Launching a new product or rolling out new releases in today’s highly competitive markets has never been so challenging. Taking the product and/or new releases to customers, partners, product users, sales, support, and other relevant internal and external stakeholders, across multiple channels, requires a unified yet differentiated product communication strategy that could maximize the impact of your product launch. This would help product leaders achieve the ultimate goals behind their Go to Market initiatives which can be around new customer acquisition, customer retention or increased wallet share by driving new product/ features adoption.
Product & Marketing teams need to back-up Go to Market initiatives with effective communication strategies for different stakeholders depending on their areas of interest and their most relevant channels. For example, if your targeted buyer persona is a young CXO from a tech start-up, the best way to outreach such an audience is through social media where you can create and post relevant textual or rich media content such as images, videos or audios. Or if your target persona is CXO (in the age group between 40-60 years) from established enterprises, you may effectively outreach them face to face in conferences.
Here is an exhaustive list of product communication strategies for a B2B product or marketing manager to evaluate keeping in mind the persona of their different stakeholders:
Enabling client-facing teams
Train the Trainers
Create entertaining and inspiring training sessions. Do not hold PowerPoint monologues and do not fire a “feature avalanche.” Encourage support & salespeople play with the products. In the end, sales should know three to five most crucial benefit arguments and the most suitable target groups.
The timely training sessions with product trainers will help them in becoming more efficient and effective in training others. Through these sessions, they will get a better understanding about what, why and how of the products.
Sales & Product FAQs
Enable salespeople to succeed without any dedicated backend support. Create a list of FAQs for any new introductory questions and make them readily available for sales or partners on the website or any online repository. This will boost their sales confidence.
Answer the most common sales and product-related FAQs which sales may refer to while selling products. Keep enhancing your Sales & Product FAQs list using most common questions as asked by Salespeople.
Here are few sample questions:
- What are your product/ features differentiators?
- Which modules of the products are customizable? Who will help with customizations?
- How to manage product/ device upgrades?
- Which are your product compatible hardware or OS or Software?
- How can you generate a sales request?
- Are discounts available for X number of licenses?
- What are the desired system configurations for the product to run seamlessly?
Brochures are an attractive and intriguing tool to communicate with your potential customers. They allow you to create a buzz around the features and also help you in fueling expectations. Brochures allow you to provide key details related to the business with a clear call-to-action.
All your sales and marketing content has to be backed up with your messaging. It helps you get the right eyes by allowing you to attract the right prospect by explaining what customer and user problems does your product intend to solve. It helps you in distinguishing your product from the rest and helps you stand out.
Here is how you can build your product messaging:
- Keep it buyer-centric
Your products won’t catch the target eyes unless you focus on their importance for the target users. It is essential to convince your customers about the usefulness of the product and why they must buy it. Software that makes file sharing easy, for instance, will only catch the target eyes when you focus on the difficulties of file sharing – privacy and security issues – and the like.
The idea here is to communicate with your users in a language that they understand and feature your product as the ultimate solution. Talk about the real business challenges faced by customers and users. Try to quantify them.
- Focus on WHY and WHAT
Do not focus much on HOW. Your target audiences are not in that phase currently. Get their attention to your product and explain its usefulness and convince them why they are essential.
Continuing from the example we took above, focus on the WHYs of your product by focusing on problems that it intends to solve for the users- secure file sharing in this case. While gradually arising the need for your product, focus on the WHAT aspects of your product.
Targeted mass communications
If you want to build a buzz around your product launch, it is necessary that you streamline both external and internal product communications. Here is how you can do that:
If your product or service is truly a novelty on the market, or if it tends to upset you for the most different reasons, then a press release could help you clear the air.
Analyze the product story that needs to be presented and place it in the context of your clients. What problems will you solve? Why will your ideal client like it? Determine the situation of your product against the competition and evaluate the points which differentiate it?
With these answers and more, you will be able to prepare your communication strategy before and after the launch of the new product or service. These messages help you drive press appearances and messages to influencers and buyers.
Product release notes are documents that are often distributed along with the software products, particularly when the software and its new update is out there in the market.
So, why are they so important? Release notes keep users well-informed. Particularly because they help you communicate directly with your product buyers and users. If you use release notes effectively, you will not only get an opportunity to communicate to your loyal base of users, but this will also help you open an engagement channel with your users that would keep them excited about the next release.
You may also use them to update your users on the new features that are in the pipeline. This way, they will get to know that their concerns are being addressed and that the new features will likely fix the current bugs in the software.
This is a no-brainer. Simply, install an app on your phone, and we are sure you will receive periodic notifications – about new launches, about new features that are rolled out and so on.
Why? Because they are an effective way to communicate with your users, to make them aware of the new releases, to get their feedback on the newly rolled out features and so on.
It is important to mention here that user notifications not only help you put your point across, but they also drive engagement.
Perhaps what is the first thing that you do when you try out a new gadget or appliance? You go through its user manual and understand its features well. Software products and tools are no different. Irrespective of the fact that how good your software is, but if it is not properly equipped with the right set of documentation, the chances are high that it will lose its users . Users will find it tough to use your product, they won’t have an idea of how it works, and even if they try to figure out things – they won’t be able to use your product to its fullest.
This is the reason why it is important to provide help documentation. Help documentation could be in any form – tutorials, how-to guides, explanations, references and others. The goal is to let the end-users know how your product works.
With in-app tool kits around guided product tours and embedded videos for different features, you can onboard your users as they start using your product. Short, impacting, and engaging feature videos are optimal so that they could learn while doing things.
Creating training modules is another effective way to make the users experts of your product. You can provide tutorials, training modules, training courses and even offer certifications, depending on what your product is all about and how it fits the real-case scenarios.
Talk in Person
Leverage formal and informal interactions with your colleagues within your organization. As you get an opportunity to attend trade shows and industry events/ meet-ups, talk about your product. While people are further going to spread the word about your product, you might get insights on opportunity areas that you might have been missing.
Post in Social Media
Talking about your product in a meaningful way can help you gain scalable traction through social media in comparison to talking in person. You can target selected media channels such as Twitter or LinkedIn depending on the kind of people and organizations you want to influence.
Write posts in discussion forums
Internal or external discussion forums provide you an opportunity to share insights about your product in a detailed manner or talk about the product/ new features launch. Check if your organization has a discussion forum for product users to ask queries. Otherwise, you can target other relevant discussion forums with the greatest footfall of your targeted audiences.
What can you do to maximize your product launch campaigns? First of all, let’s start using the corporate blog and case studies. Even if its importance, it is sometimes underestimated, the blog is fundamental for several reasons: it allows obtaining a high organic positioning within the search engines for specific keywords relevant to our business. It also boosts awareness surrounding your product, helps you in interacting with your users by providing them with inside-out details, and, various times, it also serves as the right launch pad for your products. Plan your content strategy aligned with your product launch campaigns.
Launching a new product may seem like a point of arrival in the market. Of course, this is a “debut” for the product, after a long product lifecycle involving product ideation, validation, and development, but for your buyers and users it is the start of their own journey with the new product, and it must also be for you.
Hence, the real work starts now! Acquiring and retaining the customers will make the difference between a product with long-lasting success and a short-term adventure.