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Zilicus

How to Control a Derailing Product Launch

Apr 30 2012, 05:35 PM by

Your CEO has already announced that your company will launch its new offering nationally and you are responsible for the national marketing campaign. You realize that it's not going to happen as smoothly as planned since the necessary arrangements still aren't completed. This essentially means that there are clear symptoms of product launch getting delayed.

What would you do in such a situation? Consider the following tips to control a derailing marketing campaign and get it back on track. Here's a list of strategies on what to do; some are mutually exclusive, others are all-encompassing, but each is a prime tactic for combatting and minimizing product delay:
  • Go back to the drawing board & work out potential but necessary arrangements that need to be completed before discussing with vital stakeholders (CxOs, distributors, partners, key customers). Rework the internal budget, perform near-reality/feasibility checks, rework & renegotiate the timeline for internal arrangement to cover up lagging areas.

  • Discuss & negotiate with stakeholders (sponsors, customers, partners, etc.) about existing arrangements, possible budget extensions (in resources or money), or delayed timelines.

  • Scope of the campaign: Think of tweaking/reducing the scope of your marketing campaign (if project stakeholders agree). If a full rollout is impossible, is it feasible to launch the core product/offering first and make accessories available subsequently?

  • Launch the product locally or in selected states (or for selected customers) initially. Once the product availability issues are addressed, the product can be launched in other states (or to an expanded customer set).

  • Inspire the team members, or member. It is almost inevitable that each team assembled will have a particularly influential team member - or members - who go above and beyond or, even better, inspire & entice others to do the same. If one member is truly outstanding, or covers for shortages or slippages, offer them incentives (tangible & intangible). Teams that do pull together and achieve the impossible need to be rewarded accordingly.

  • Alternatives/Replacements: If the execution of your marketing campaign depends on sub-contracted work or some other agencies and their work is falling behind, have a backup in mind (perhaps the runners up for the initial roundup of contractors).

  • Get a buy in from higher management. Before your marketing campaign gets into a fix, make your higher management aware of the progress. They may assist you with better interest of the organization in mind.

  • Ask for more resources. If all else fails, it’s time to add more team members or more money. You cannot complete the campaign with the budget or crew you have and you simply need more. Figure out the cost-benefit analysis of meeting the timeline vs. the cost of deploying more resources so as to speed up the execution of the campaign.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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