Typically, organizations launch a product with some unrelated public relations activities and tradeshow participation. However, effective demand generation requires intensive integrated campaigns, specified by the needs of each target audience. Demand-generation campaigns must incorporate messages, offers, timing and media selections specified by the customer and which optimize each campaign element. Taking the length of the sales cycle into consideration, demand-generation campaigns must be timed to create the volume of leads needed to achieve revenue objectives.
Measure, Learn, Improve
If you can't measure results until six to nine months into your launch, or once you realize that sales are not meeting projections, it's already too late to make changes that will impact that year's revenue. Therefore, you must develop measurements that serve as an early warning device. Using your sales funnel as your measurement system is the simplest and most effective way to understand your results while there is still time to do something about it.
By building a sales funnel and estimating your response and conversion ratios, you can tell early on if you will meet your revenue objectives. If you're not generating enough inquiries and qualified leads, you're not on track to meet your revenue projections and you can adjust your launch activities accordingly.
Assuming tight execution on these four critical success factors, there is a high potential for creating compelling launch results. A successful new product launch in today's environment takes careful preparation, the right tools and processes, and a commitment to both the short and long-term challenges of reaching your goals. Yet sadly, most product launch activities are treated as not much more than an advertising, PR and literature blitz, whereby resources are wasted and sales opportunities lost.
Jeff Pelzel is senior program manager and Anne Quimby Mathias is director of marketing communications for Hunter Business Group, LLC. They developed a new product launch tool that increased the velocity of bringing products to market, increasing the likelihood of success. They can be reached at (414) 203-8060, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.