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How do you get creative in your product launch, and not feel too templatized?

4 Answers
JJ Xia
JJ Xia
Zuora Vice President Product MarketingOctober 2

We haven't gotten big enough as a company to feel templatized, thankfully :) Our approach is – Every product launch should be a bit different because each product story is different. The story should dictate what’s included as part of the scope, not a template.

Take these two launches for example – one for a new analytics tool and one for an API. (We've done both here at a Zuora, so I'm generalizing and drawing from some distant experience.) 

Let’s assume the analytics product is built for a business user. Like most analytics tools, it probably promotes 100% data accuracy, ‘data at your fingertips’ on any device, and dashboards that let you slice and dice data to get ‘insights into your business.’ 

  • The launch for an analytics product is not so much as about the product capabiliites, it's about what users can now do with that tool. What was the pain before this tool existed? What is possible now? What can the average business user get out of it?
  • In that case, a Product Marketer might prioritize a slick demo video, a hands-on trial experience with dummy data, a press release highlighting market proofpoints, and customer testimonials to highlight how different business users are impacted by this tool.

An API launch promotes a completely different story. You are now bringing out qualities such as simplicity, speed, and functional completeness for a developer-audience. 

  • The launch for an API usually highlights how easy and complete that API is, and the result of that is less complexity for the technical team and faster turnaround for the business. 
  • To bring that out, a Product Marketer might highlight how well-documented that API is, how it is being used by developer-first companies, and how fast it was to implement. 
  • One great example that I've seen – during the keynote at the last Twilio conference, Twilio launched a new product called the Command Line Interface (CLI). The product value anchors on speed. Hence, the keynote featured a side-by-side competition between a developer using the CLI vs. someone not using the CLI to perform the same set of 3 tasks, all displayed live on the big screen. Of course, the developer using CLI outperforms the other by a long shot. It was a brilliant way to highlight 'speed' for the developer audience.
1858 Views
Mary Sheehan
Mary Sheehan
Adobe Head of Lightroom Product MarketingJanuary 17

This is a great question! It's easy to get stuck with the same GTM checklist for every launch and feel like there's no creativity. 

An easy fix is to push the boundaries of what you normally do with a new visual approach or new mediums. Never tried a video before? Try it out now!

I always love a good brainstorm session with people outside of those I normally work with on product launches. Grab your content marketer, the creative lead that you don't usually work with, and anyone else you like working with, and have a session on what you could do with a launch. I actually did this yesterday for a launch we're planning, and had everyone listen to a podcast from 99 Percent Invisible before we met. The podcast wasn't about our industry at all but really got us primed on the ways that we could be creative with our rollout. 

I'd also recommend looking at AdWeek and AdAge and seeing what the big brands are up to - this is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.  

2229 Views
Adam Weigand
Adam Weigand
Coinbase Director, Product MarketingMarch 5

Two things come to mind to keep your launches unique and differentiated while still laddering up to topline product and company goals:

  1. Encourage new channel experimentation as part of the launch process to keep the go-to-market playbook fresh and ever-evolving. Be open to adding new chapters with each subsequent launch.
  2. Don’t be afraid to include adjacent functions in your go-to-market process, specifically product and brand experience design teams. Leveraging their expertise will uplevel the creative themes attached to your launch moment and beyond.
1395 Views
Natala Menezes
Natala Menezes
Grammarly Global Head of Product MarketingSeptember 21

This is going to sound ironic, but having a templatized launch process helps my team focus on creativity in messaging and execution. We use an agreed-upon Messaging & Positioning document framework and a standard launch deck. Then we think about what would be the wildest, craziest thing we could do for launch and defend WHY we aren’t doing that thing. It’s an exercise that helps us think out of the box and focus on differentiation and self-imposed limits.

477 Views
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