By Aaron Agius
The lead up to a product launch is one of the most exciting, yet daunting periods for a business. In the best-case scenario, a new product launch leads to huge sales and positive publicity. However, this is not always what happens.
In a study by Harvard Business School, it’s estimated that 95% of consumer goods fail. When you’ve poured thousands (or millions) of dollars and immeasurable labor into launching a new product and it tanks, this is a crushing blow for the company.
While there is no definitive way to guarantee success with a launch, one of the ways you can dramatically improve your chances is by promoting a multi-departmental approach.
Oftentimes, the success or failure of a product launch rests on the shoulders of the sales and marketing department. This is a large burden to bear. When all departments pull together collaboratively, the results of a launch are improved. Here are tips on how each department can help.
Sales and marketing
The experts on your sales and marketing team should be responsible for deciding how the product should be positioned. Also, they need to produce marketing materials such as sales copy, videos, and blog posts leading up to the launch.
These individuals need to determine which sales channels will be used to market and sell the product, and whether or not distributors will be involved. Market research should also be conducted to determine which geographical regions to focus on.
If social media marketing is part of your strategy, determining which platforms to focus on is crucial. For instance, 81% of Pinterest’s user base is female. If you’re launching a product for women, focusing solely on Facebook ads while neglecting Pinterest could be disastrous.
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Other tasks for the sales and marketing department include: sales forecasting, stock keeping unit (SKU) management, and compliance.
Customer service personnel should be integral to any launch, but they’re particularly important when launching higher ticket items such as online courses.
If you’re sending cold traffic to a Shopify store that is selling a $40 product, getting people to convert on the first visit is totally reasonable. With some trust badges on your site, customer reviews, and a good FAQ section, people will feel comfortable making a purchase. If you’re selling a digital marketing course that costs $2,000, people are going to check you out thoroughly and ask lots of questions before purchasing.
Customer service professionals can alleviate fears, answer questions, and recommend the right product/model for each individual customer. Also, upsell offers should be presented to customers who are not receiving (or responding to) promotional messages. This can be achieved over the phone, on social media or with live chat applications such as Olark. And when common trends appear regarding consumer fears and queries, this information can be given to the sales and marketing department in order to craft more effective marketing collateral.
Whenever you’re doing a big launch, there needs to be an open channel of communication between your brand and your customers. Your customer service team should fill this role.