Because so much depends on your B2B product launch checklist, you need to de-risk every item on your product launch checklist as much as you possibly can. That means having the highest quality research for every decision that you possibly can. Custom Recruiting is crucial to getting those kinds of decision-quality insights for planning product launches that set you up for success.
What is a B2B Product Launch Checklist?
A B2B product launch checklist is a comprehensive guide that outlines the necessary steps and considerations for successfully introducing a new product or service to business customers. It serves as a roadmap to ensure that all crucial aspects of the launch process are addressed and executed effectively. The checklist typically includes items such as market research and competitive analysis, defining the target audience and messaging, developing marketing and sales collateral, establishing pricing and distribution strategies, coordinating with cross-functional teams, conducting beta testing and product validation, creating a launch timeline, and implementing a post-launch monitoring and evaluation plan.
What is Custom Recruiting?
Custom Recruiting is the new methodology that solves for the challenges that have always plagued B2B market research. Getting information you can depend on for high-stakes decisions has always been especially difficult, because in B2B markets:
- Researchers cannot find people with the right roles and niche experience you need
- Researchers have little information about potential participants
- Participant information goes out of date fast
- Respondents often self-report information, hoping to make it past the screener and get paid
- Incentives make no sense—a CTO is unlikely to take a 15-minute survey for $5 when their salary is north of $300,000
Using traditional B2B research recruiting methods, you have no way of knowing if you’re getting to and engaging with the right target audience. That is why Custom Recruiting from B2B market research services like NewtonX is so important. Companies like NewtonX are revolutionizing recruiting for B2B companies like Microsoft, Pinterest, Salesforce, McKinsey, and Tableau, to name a few.
11 essential B2B product launch checklist planning questions
Custom recruiting for research will give you access to the people who can best answer your essential B2B product launch checklist planning questions:
1. Who should your new product launch target?
Who is likely to be your best customer or target audience? Research can tell you where to focus your efforts. It will also help you size the opportunity so you can gauge potential demand.
2. What motivates customers to buy?
Successful products solve your customers’ real problems, address their pain points, or help them pursue opportunities. Research can give you a deep understanding of the nuances of potential customer needs.
3. What are the steps of the customer journey, and who is involved with each?
Knowing the length of your sales cycle and the steps within it will help you plan communications and tactics that move prospects through the sales funnel to becoming customers.
4. Which messages are most effective, and what topics do you need to cover through the sales cycle?
When mapping out product marketing and sales content for your product launch strategy, you will need to know themes and subjects to cover to get attention, build B2B brand awareness, understanding and interest, and finally enable your sales team to drive to closed deals.
5. What tools and tactics will work best?
How will you deliver your messages? Which media influence your targets? What events do they attend? Do they value white papers and webinars?
6. How should you price your product or service?
Research can give you insights into perceived value that can help you determine pricing, promotions, and special launch deals.
7. How can you beat the competition?
You can gather insights into competitive products and brands, customer opinions of them, and the tactics they are using.
8. What is the ideal time for your launch date? How long will it take to close deals and start profiting?
Your product launch plan needs to take into account seasonality, customer planning and budgeting cycles, the length of the sales cycle, and more. Your plan will be quite different for a product that takes eight weeks to sell vs. one that takes eight months.
9. What industry-specific issues may affect your product launch?
Have you got a product that must be integrated into existing infrastructure? Do regulations and compliance issues affect it? Are there other contingencies that will impact your success?
10. How can we know if our launch is a success?
Measuring and reporting, in as close to real-time as possible, will let you know if you are hitting your objectives and will give you insights for making adjustments. Ongoing brand tracking can help you build on your successful product launch.
11. How can we capture learning to improve future product development?
Whether improving your current product or creating new ones, market research can capture insights that inform your development road maps.
Product Launch Tips
The day has finally come…product launch! Here are a few recommendations to ensure your B2B product launch is as well-thought-out as can be:
- Embrace the Changing Landscape: Your product positioning should align with the evolving trends and shifts in the market. Identify how your product addresses these changes and empowers customers to capitalize on them.
- Collaborative Communication: Establish a recurring schedule for communication among the core stakeholders involved in the launch. Regular check-ins will ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.
- Tap into Internal Expertise: Involve the product team in your marketing plans. They possess valuable insights into the product’s features and benefits, which can shape your overall marketing campaign effectively.
While these tips form a solid foundation for a successful launch, it’s important to acknowledge that external factors can occasionally disrupt your plans. In such cases, you may need to adapt and consider delaying the launch to ensure optimal results.
A customer-centric product launch plan needs to reach the right customers
A successful B2B product launch plan must be customer-centric—even customer-obsessed—across each of the launch plan elements listed above.
Scott Swigart, the CTO of the market research firm Cascade Insights, a NewtonX partner, shared insights for successful B2B product launches. He explained that AI-powered platforms like NewtonX’s Knowledge Graph play an essential role in connecting to specific and hard-to-find customers. Without it, he said, “There’s nothing wrong with being ‘customer-obsessed’ … but there’s a whole population of potential customers out there that you’re not hearing from.”
Reaching a representative population of potential customers and getting them to truly engage to provide decision-quality data requires breaking through the constraints of old product research approaches. Custom recruiting for product launch research is the key to powering your successful B2B product launch plan.