Reprinted from Forbes Communications Council
Below is a reprint from Forbes Magazine with contributions from CMOs from a variety of companies and industries. Terrific advice for businesses of any size. For the full article, click here.
The launch of any product is important to the reputation of your business. Especially when it is a high-profile introduction or event, you need to make sure it goes off without a hitch, as the initial success of the product or service your company is offering can be seriously helped — or hindered — by this one moment. This means having a strong communication strategy in place, one that takes into account every detail of your launch, can ensure you have the results you are looking for with your event.
To help you prepare, 12 members of Forbes Communications Council discuss some of the most important steps to building a communications strategy for a high-profile launch or event, ranging from having a clear goal in mind and aligning your messaging, to making sure you understand your new product, as well as your target audience. Here are some specifics:
1. Have A Clear Vision Of Your Goal
The most important step is to have a clear vision of what you are setting out to accomplish. Then that vision should be captured into key phrases and art, in order to be used consistently throughout the event, from communication, invitations and gift bags to the table settings, lighting and more. The vision should include that brand experience, how you would like your guests to feel and what action step you would like them to take. - Monika Salazar, Jazwares, LLC
2. Identify What Value You're Bringing
Buzz surrounding an event only translates into customers or attendees when you explain the value that you bring. Work first on identifying the problem you are solving and the benefits you bring, and then create a strategy around telling that story. - Mandy Menaker, Shapr
3. Have An Audience Segmentation Strategy
The raison d'être of any launch or marketing event is to fuel business growth and generate more demand. Before designing the communication strategy for any event, an important step would be an audience segmentation strategy. The next step would be to develop a compelling reason why someone should attend the event. After that, final messaging needs to be developed, based on a storytelling methodology. - Vimal Abraham, Servion Global
4. Understand Your Product
I consider the most important step to building any strategy a straightforward one: Understanding what your product is, who it appeals to, and how you can convey the value of your product to those people. If you can't answer those simple questions in a few words or less each, you shouldn't be thinking any bigger until you can. - Sean Burns, TicketNetwork
5. Set Clear Objectives And Outcomes
A clear set of objectives and desired outcomes must be the first ratified element of any launch or event communications strategy. A close second is defined messaging. Ensure that everyone in your organization is singing from the same song sheet. - Emily Hardie, Lindsay Corp.
6. Provide Tangible Proof Points
One of the most important steps is to put together a compelling story with tangible proof points. I have seen many product launches based on claims without tangible proof. These check the box, but they do not make the claims believable or memorable. Proof points can be customer testimonials, third-party validation or even internally produced data that can convince the market that what you have is unique and makes a difference. - Young-Sae Song, Arctic Wolf Networks
7. Market The Event Across All Channels
Cross-channel marketing — using Facebook, email and remarketing on the Google Display Network — is essential. Set up Facebook campaigns to initially target very specific users based on their demographics, interests and online behaviors. Direct users to a landing page with registration, then deliver emails and relevant ads on Facebook and GDN to users based on whether or not they registered already. - Stephan Baldwin, Franchise Gator
8. Include Quality Video Production
Quality video production should be front and center to any communications strategy. A high-profile launch or event can reach a mass audience beyond event attendees through digital channels. Planning production of a video that resonates with the target audience is the first step. - Keith Bendes, Float Hybrid
9. Include An Email Strategy
This is a no-brainer, but it's so simple that people often forget to do it. When building a communications strategy for a launch or event, remember to include email strategy. Create a simple landing page, build an email list and run an email marketing campaign that entices people to attend your event. Also, offer them some educational or entertaining tidbits in your email communications. - Matthew Tagliavia, InventHelp
10. Make It Relatable
I think the most important step is creating a compelling, relatable aspect to your communications strategy. In technology, it's very important not to enter the echo chamber of communications, which many tech marketers fall into, by using indecipherable acronyms or addressing the audience without proper preambles of technology background. It’s essential to make it relatable on a human and professional level. - MaryAnn Holder-Browne, One Network Enterprises
11. Align Your Messaging
When we launch a product, we make sure to strategically align our messaging across multiple internal disciplines, including marketing, sales and product. Doing so ensures messaging consistency across channels, and it also eliminates redundancies and simplifies communication to our audiences. - Christopher Yeich, Dun & Bradstreet
12. Take Time To Strategize
A well-thought-out communications strategy is like a puzzle waiting to be put together. If you take the time to think about how all those individual pieces come together and how each one fits with the next, you can bring it all together in a way that works. - Julie Rogers, Grand Hotel
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