You have an incredible, innovative and disruptive idea. You’re done dreaming about it, and you’re ready to take action. You’re going to get all kinds of mixed advice. Lots of people will tell you where you need to start, and what you should be doing.
You’ll hear you need to build a minimum viable product first, perform market research as early as possible, create a marketing plan at some point, and who knows what else.
Here’s your ultimate checklist so you can unscramble your thoughts and get it together on paper before you dive in.
The Ultimate Product Launch Checklist
Have you analyzed the competition and market size?
Understanding the market you want to enter is absolutely crucial if you want a shot at surviving. Regardless of the industry, there’s going to be competition. How are you going to stand out and differentiate your business? Where do existing gaps appear that you could potentially fill?
Your primary market research should consist of things like surveys, interviews, and trials when possible. Your secondary market research will encompass things like reports, competitor analysis, and studies. There are different approaches for B2B and B2C businesses, so take your time on this stage to ensure you’re not missing any core components.
Some great tools to help you with this are Facebook ads audience, the Keyword Planner in AdWords, and if you’re B2B check out LinkedIn Ads Audience.
Have you set a launch date?
Pick a date, and create your timeline working backward from there. Make it realistic, but ambitious. Account for every step of this process, including building and trialing your MVP. All your marketing initiatives should take this date into account.
Have you defined your target audience?
Take the time to truly understand who your ideal customer is. Create buyer personas, and find ways to connect with these people. How can your business help solve their problems or give them something they need?
Everything you do will tie back to your ideal customer, so you want to make sure you really get their pain points - it’s the only way your product, your marketing, and your messaging will be relevant to them.
Have you created and implemented your marketing strategy?
Get something down on paper to start holding yourself accountable with your marketing initiatives. You want to start your pre-launch right away, as soon as you have some basics ironed out. You do NOT need to have a product in order to start marketing it.
Build out the plan for your pre-launch, which can be as simple as creating a landing page to capture email addresses. This is a great way to start collecting consumer data, gauge market demand, and build a community around your product.
Outline your short-term and long-term marketing plan, and don’t forget to include some HUGE for launch day.
Have you built your MVP?
Before bringing a finalized product to market, you absolutely want to start with a minimum viable product. This is how you get something into the hands of your customers to validate the business idea without wasting all your capital. It’s how you build a product that meets their demands, and gives them exactly what they want.
For more on how to get the most from your MVP, check out this resource.
Are you building an online community and incentivising them to share?
Happy customers will be the most powerful and inexpensive marketing you can get. Make sure you’re prioritizing building an online community through your marketing efforts and give people a reason to share what you’re doing. There are plenty of inexpensive tools out there to help you automate some of this stuff, like Maître.
So there you have it. Keep this checklist close, and you’ll be on the right track to nail your next big launch!