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Go-to-market tips: Software Business Advisor Dec-18
December 04, 2018

Welcome to the December 2018 issue of The Software Business Advisor, a newsletter from Software-Marketing-Advisor.com.

Dec'18 - Building a killer go-to-market plan

In this issue we are going to focus on a few topics around how to plan your go-to-market strategy or software launch:

  1. How effective mobile application market research can amp up your app marketing strategy
  2. Top tips for software launch planning
  3. Go-to-market planning checklist & timeline



1. How to do effective mobile app market analysis

I published a new article last month on how to best research your mobile application market. You can read it here.

Why should you read this? Because you need to make sure your app stands out above the millions of others available in the mobile app stores.

I speak with so many people who have done all the hard work to create an app, upload it to the app store, but it never rises above the noise and no one downloads it. Then they ask me how can I help them with marketing to get customers. Unfortunately, they are going about it all wrong! The time to develop your marketing strategy is BEFORE the app is launched, not after.

In a nutshell, below are the steps you should use for your pre-launch marketing research and planning (scroll down to also take a look at our go-to-market checklist and timeline):

  • Do some research on your target market to understand your competition as well as the best target users
  • Understand your market segment size, growth, and trends
  • Segment your target users & develop detailed profiles
  • Prioritize the most profitable segments
  • Understand their needs and pain points
  • Craft messages that address those needs, and highlight the benefits
  • Develop a communications strategy - how do you best get the word out about your app BEFORE launch?

Keep reading here for more



2. Top tips for software launch planning

For any software launch, it is important to have a plan in place before you introduce your software to the marketplace. In addition to the go-to-market strategy discussed above, here are some tactical steps you need to follow prior to launching your software or service:

  1. Develop your product name & messaging with your customer needs in mind,
  2. Register a domain name for your product, and also sign up for all the social media handles (even if you don't plan to use them immediately),
  3. Gather early customer feedback to refine your product and positioning,
  4. Develop your branding, including logos, collateral, etc,
  5. Get a website up early - prior to launch,
  6. Start building a mailing list from your website,

For more, read this article about successful software launch planning.



3. Use a Go-to-Market Planning Checklist

If you are bringing a new product to market, there are so many details to keep track of, from product development, documentation, customer support needs, marketing, PR, etc.

Below is a simple week-by-week checklist leading up to a new software product introduction that you can use to keep all those marketing & promotion details straight.

Later this month we will be introducing our updated Go-to-Market planning package which will include a more detailed checklist and timeline, GTM strategy template and more! Stay tuned...

8-12 weeks before launch:

  • Product name finalized
  • Acquire domain name, social handles for product name
  • Create ideal customer persona: Description, Pain points / needs, Benefits
  • USP (Unique Selling Proposition) - what is the key value of your product to your target customer? why are you/your business the right choice (build credibility)?
  • Create a high-level launch plan:
    1. Goals
    2. Strategies (Who is the audience? What channels? When? What messages? How will the customer find it? Why should they act?)
    3. Tactics - specific activities to accomplish the strategies
    4. Metrics - how to measure success

4 weeks before launch:

  • Website ready (or new web page / sub-domain for product)
  • All social pages ready
  • Promotion plan done:
    1. Plan for pre-launch, launch & post-launch press releases
    2. Media/influencer targets identified, with contact info
    3. Compile editorial calendars
    4. Advertising plan (eg, PPC, banner ads, FB ads, offline ads, etc)
  • Keywords for SEO or PPC identified
  • Content marketing plan in place - blog posts, guest blogging, social media

3 weeks before launch:

  • Create media kit (PR, company & product description, bio/story, headshots, screenshots, Q&A, video or demo, trial codes, etc)
  • Sign up for HARO, Pitchrate to receive email about media pitch requests
  • Email signup on website (start before launch)
  • Write email sequence to send to mailing list, both at launch, plus pre- and post-launch
  • Create SEO content for website/blog to bring in search visitors

2 weeks before launch:

  • Pre-launch press release sent to select media & influencers
  • Promote mailing list (prerelease signup)
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Customer support plan
  • Customer documentation complete
  • Channel plan in place - who do you need to sign up? what do they need to sell or list your software?

1 week before launch:

  • Email update to mailing list)
  • Promote mailing list (prerelease signup)
  • List of events (tradeshows, meetups, user groups) and websites where you can "announce" your new product/service)
  • Finalize all announcement copy: press release, description, elevator pitch, social content)

At launch:

  • Update website / product page
  • Launch press release published & sent to all media & influencers
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Add listing / description to websites, directories, stores, etc
  • Announce on social media, blog, forums/groups (as appropriate), etc

Post launch:

  • Post-launch press release with user/customer update/announcement
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Content marketing: social posts, blogs, guest posts, forum/group engagement, etc
  • Gather feedback from users, influencers, etc

If you need some help putting your go-to-market plan together, or just have a few questions, then sign up for a Software Marketing Consult session here.



Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter and tell me what you think!

Joanna Lees
Principal, Software-Marketing-Advisor.com
https://www.software-marketing-advisor.com

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