How to create a product launch marketing plan using the RACE Framework
You are working during one of the most entrepreneurial eras in history. Thanks to digital media, launching a product to a global audience has never been so manageable.
Equally, competition has never been as fierce. To successfully launch your product online, you need a winning product launch marketing plan.
With strategic planning, product launch marketers can avoid common product launch pitfalls such as targeting the wrong customers, or not optimizing the right customer journeys.
When launching your product, marketing can make or break the launch. That’s why we recommend utilizing our tried and tested marketing tools and templates, to acquire and retain high-value customers from the off.
The RACE Framework
We created the RACE Framework as a structure for marketers and managers to plan, manage and optimize their customer journeys across all the key customer touchpoints – including digital media and experiences.
This visual shows all the potential interactions that can be used during a product launch campaign. You can use it as a visual checklist of what’s required.
Creating a product launch marketing plan helps you explore potential opportunities for your launch, define aims, and prepare your launch timeline.
Plan your product launch empowers you to prioritize resources in a logical and effective order. With a product launch campaign, as with so many issues related to business, whilst you can plan for most eventualities, you should also plan for the unexpected.
How to structure your product launch marketing plan
You may know the Smart Insights RACE Planning framework which covers five parts which are essential outcomes of a marketing or digital marketing plan:
The RACE Framework gives marketers and managers quick access to practical, actionable data about their customers’ experiences of your product. That’s why we recommend using RACE to plan your product launch campaign.
How do you create a marketing plan for a product launch?
Our internationally acclaimed RACE Framework breaks down your product launch campaign plan across 5 simple steps to help you:
- Plan your launch
Research, benchmark, and set objectives against your planned, focused investment in branded content to promote your product
- Reach your market
Implement paid, owned, and earned media campaigns to attract your target audiences to discover your product
- Influence interaction
Influence your key buyer personas’ customer journeys. Use content to entertain, inspire, educate, and convince them of your product.
- Convert more customers
Achieve your commercial goals by winning more online and offline sales.
- Encourage post-purchase engagement
Turn casual customers into loyal advocates and increase your customer base’s lifetime value.
Plan for the worst
With so many variables, it would be foolish to suggest you can always be fully prepared for anything. However, by reviewing the risks and defining steps to mitigate them you will be able to remain in control of each stage of your launch, even if the unexpected happens, you’ll be ready to respond to it coolly, rather than react on the spur-of-the-moment.
Define your product vision and how to reach it
Depending on your intended market, you will need to develop a clear all-encompassing vision. Each aspect of your product launch vision is supported by a substantiating statement.
New product launch marketing plan examples
It can be difficult to start from scratch. Included below are some consumer and business product launch examples:
Example – consumer product launch objective
To become the bestselling maze-building gaming app.
Every maze is based on highly accurate maps of some of the world’s most popular actual mazes.
Example – consumer product launch plan
- Develop brand awareness.
- Design a social media strategy.
- Create a viral marketing campaign.
- Agree budgets, targeting appropriate audience, testing and metrics.
Example – B2B product launch objective
To become the most trusted online small business accounts software platform you can buy.
Our software package has been developed in partnership with each of USA’s top three small business accountancy practices.
Example – business product launch plan
- Build a personalized email strategy.
- Implement online PR campaign.
- Create online small business advice platform.
- Agree budgets, targeting appropriate audiences, testing and metrics.
Having crafted these statements, it’s time to consider ‘how to get there’ strategies.
How do you create a marketing plan for a product launch?
You are intimately familiar with every aspect of your new product. However, the same cannot be said for your prospective markets and audience.
Initially the most important of these markets are ‘early adopters’, particularly where you are launching into a relatively new product category.
During the first phase of your planning, beyond simply considering what your product is, think about how and where it fits on the ‘radar’ of your early adopter marketplace. This is crucial. Not only does it help ensure the features and benefits of your product are understood, but importantly, it sends out a signal that helps early adopters distinguish your offering against competitors who may produce a similar product.
From the outset, your phased campaigns need to incorporate distinctive messages which help early adopters justify making a purchase – whilst at the same time empowering them to tell others just how brilliant your product is, and why they are proud to boast of being amongst the first to own it.
You can download our product launch playbook to find out more about how to build a marketing plan for each stage of your product launch, across B2B and B2C industries, with examples.
Creating a product launch marketing plan timeline
Draw up a timeline covering the build-up, launch, and post-launch, mapping each stage against benefit messages aimed at specific markets, along with benchmarks against which you can explain any value propositions against competitors. Keep in mind that your online (consumers) first concern will always be whether your marketing helps them make informed decisions and choices.
When developing your timeline, consider how you can work with potential influencers early on. Online, this has far-reaching implications that extend to how and where you promote your product. For example, which influencer blogs should you have in your sights? How about podcasts and trusted journalist reviews?
Using tracking KPIs to review audience engagement
It will help to define launch performance indicators for an agile launch. When launching a new product, as with any campaign, you will want to define success criteria, but it’s particularly important for a new product launch campaign since uncertainty means you will need to adjust your approach.
Key performance indicators include:
- Video downloads.
- Infographic downloads.
- Brochure downloads.
- Click Through Rates
- Volume-based KPIs
- Total revenue from customers acquired through online marketing.
- Cost Per Lead.
- Customer value.
Break down your KPIs by channel to measure and compare your results. Metrics here could include:
- Social media traffic and conversion rates.
- Email traffic – including benchmarking segmented lists.
- Organic traffic, bounce rates, pages per session.
- Landing page conversion rates, desktop and mobile.
Finally, don’t forget that building the option to update or upgrade a product over time can enhance your income revenue stream. Engagement is a key feature of successful RACE product launch marketing plans, don’t undo all your hard work by failing to keep customers engaged post-purchase.