Product launches are tough. They take up time, energy, and expensive resources.
Not only that, but there’s always another launch coming round the corner. So on launch day, it can be pretty tempting to banish a product from your mind and move onto the next one.
However a launch doesn’t end on launch day. In fact, it’s really only the beginning of your product or capability’s journey.
We’re seeing a lot of companies wrestling with post-launch success, so let’s talk about the biggest mistakes you can make post-launch and how you can turn them around for Go-to-Market success.
We’ll be covering:
- Undervaluing your frontline teams
- Not having a post-launch content plan
- Not monitoring and learning from KPIs
- Forgetting to celebrate success
Undervaluing your frontline teams
As a CMO or a Product Marketing Manager, it can be pretty easy to lose sight of what it’s like to be in the trenches because of all the responsibilities of your role. It’s important to remember that your frontline teams are your greatest asset and can make or break company success.
Firstly, your frontline employees, and by this we’re talking sales and customer success, are representing your brand to the public. If leadership isn’t communicating with these teams, then there’ll be discord between the work you’re doing as a leader and the outward perception of your brand.
Sales enablement and customer success need to be brought into your Go-to-Market strategy early because, post-launch, they’re going to be leading the charge to victory. If you undervalue their contribution and don’t properly enable these teams to carry out their role effectively, your new product or capability won’t get adopted.
This enablement can take the form of training, creating content like battlecards and whitepapers, or whatever you need to do to ensure that the people selling your products and keeping your customers onside are as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what they’re selling as you are.
Secondly, it’s not enough for this communication to go one-way. Sales and customer success are speaking to your customers every day. This means they know better than anyone what customers like and dislike about a product. You have a built-in testing program, and if you’re not making use of it… you’re seriously missing a trick.
Survey your customer facing teams and they’ll be able to tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are. Are there complaints that are coming up a lot? If you listen to your sales team, you can catch those problems early and roll out a solution.
If you have that back and forth with sales and customer success, you can always be one step ahead of your customers’ needs.
It’s also important that the other teams contributing to your GTM strategy are communicating with sales and customer success. Just ‘cause different teams are adding value to GTM at different stages on the timeline, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t collaborate!
Want to find out more about cross-functional teams?
Check out our article here👇
When you’re thinking about marketing strategy, you need to include sales enablement and customer success in that. A strong Go-to-Market strategy means effective and successful messaging. So, make sure your frontline teams are enabled to use it.
Why put all that work in if the people speaking to your customers aren’t using the tools you’ve made?
Sales and customer success are a marketing platform, just like any website or social media assets you invest your time and energy into. Even better, they can respond to customers and provide a personal and curated experience. So, make sure marketing and sales enablement/customer success are working together to reach overarching goals (e.g. customer retention and increased sales).
Not having a post-launch content plan
As we said above, launch day is really only the beginning. You’ve sent your shiny new product into the world, but you can’t just tell people about it once and expect them to remember.
If you want a product to be successfully adopted, you need to work to sustain engagement post-launch.
This is why you need a post-launch content plan. This is a crucial aspect of Go-to-Market strategy. For a large launch, you could easily be looking at six months of post launch activities to drive adoption and engagement for your product.
Not sure what size launch you’re after?
Find out with our article on launch size and scale👇
So what do we mean by post-launch activities?
For starters, you’re gonna want a series of marketing campaigns to get your product or capability out there, maintain excitement, and show people just what this new asset can do for them.
Campaigns can take the form of webinars, in-person events, or emails. Again, what this looks like for you really depends on the size of your launch, your budget, resources, and so on. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to carry out these activities with regularity to keep interest high.
A lot of companies see a rapid drop off in sales after an initial launch because customer interest isn’t sustained. So, if a customer buys a product but fails to see why it benefits them, this’ll result in churn. You can’t just demonstrate a product’s use once; you need to be consistent.
As well as events, make sure you have content going out on social media that shows off your product and directs customers back to your website. Post-launch content plans are crucial for generating new leads subsequent to launch day and sustaining your impact in the market.
Not monitoring and learning from KPIs
It can be hard to know where to start measuring the success of a product launch, but doing so is essential for your Go-to-Market strategy. If you aren’t learning from your launches, then you’re just going to keep repeating mistakes until you make your GTM strategy obsolete.
Without KPIs, it’s impossible to know if a launch has gone well and where you can improve. You can identify these crucial metrics by breaking them down into the individual KPIs of each team that contributes to Go-to-Market.
