Introduction to marketing launches
Launches are critical components of your overall marketing strategy. They include everything from introducing new products and brands to delivering breakthrough programs and campaigns. Launches are exciting opportunities to engage with potential customers and strengthen your company's relationship with existing ones.
Launches are typically big efforts of work that involve many activities and multiple teams. This is why it is important to create a launch plan, so everyone knows exactly what needs to be developed and when.
Of course, every marketing launch is unique. Your approach will depend on what you are launching and your company or organization. For example, the launch of a new product will look different for a consumer product than it will for a B2B software company. The scope of work for a launch will also vary based on company size. The activities required will be different for a smaller startup and an established company.
Why marketing launches matter
Marketing launches are great ways to engage your target audience and provide even more value to existing customers. Every touch point is an opportunity to increase brand awareness, drive revenue, and build customer loyalty. That is why you should consider how every launch ties to the overall business goals and how you can impact the market and your customers.
Your overall marketing plan will likely contain several launches. These might be related to new products your company releases or campaigns that the marketing team develops to increase interest in existing products. All of these launches will be part of how you achieve your business objectives. It is important to set aside time as you plan each one to make sure you are reaching your defined buyer personas in a meaningful way across all channels.
Regardless of what you are announcing, all marketing launches have critical due dates and cross-functional dependencies. The volume of work and resources to coordinate will depend on the complexity of what you are introducing. But there will always be a lot of activities to track and manage. That is why you need a clearly defined marketing launch plan to ensure the team stays in sync and delivers on time.
Common types of marketing launches
Marketing teams may launch new brands, products, service offerings, programs, campaigns, and more. Each one will require different promotional assets and activities, as well as internal communication and training.
The list below features some of the most common types of marketing launches:
A brand launch may introduce a completely new brand or a new identity for an existing brand. Brand launches typically involve longer-term planning because you are defining and committing to a new business strategy, with new goals and values. This might include a new look and feel for your company — with new logos, brand colors, content tone, and sometimes even a new name.
Launching a new brand affects your internal team as well as your external audience, so it is important to create both an internal and external launch plan. Introduce the new brand to your company first to ensure the brand values and goals are clear and everyone is on the same page.
A go-to-market launch is the delivery of a new or updated experience. The experience itself could be a new product or feature or an enhancement to an existing product or service. It could also be when your company wants to introduce a product to a new audience or user base.
Launching a new mobile app is a good example of a go-to-market launch. Product and product marketing teams work closely on go-to-market launches like this to communicate the value of the new customer experience and gain competitive advantage.
A program launch is a coordinated effort aimed at achieving a higher-level company goal from your overall marketing strategy. A program could include a number of campaigns or a series of smaller marketing activities. Many teams organize their program plans by customer segment or how they work internally — breaking items out by vertical or function.
A customer referral program or a webinar program are program launches, for example.
A campaign launch is how a marketing team achieves the goals of a broader marketing program. It is used to complete a specific marketing goal, such as raising awareness of a new product, increasing interest in existing products, or capturing customer feedback.
How to plan a marketing launch
Because an individual launch is part of your overall marketing strategy, you will want to build a goal-first plan that reflects how it is connected to your company’s strategy and goals. Once you have established the strategy and purpose for your launch, then you should detail all of the cross-functional components and activities in a marketing launch plan.
As you work on your marketing launch, it is important to keep track of every detail. Utilize visual plans like a Gantt chart to show dependencies between different launch activities and phases. This is a great way to organize date-driven work and show a full picture of all the activities that need to be completed for a successful launch. For example, you can see pre-launch, launch, and cross-functional training activities defined in the Gantt chart below.
Start planning your own marketing launch
Your plan should be customized to what you are promoting, the cross-functional teams involved, and the scope of the work. Creating a marketing launch checklist is a great way to set expectations for what needs to get done and align everyone around a common approach. Share this list with the teams you are collaborating with and regularly refer back to it to ensure you are not missing any key launch activities.
The articles included in this guide provide insights into the most common types of marketing launches and explain why they are important to the overall growth of your business. You will learn how to define, plan, track, and complete a successful launch.