How to Create a Successful Marketing Plan for a Product Launch
The development of a new product can be very exciting. But once you have finalized your product, how you launch it can make or break the success of its sales.
In the following article, we have listed out the step-by-step process we use to create an effective promotion and communication plan to drive sales in the launch of a new product. Furthermore, we will also analyze some successful marketing launch examples from notable companies for valuable and informative insights.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Launching a New Product
Before we delve into the how of creating a marketing plan for product launches, let’s take a look at the why. There are pros and cons to launching a new product, and you can decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks for your business.
Advantages of launching a new product:
1. Keeps your business agile
The trends of the marketplace are constantly changing, and with it, consumer preferences and tastes as well. Launching new products helps to reinforce your brand image while also enabling you to ride on the rising market trends and take advantage of new opportunities for business growth.
2. Makes you more competitive
The launch of a new product can also significantly contribute to the growth of your company. Different products will suit different types of target segments, so launching a new product may allow you to utilize different marketing platforms to reach new segments of consumers. With it, you may also be able to grow awareness for your brand and increase your revenue streams.
3. Inspire new and current employees
People like to take part in new and exciting projects and businesses that are innovative and creative. Launching new products that are in line with trends and market changes creates an image of a risk-taking, innovating, and exciting company, which will, in turn, inspire your current employees and attract new, creative talent as well.
Disadvantages of launching a new product:
1. It’s risky
Venturing into new grounds comes with a certain degree of associated risk. Even with thorough research and testing, unexpected external factors such as a pandemic or a faulty component can still cause the product launch to fail. But as the popular saying often goes, "no risk, no return," your company decides whether these risks are worth taking.
2. It’s expensive
From the research and development of a product to its marketing, launching a new product can be costly for your business. Before considering the creation of a new product, you may want to evaluate your company's monetary structure and whether a new product should be a priority in the strategy of your business.
3. It’s time-costly
On top of costing your wallet, launching a new product also requires a considerable amount of manpower and time to realize. An effective plan needs to be put in place to manage the balance of resources and allotted time within the company.
5 Steps to Creating Your Marketing Plan
In the following, we have detailed a step-by-step guide to create your own marketing, communications, or promotional plan for the launch of a new product.
1. Establish your objectives
The first step, as it is often, is to define the goals you want to achieve with your marketing plan. Are you looking to drive more brand awareness, revamp your business’ brand image, reinforce your current brand image, drive sales, open a new sales channel, or drive more traffic to your website? Or perhaps you are aiming to achieve a combination of all these objectives and more? Having concrete objectives will effectively guide the creation of your marketing plan, and the rest of your strategy should be created with these goals in mind.
2. Define your target audience
Next, you want to understand the audience you will be marketing to in order to create targeted strategies for your differing consumer groups. Defining your target audience can be done in many ways – but one common way is to create ‘personality profiles.’ This involves creating a profile where you list out all the relevant attributes of your imagined, ideal customer. Information on the profile may include his/her age, location, interests, dislikes, personality traits, social media channels, and other relevant behavioral patterns. This helps to personify your ideal customer and create more relevant marketing strategies that will be most effective.
3. Create messaging and differentiators
Depending on your created ‘personality profiles,’ you then want to create targeted messages that will make your target audience want your products. In creating these messages, there are several questions you may want to ask, including:
a. What makes your new product different from its competing products?
b. What makes your new product different from other products offered by your brand?
c. What emotional and functional benefits are your target audiences seeking in line with your product?
4. Define your promotional channels
Depending on your product's price and nature and the behavioral patterns of your target audiences, you then need to define the channels or platforms to utilize in your marketing plan. If your product is more receptive to influencer marketing, you may choose platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to be your primary focus area. On the other hand, if your product requires more credible associations, you may choose to focus on print mediums for more formality.
5. Create a communications and promotions plan
The final step of your marketing plan is to detail the concrete steps and content that will be actualized in your marketing efforts. This includes setting the timeline of your marketing plan, defining your media formats, creating the visuals and text that will be posted and determining the frequency at which they will be posted, as well as finalizing the budget. An effective marketing process involves the participation and coordination of a variety of personnel; these may include designers, copywriters, marketing strategists, photographers, videographers or editors. The more specific and detailed your communications and promotions plan is, the easier it will be to unite the contributions of all different personnel into one coherent and effective vision.
Product Launch Campaign Examples
In the following, let’s take a look at some successive product launch campaigns and efforts from two major brands.
1. L’Oreal – Makeup Genius
L’Oreal is a household name, an undisputed beauty giant in part due to massively successful marketing strategies, and there is a lot we can learn from the brand's marketing efforts. Their unique positioning statement “Because We're Worth it” defines a brand that celebrates diversity, embraces individuality, and emphasizes authenticity.
However, L’Oreal achieved an even more impressive feat – refreshing their brand image into an innovative, revolutionary beauty brand when it launched its digital app - the “Makeup Genius.”
According to Guive Balooch, the global vice president of the Connected Beauty Incubator at L'Oréal Research and Innovation, “by combining our knowledge of consumers and the science of colors with technologies for monitoring facial expressions, we have been able to calculate the best possible algorithm capable of producing an extremely realistic colour-rendering in real-time using just an iPhone camera.”
2. Nestle – Aero Bliss
Nestle is another household name with a range of delicious food and beverage products. In 2019, it launched Aero Bliss – a premium confectionery brand extension of its brand Aero – which launched in 1935. With its new brand, Nestle created a fun, innovative, and buzz-worthy promotional campaign to promote the launch of its new Aero Bliss chocolates.
On June 15-17, 2019, from 12-6 pm, Nestle set up a massive interactive display in Westfield London. The creative display contained a pressurized floor unit with five pressure pads and an automated dispenser unit shaped like an oversized Aero Bliss box. Consumers were invited to team up and step on all five pressure pads, which would prompt a giant digital screen to change messages, bubbles to disperse, and the Aero Bliss soundtrack to play. The dispenser lid would then open to reveal the new Aero Bliss Mixed Chocolates Selection for all five participators to enjoy.
This promotional campaign was technologically innovative and cleverly strategized. It falls in line with Nestle’s unique positioning statement of “good food, good life” by encouraging shared moments of bliss between people as they came together to taste Nestle’s sweet new product. The innovation of this campaign further reinforces the premium branding of Aero Bliss while also highlighting the "fun, enjoyable" brand image of its parent brand. Beyond the interactive in-person experience, this campaign further garnered considerable attention via social media sharing by individual users, as well as coverage from formal publications, successfully launching Aero Bliss chocolates into the public eye.
Product launches can be a risk to take. However, with a proper strategic approach and innovative thinking, you may be able to mitigate many inherent risks and gain huge returns for your company.
We hope the above guide was helpful and we would love to hear your feedback! We have extensive experience in branding and marketing, please check out our other articles or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!