What 2020 Taught Us About a Successful B2B Product Launch in a Low-Touch World
December 22, 2020
There was a time when launching a B2B product would invariably involve timing the big reveal to coincide with a major trade show. For manufacturing customers, this might be Hannover Messe, interpack, PACK EXPO, or another high-profile global event, and campaigns would revolve around driving potential customers to a booth to interact with expert teams. This approach is tried and tested, and has delivered fantastic results, but what happens when the main platform for a launch is removed from the picture without a moment’s notice?
In 2020, this was a common occurrence as many trade shows went virtual, and events in the first half of 2021 are following suit, leaving plans shattered and marketing teams stuck with a challenging question: “What do we do now?” The answer has come in a form that is perhaps not unexpected: go digital, on your own terms — your launch, your timescale.
So how do you build a successful online product launch campaign? As an example, below is a typical 12-month campaign we designed to cover the build-up to a launch, the event itself and, crucially, what happens afterward. Momentum is key, and the launch itself should never be the point at which a campaign ends.
Months 1-3: Messaging and Positioning Platform
Too many businesses position themselves as a commodity supplier. This exercise will ensure the benefits you can deliver are the focus instead. We’ll bring together people from across your business for a messaging and positioning workshop to identify your various points of differentiation and use them to crystallize your messaging.
Months 4-5: Sales Materials Development
We’ll incorporate the messaging developed in months 1-3 into all sales collateral, from presentations and brochures to leaflets and videos.
Month 6: Extensive Sales Workshop
The messaging and collateral are in place. Now is the time to ensure your expert sales teams know how to push the messaging effectively to new prospects. We’ll walk your salespeople through a workshop that gives them the tools they need.
Month 6: Microsite Launch
We’ll create a dedicated site to which we will drive prospects using multiple online channels. These can include online B2B publications, newsletters, email blasts, social media posts and direct mailing campaigns. We’ll closely monitor visits to the microsite.
Month 6-12: Launch Press Release and Conduct Extensive Media Relations
We’ll push out to the media landscape a carefully crafted press release that showcases your product and the unique benefits it can deliver for your customers. This release will show an understanding of the challenges your product is designed to overcome and will push hard on what makes it stand out from competitor products. Crucially, we’ll write the press release in a style that encourages editors and customers alike to further engage through questions and knowledge seeking.
Month 6-12: Google Ads/Direct Emails/Newsletter
We’ll create campaigns designed to drive traffic to the microsite to encourage potential customers to further engage with more in-depth collateral. What is more, these campaigns will work beyond the first 12 months and continue driving engagement for years to come. Creating a campaign system built around your current platforms to deliver content and move potential customers through your sales funnel will ultimately result in more and better leads and faster conversions to sales. At the same time, this will help maximize the investment you’ve already made in marketing technology, such as CRM, marketing automation and sales enablement systems.
The digital possibilities for launching and promoting a product are limitless, from virtual trade shows to chatbots and marketing automation. Don’t get me wrong. The return to face-to-face meetings cannot come quickly enough, but it should not be at the expense of what we have access to digitally. Striking a balance is key, but with the majority of potential customers seeking information online before making capital purchases, the best approach is to truly stand out from the crowd.
Sound interesting? Give our Head of Manufacturing EMEA, Yulia Tribrat, a call via +44 7766 257435 or send her an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about digital product launches and how we can help you gain traction.