How and why to create a product launch marketing plan

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Today, product launches are more complex than ever. With fierce competition in most markets, launching a new product without a well-thought-out plan can be disastrous for a business. It's important to develop a detailed plan for marketing a product launch before introducing the company's latest offering to the public. In this article, we discuss why a product launch marketing plan is important, the steps to create this plan and why to consider a pre-launch strategy.

Why is a product launch marketing plan important?

A product launch marketing plan is essential because it helps support a product's launch in a way that maximises its chances of success. It considers the product's target market, positioning, messaging angle, the timing of the launch and its go-to-market strategy. By taking all of these factors into consideration, a product launch marketing plan can help to increase the likelihood that a product is successful once it hits the market.

There are several reasons why a marketing plan is essential for the success of a new product:

  • A product launch is a complex process with many individual procedures. Without a plan, it's easy to overlook important details that can make or break the product launch.

  • A successful product launch requires coordination and cooperation between multiple teams, including product development, marketing, sales and customer service. A detailed plan ensures that everyone works towards the same goal.

  • A product launch is a significant investment of time and money, so make sure you're getting the most value for what you're putting in. A well-executed launch plan helps you maximise the return on investment (ROI).

  • The brand's reputation is at risk when launching a new product. A botched launch can damage the company's image and make it challenging to recover.

Related: What is a soft opening? (With benefits and strategies)

Consider a pre-launch strategy

While many different components go into a marketing plan for a product launch, the pre-launch phase is one of the most important. This phase generates excitement about the product or service with a view to creating substantial interest on launch day. Some possible pre-launch strategies include:

  • Leveraging social media: Use the excitement about the new product to your advantage to generate interest in the community. Curiosity can lead to interaction on various social media platforms.

  • Garnering media coverage: Getting the product featured in publications, whether online or offline, can help generate buzz and interest.

  • Hosting launch events: If the budget allows, hosting a launch event is a great way to get people to talk about the new product. You can invite influencers and other key players in your industry to help spread the word and offer discounts or special deals for attendees, encouraging them to purchase the product.

  • Using the company's website: The company's website is the perfect place to generate interest in the product launch. Use effective marketing tactics, such as countdown timers or waiting lists to create a sense of urgency and encourage people to take action on launch day.

Related: A complete guide to preparing for a product launch

How to create a marketing plan for a product launch

Certain key steps can help you create a marketing plan for a product launch, which include:

1. Identifying your customer's needs

One of the key components of any successful marketing plan is understanding the needs of your target audience. There are several ways to identify the needs of your target audience, such as:

  • Looking at customer feedback and reviews: Look for similar products to see what areas customers are struggling with. Understanding the pain points from reviews can help you target your promotional efforts to the right customers. It can also help inform how you communicate the benefits the product or service offers to your audience.

  • Conducting market research surveys: Ask customers directly about their needs and pain points. Find out what they're using, why they chose that product and how much they feel comfortable paying for a product that suits their needs. This provides a clearer idea of your present rivals and possible customer needs and helps inform your pricing strategy for the launch and during the product's lifecycle.

2. Analysing your market competitors

Once you've identified the needs of your target audience, it's time to examine your market competition. The goal is to determine what strategies they use to promote their products and how successful they are. You might consider using a SWOT analysis to help you identify the competitor's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Things to look for in your competition include:

  • How they manage their social media presence: Examine both their current and past campaigns to see what worked well and what didn't. Consider how many followers or subscribers they have across different social media platforms, how frequently they post updates and what kind of language they use in their communication.

  • How they use their website: Examine how they've structured their website and what information they provide about their product, then compare the content on your competitors' websites to your own. You may mimic the most effective strategies across blogs, films, case studies, downloadable items or images.

  • What marketing collateral they use: Have a look at any print or digital materials they use to promote their product, such as brochures, flyers or website banner ads. Consider what information they include, how they've designed the materials, what call-to-actions they used and how they targeted their collateral in distribution, if possible.

3. Identifying the product's unique features

It's crucial to identify the unique features and benefits of the product and how they address the needs of your target market. These features are the product's unique selling propositions (USPs), and communicating them is essential.

Consider the following questions when identifying your USP:

  • What needs does the product address?

  • How does the product differ from the competition?

  • What are the unique features of the product?

  • Why would customers buy from the business and not from its competitors?

Related: What are unique selling points and how to work them out

4. Creating a schedule before, during and after launch day

The marketing plan for a product launch includes a schedule covering the time before, during and after the product launch. This schedule helps ensure a coordinated approach across all business divisions and avoids last-minute scrambling.

Some key elements to consider for the schedule include:

  • Product launch date: Allow enough time to promote your product and build excitement before the launch date. You may also consider allowing time for any final testing or quality assurance for the product.

  • Tasks to complete before launch day: These might include creating marketing collateral, finalising website content, scheduling social media posts or organising any events you plan to hold. Prepare the customer service team to handle any questions or concerns about the product and ensure that the sales team is ready to close deals.

  • Tasks to complete on launch day: Make sure you plan what needs to happen on the big day, such as sending out press releases, posting online ads or updating the company's social media profiles.

  • Tasks to complete after launch day: After the launch, it's essential to evaluate its success and start thinking about post-launch marketing activities, such as continuing social media promotions or conducting customer surveys.

Related: Understanding the types of digital marketing collateral

5. Launching the product

You're ready to launch after receiving feedback from your target audiences and making the necessary product improvements. Ensure you're visible on all channels where your target audiences are present. If you're working with a limited budget, consider leveraging the power of influencers to generate publicity.

Related: 15 ways to market products at launch: a comprehensive guide

6. Evaluating the launch

After the product launch, it's important to take some time to evaluate its success. This helps you determine what worked well and what you can improve for future launches. To assess the product launch, consider the following metrics:

  • Sales figures: Did you reach your sales goals? If not, why do you think that is?

  • Website traffic: Did you see an increase in website traffic during and after your launch? Where did this traffic come from?

  • Social media engagement: Did you see an increase in social media engagement during and after your launch? Which platform saw the most engagement?

  • Media coverage: Did you receive any media coverage for the product launch? If so, which platform published it, and what kind of response did it receive?

  • Customer feedback: What did your customers think of the product? Do they have any suggestions for improvements?

  • Team impact: How did the team handle the product launch? Was everyone collaborating efficiently?

Related: 20 product manager skills for CVs (with job description)

Explore more articles