) (the long-term).
The plethora of thoughts, attitudes, opinions, and expectations that occur during a B2B new product launch process can be anchored and aligned using foundational methods. If you skip the process of identifying your basic tactics, you'll end up with unproductive internal confusion—and a sub-optimal launch on the outside.
Internal and external audiences such as distributors, national accounts, major clients, union workers, suppliers and partners, installers, and technical assistance, among others, are defined by audience strategy.
The Foundational Strategy must be supported by these audience-specific tactics, which must be coordinated and complementary to one another.
The plans for every functional area of the business, including finance, product, sales, legal, customer service, regulatory, training, IT and analytics, and, of course, marketing, are included in integrated operating strategies.
These plans are more tactical in character, and they focus on developing the operational capabilities required to carry out the higher-level strategies.
Too many launch plans are simply that—“launch plans” that are solely focused on the launch phase as a single event. Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post-Launch are the three separate phases of a new product introduction covered by a Total Launch Strategy.
For B2B product launches, the pre-launch period is critical. Sales reps, distributors, technical, and field support training, as well as preparations for distributors and buyer groups, might take months prior to the actual product launch.
Post-Launch is frequently overlooked. This strategy considers what might happen after the product is released, such as how to track and respond to employee, sales, and customer feedback, when and if pricing modifications should be made, and how to respond to competition responses, among other things. Product launches rarely go according to plan. Anticipating and being prepared is the most effective strategy to improve your results.
It's not necessary to write a 100-page single-spaced paper to develop a Total Launch Strategy.
Making sure your cross-functional team discusses and makes specific decisions for all layers of strategy – Foundational, Audience, and Operating – and considers the three phases is a vital success factor.
The complexity of the product, its importance to the business, the number of individual audiences targeted, the number of functional groups required/affected within the organization, and the time horizon of your strategy will all influence the size and complexity of your Total Launch Strategy.
B2B enterprises that take this approach and build a Total Launch Strategy will have a far better chance of launching a new product or service effectively.
There are various advantages, including:
- Comprehensive: considers all facets of a successful launch.
- Builds alignment by bringing all aspects of the company together.
- Reduces time to market by avoiding potholes and bottlenecks and expediting critical-path decision-making.
- Reduces risk by increasing the chances of success and acting as a safety net.
- Improves communication by clearly isolating concerns and opportunities in a style that the entire organization can comprehend.
In general, the optimum moment to launch is when your product is finished. Release a product as soon as it is functional. It only needs to execute the specified function. When it's already on the market, do all of the polishing and perfecting.
'New products' can be items that your company has never manufactured or sold before but that has been brought to market by others. For the first time, product innovations are produced and brought to market. They might be entirely new items or current products that you have changed and enhanced.