JJ Xia
VP Product Marketing at Zuora

We break down external launch activities into one of three categories:

  • Market Awareness: Will it generate market buzz and/or leads?
  • Field Enablement: Will it help sales generate revenue?
  • Customer Adoption: Will it retain customers?

Based on that, launch deliverables naturally fall into one of the categories. Outside of the typical external launch activities (see my answer below for "How do you think about the scope or deliverables for various launches?"), there are certainly some unique ones that we do here at Zuora: 

  • Subscribed SF Keynote Story: We have a flagship conference in San Francisco every June called Subscribed. Based on the major launch announcement of that year, we design the opening keynote story to build up to that announcement. Here’s an example of the keynote for the Zuora Central Platform launch earlier this year. 
    • If you do end up watching it, you can see the “3 act” structure of the keynote. Act 1 talks about the larger global shift that companies are going through. Act 2 focuses on how individual companies tries to solve the challenges of that shift (“hard code and custom build their own systems…”). Act 3 reveals the answer (“that’s why Zuora built the Central Platform”).
    • Every year, we partner with our Marketing and Communications team to craft this end-to-end story. Since it’s the most ‘visible’ deliverable every year, it naturally sets the messaging tone for how the field and customers talk about the new product afterward.
  • Zuora Test Drive: Test Drive is a 14-day “free trial” of Zuora that comes with in-app walkthroughs and tutorials. 
    • Not only is it a lead generation tool that lets prospects to get hands-on with the product, it also drives revenue by converting leads into opportunities. 
    • For Major Product launches, we add walkthroughs / pre-built demos for the new product area into Test Drive – keeping it up to date opens new doors to target a specfic buyer persona and start new conversation for the sales team.
  • Customer Playbooks: For launches that are part of an add-on product, we create a playbook for our customer account management team. This allows our Account Managers to be more prescriptive and selective in educating customers on add-on products. 
    • We do this by reviewing each customer’s existing product usage data and using indicators to identify which customers are “top candidates” for an add-on product. We arm the Account Managers with a plug-and-play presentation that highlight the relevant usage data and why this add-on makes sense for them. 
    • As a customer, you get an extremely tailored story backed up with data rather than a blanket marketing presentation.
Mike Polner
VP Marketing at Cameo | Formerly Uber, Fivestars, Electronic Arts
It may not be unique, but I think one that both startups and large companies alike don't prioritize enough is a clear, concise PR strategy with launch. Early on Eats we didn't have a lot of money to spend on paid media or flashy integrated campaigns to get the word out, but we had the fortune of ...more