It really depends on what stage your company is at, how your customers consume information from your company, your ship cadence, and what you’re trying to accomplish with the launches.If you’re early stage, your audience is B2B, highly engaged, it might make more sense to communicate smaller upgrades more regularly. It shows momentum and drives engagement.If you’re later stage and shipping stuff all the time, a big quarterly launch might be more about tying a bunch of features together into a story that lands more effectively, and could help you open up market share opportunities if packaged properly. It might be worth talking with your CMO about the metrics she’s trying to move, perception she’s trying to change, or story she’s trying to bring to life. Starting with first principles might help y’all determine together if a quarterly launch is the best tool for the job.
If your industry thrives on frequent technology updates, quarterly can make sense, or potentially even more frequently than that. It really comes down to how you balance out your marketing and product calendars. What events or “moments” has your company established that serve as anchors your loyal customers begin to rely on? Try to rally around those. You may also need to invent new moments that position your brand relative to other industry events, typical purchase cycles, and news.
How tech savvy is your buyer and end user? Orient to a cadence that feeds their appetite -- meaning don’t overwhelm non-tech people with tons of feature launches if you can instead group and simplify the message. But if your typical audience is really deep into using the product, it can be a strategic benefit to show you’re always innovating and improving.
That said, a lot of features aren’t worth a big “launch.” You still want to take a number of steps in the launch process, but making noise about everything you do can backfire. If I’m reading between the lines, it sounds like your company might be launching more frequently than you think is ideal. That could be true. You have to zoom out as well and make sure that the key launch messages are laddering up to a broader brand platform. If you’re “launching just to launch something” that will come through and can erode your currency and customer trust when it’s time to market the “really important product” and message.
First and foremost your launches have to have substance and that should dictate the cadence more than marketing need. I've seen some companies try and do a launch every week and it starts off great but then loses momentum quickly because people stop caring. Thats a bad situtation to be in. The launches just don't have enough substance and people are overwhelmed.
You may have lots of different updates happening all the time, but the trick is packaged them up into a bigger more interesting update that has a slick narrative that ties them all together.
One a month or one or two a quarter (depending on size and speed) is a good cadence. It gives your audience time to breathe and will make your launches more substantial. Having one launch as the one big thing your team is focused on for a quarter also gives you a lot of direction and a launch shouldn't happen all in one day. It can rollout piece by piece over the course of at least a week or even a month.
Favorite answer: It depends :-) It depends on your target customer, the type of product, and the maturity of your product and business. Some examples for each -
e.g. If your target customer is developers, it may be a good idea to spread features out so that you give your customers time to implement new features, launch them in their own products, and then gather data about how those features performed before you starting throwing more features at them. On the other hand, if your product is a consumer-facing web app, new features every couple weeks could be exciting and build product engagement.
e.g. If your product or business is not a brand new concept and you are playing catch-up with your competitors, getting features out there publicly is more urgent than if you are creating a new niche. If you are building a product from a mature concept/industry, just make sure that the features you are lauching are highlighting your competitive differentiator.