For example, sales will be looking at lead generations and win rates, while customer success will be measuring adoption, retention, and churn. Marketing, on the other hand, will likely prioritize marketing sourced revenue or SEO rankings and domain authority.
Pulling these metrics together will create an overall impression of a launch’s successes and failures. If marketing sourced revenue is low, you can go back to your messaging and positioning to figure out why your launch isn’t resonating with the market.
If you aren’t achieving those all important adoption rates, bring in sales enablement and customer success to find out what tools they’re missing and what they need to be successful.
You should be sitting between these teams, product, sales, marketing and so on, so that you can identify which aspects of a launch are working and where processes are breaking down, resulting in underperformance.
You must pay attention to these KPIs and measure from the start so you can anticipate when a launch starts to take a downturn, identify the problem and keep things on track rather than letting problems escalate.
Companies that aren’t carefully measuring their Go-to-Market success in the post-launch stage will end up building flawed processes into their strategy. Problems that are small to start with will become capable of breaking a company later down the line if they’re left unchecked.
So, make sure you’re working with your teams so that they understand what their goals are and how to measure whether those goals are being met. Not only does this empower your teams, but from every launch you and your GTM stakeholders will gain key insights to make the next launch (because there’s always a next launch) better.
Not celebrating success
As companies launch with increasing regularity, it’s not just flawed processes getting swept under the rug, but successes too. This can manifest as a series of problems for your company down the road.
In a business culture where success is never celebrated, low employee retention will surely follow. In March of 2022 alone, 4.5 million US workers walked away from their jobs. The era that has been dubbed the Great Resignation is ongoing and will likely continue until we see a dramatic shift in workplace behaviors.
The power in the workforce is no longer with top down leaders, but with the employees. You need talented people to want to work for you, because they can always leave and take that talent with them, maybe even to your competitors.
This is why, when you’re reviewing Go-to-Market metrics and KPIs, it's important to note the successes along with the areas for improvement. Employees moving from launch to launch, without acknowledgement of hard work from leadership, won’t be invested in the continued success of the product they just launched or the next one coming down the pipeline.
What they will be is burnt out, lacking motivation for your company, and looking to take their skillset elsewhere. If your frontline employees are disenfranchised, then it doesn’t matter how much you believe in a product. That passion will never make it from you to your buyers if your key messengers aren’t experiencing it with you.
It’s so important that brand identity is a shared experience, across your stakeholders and contributors. A lot goes into brand identity, but in the post-launch phase celebrating as a team is essential to that unity.
Celebrating the success of your teams fosters a culture that, rather than alienating your employees, encourages in them the same loyalty to your brand and products that you have. This is crucial, as employees who believe in a launch will automatically deliver better results than employees who have one foot out the door.
If this doesn’t convince you, you can learn from launch successes just as you can from failures. Measuring and celebrating success means that you can identify tactics that work and transform them into repeatable strategies. Celebrating success adds value at every level of your organization.
In a process as big as Go-to-Market, there are always going to be mistakes and room to improve, but the last thing you want is to fall at the final hurdle.
These mistakes are being made from company to company, but they’re so easy to avoid when you know what you’re looking for. Perhaps the biggest problem with leading GTM, which underpins everything we’ve talked about, is underestimating just how much work needs doing post launch.
Go back to the drawing board with your Go-to-Market strategy and make sure you’re putting as much planning into post launch as you are in the pre-launch stages. And just to drive home our point, here’s some key takeaways:
- Your customer success and sales enablement teams are invaluable assets, use them!
- You need a post launch plan if you’re going to have any kind of sustained success in the market.
- Measure your KPIs, or you’ll have no idea if or what your launches are achieving.
- Celebrate success!
Want to take your Go-to-Market strategy further?
Our Go-to-Market Certified: Masters course will give you all the information and knowledge you need to up your GTM game.
Delivered by Yoni Solomon, Chief Marketing Officer at Uptime.com, this course provides you with everything you need to design, launch, and measure an impactful Go-to-Market strategy.
By the end of this course, you'll be able to confidently:
🚀 Grasp a proven product launch formula that’s equal parts comprehensive, repeatable, creative, and collaborative.
🧠 Gain the expertise and know-how to build and tailor an ideal product blueprint of your own.
🛠 Equip yourself with templates to facilitate a seamless GTM process.