B2B Product Launch FAQs

When should I start planning my B2B product launch?
The best product launch planning begins 10-12 months before the actual launch. Many companies today start much later than this, but if you have even 2-3 months to prepare, LaunchStar® will make a big difference.

Who should create the product launch plan?
A common mistake is to give this job to one marketing person. It’s much better to take a multi-functional team approach: Most launch teams should include five functions: marketing, marcomm, technical, operations and sales.

What deliverables typically come from the team?
Most B2B product launches are far too casual. With LaunchStar software, your launch teams produce a bullet-proof 2-page product Launch Plan Executive Summary… to justify the launch and its budget.

How can teams effectively collaborate?
LaunchStar® software divides the workload into (up to) 25 areas… and each is “owned” by a different member of the launch team. Because the software is cloud-based, teams can easily collaborate—and even use this platform to share common PDF, PPT, XLS, DOC and other work files.

Why are B2B product launch plans different than B2C?
First, a B2B target audience is more complex… with multiple buying influences, market segment possibilities, and points in the value chain. Second, you have many possible promotional approaches—9 traditional and 9 online—to choose from. LaunchStar® software provides a roadmap so teams can make these decisions with confidence.

How do we pick which promotional methods to use?
The AIM Institute has pioneered a powerful way to select promotional media based on your industry concentration and market position. Four principles will guide you in selecting your optimal blend from 18 possible media.

Is there a proven approach for B2B launches?
Yes, LaunchStar® takes your teams through a thoughtful product launch plan process of who to tell (right market)… what to tell (right message)… and how to tell (right media). When teams fail to follow this sequence, they…

  • waste agency fees,
  • overlook exciting launch approaches,
  • suffer schedule delays,
  • skip critical tasks, and
  • fall back on “what we’ve always done”

How do we conduct global product launches?
LaunchStar® software provides “parent-child” project linkages. Suppose you have a new global product (parent project) that includes regional launches (child projects). LaunchStar® lets you decide how much of the parent project to automatically update (e.g. product specifications) in each region vs. customize for that region.

What are some common B2B launch deficiencies?
First, many industrial B2B companies overlook exciting new online approaches (that have been proven effective by IT-related B2B companies). Second, their product launch plans lack the level of rigor commensurate with the huge cost of product development. Third, there’s often a messaging “disconnect” with the market insights gained in the front end of innovation…. or these insights were weak in the first place. (For help with the front end of innovation, see New Product Blueprinting.)

Isn’t our existing stage-and-gate process sufficient?
Most gated new product development processes provide a checklist of what to do… without guidance for the teams on how to do it. Consider arming your teams with the best tools available—in LaunchStar®—and then export their work into your existing new product development process for tracking purposes.

Is there training available for how to use LaunchStar®?
Of course! You can choose training in a 1-day workshop or online. Learn more about our training programs.