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Launch Is Not The Finish Line [Video]

finish line at a race track

You’ve invested an incredible about of time and money into what was supposed to be a huge new opportunity for your business. Yet after all of those hours, dollars, and the public unveiling, it feels like your investment is starting to lose momentum much more quickly than you had anticipated. Why?

Because the brand/website/product/market launch you’ve planned for is only the start of the race. The most overlooked strategy, and thus, the most difficult, is determining how to leverage this new resource after it has been unveiled. It’s not easy to plan for a post-launch marketing strategy when you’re in the middle of preparing for the launch itself, but planning for post-launch as early as possible is the best way to protect your investment from failure.

To help start you down the path of post-launch, I’d like to share four ideas to help you maintain your momentum long after that initial unveiling.


Tiffany Sauder:

Hello everyone, my name is Tiffany Sauder, and I’m the President of Element Three. Today I want to talk about what do we need to do after a great big launch.

It seems like in marketing we launch lots of things. We launch new websites. We launch new products. We launch new brands. Often, it’s not what happens before that launch that dictates the success of what we do, but it’s what happens after the launch. And too often, we stop short.

Obviously, there are 6, 9, 12 months of planning that goes into determining the message, the cadence, the timeline, all of the complexity of this new thing that we’re bringing to market. And we look at that launch as the finish line and say, “Oh good! I’m done!” But oh no, our work is really just beginning. And we really need to really make sure that we’re considering a few key elements to making sure our upfront work is successful in the marketplace.

1. Keep It Fresh

The first one is that we have to be realistic and understand that the excitement at some point is going to wear off. And it’s our job as marketers to make sure that we keep the momentum and excitement fresh inside the organization as the rest of their regular life and regular job and the pressures of what they have to do inside of things other than our launch start taking over, we have to make sure that we’re keeping these tools in front of our sales people, in front of our services people, in front of our executives, so that whatever we just brought to market continues to stay top of mind and continues to stay fresh.

2. Empower Your Employees

The second one is training. Now is the time to be sure that we’re really leaning into making sure that the people that are going to say the message to the marketplace, our sales people, our customer service reps, feel really comfortable with the message we’re taking to market. Now is the time to be sure that there are really small tidbits of information that are coming at them every single day so they feel really confident and grounded in the new thing we’re taking to market.

3. Make it Fun

The third thing is use incentives. There’s a reason why commission structures and things like that really work to incent behavior into the future, so make it fun for people. Don’t make it onerous and heavy. Come up with little gift cards, or a free lunch, or a piece of chocolate that shows up on your desk if you do something. Create contests. Make it really fun for the organization to be a part of this new thing that you’re launching.

Work is heavy by itself too many times. As marketers, I think it’s our job to make sure that these launches are a time when our employees feel the impact of our company values more than ever. So celebrate the people who are working so hard for you, celebrate the people that are taking this message to market, and help make it a little bit fun.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Change

One last thing about launching. In marketing, when we plan great big launches, we’re doing it in a vacuum. And if we’re honest with ourselves we know we’re not that good. So be sure after launch that we’re spending time on the ground listening to customers’ response to what it is that you’re saying.

Hang out in the trade show booth.

Go on the sales call.

And make sure that you’re testing your hypotheses and the reason you think people care about this is actually is the way that they’re responding. And pivot and pivot fast. Because we know that when you iterate and change really quickly alongside sales that we have a much better chance of being right. So be willing to pivot and be willing to throw out sometimes the work that we did when it's invalidated or changed by the reality of what’s happening in the marketplace. Don’t be too stubborn to change it.

Hopefully, these tips will give you more confidence than ever to launch new things and new initiatives into the future. Good luck!

What post-launch strategies have worked well for you? Share them with marketing@elementthree.com or tweet them to @TiffanySauder - we would love to feature them in a future write-up on this topic.

Tiffany Sauder Element Three

Tiffany Sauder is the CEO of Element Three, a full-service marketing consultancy in Indianapolis. After taking over in 2006, she’s transformed E3 from a small creative shop into one of the fastest-growing marketing consultancies in the Midwest. Outside the office, she spends time with her husband and three daughters, runs half marathons, and is practicing for the day The Food Network calls to cast her on Chopped.