Running Successful Beta Programs Part 3
So far we in this series of articles we have covered setting appropriate goals that are concrete and measurable for your beta programs as well as recruiting participants. In this issue we’ll cover expected participation levels and beta agreements.
At this point you’ve created a compelling recruiting program and need to contact customers to get them to participate. Just how many customers do you need to contact in order to get an adequate number that agree to be part of the program? More importantly, how many will actually end up testing the product and doing what they have promised?
Marketing Fun: The Engadget Retroencabulator
Worried about whether your Marketing is a little too over the top? Take a look at this video for a good laugh…Engadget Retroencabulator.
Ten Steps to Global Launch Success
It’s the night before the worldwide launch and you’re wondering if you’re ready to go global. A timely and successful launch can make a big difference in worldwide revenue, especially in the first, few months following a product introduction. A successful global launch increases market awareness, organizational efficiency, and sales results worldwide. This requires effective planning, communication, and education. In preparing for your launch, consider a global readiness check list to review key needs prior to the worldwide announcement.
1. Evaluate local market opportunities
In order to leverage local market opportunities, a pre-launch analysis of the competitive space and customer demand in key country markets is a necessity. Don’t risk missing out on new opportunities to increase international revenue by avoiding a market check-up prior to the global launch. Existing and emerging markets around the world can offer hidden opportunities for expanding global market reach. In order to develop a revenue plan that supports global launch objectives, you will need the market data to build a strong business case and secure budget for local markets.
Keep in mind the competitive landscape and customer preferences vary from country to country. Leverage your worldwide network of country managers and partners to develop a clear understanding of the local marketplace. Create an analysis tool that will allow you to make the most effective decisions concerning the product launch strategy. This will allow you to evaluate similarities and differences for factors such as product demand, customer preferences, technology infrastructure, local market trends, language needs, and cultural business practices. With your market intelligence in place, you’ll be ready to build a global launch plan.
2. Create a global plan and roadmap
The global launch plan provides a clear vision and roadmap to facilitate execution by cross-functional and cross-regional teams. It needs to be developed and delivered at least 4-5 months prior to launch to ensure effective execution through timely adoption of messaging, strategies, and production of deliverables. The creation of the global launch plan also provides the opportunity to engage teams worldwide. Ensure early input from key functional and country teams who will drive global and local marketing, communication, and sales readiness activities. Objectives, milestones, and success metrics need to be realistic, time-sensitive and locally adaptable. By providing a global planning template, the launch manager can collaborate with teams and ensure early participation in launch efforts. In addition to key objectives, strategies, and tactics, the template should include a timeline and a checklist of core deliverables that can be reviewed for country marketing and localization needs.
3. Design an effective launch process worldwide
Global market success is dependent upon your internal infrastructure and the ability to coordinate a centralized strategy with local execution. This is determined by the ability to build a launch management framework and process where you can leverage internal team knowledge, manage project flow, and effectively deliver product on time and on budget in every part of the world. Not a small task! Make sure to build a global roadmap that accounts for key milestones in the global readiness areas of product, marketing, communication, and sales. Then you can utilize project management tools to develop key roles, responsibilities, tasks, and timelines that support the roadmap – including the critical dependencies for meeting global launch objectives. A deliverables matrix should include key globalization, localization, and translation dates for completion of marketing and sales tools required for local markets. Now just make sure you’re ready to execute.
4. Engage launch team across cultures
When launching a new product, a successful outcome is always dependent on team alignment. It’s important to ensure understanding, participation, and ownership from cross-functional and cross-regional team members. Building your network of team members across functions and cultures takes careful planning and relationship building. So where do you start? Check in with your team members around the world and create a networking strategy! Bring out the organization chart and identify your key drivers and influencers for the following: 1) Strategy Team (Executive sponsors), 2) Core Team (Cross-functional and cross-regional members), and 3) Local Team (country marketing managers).
Then be prepared to assess your networking space. Do you have the appropriate foundation to build a network across the organization? Is everyone aligned with your launch objectives? Is your core team onboard and committed to the project? Is the launch management team aligned with influential groups within the organization? And finally, are the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions aligned? If you answered no to any of these questions, you will need to re-visit your networking strategy.
5. Communicate across functions and cultures
When communicating around the world, you’ll need to ensure that you can align teams and manage time zones effectively. In order to maximize awareness, interest, and participation in the global launch, it’s important to develop a communication strategy that will engage team members in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. A communications strategy needs to address when communication takes place, to whom it should be communicated, and what will be communicated during the launch process. A successful internal communication strategy should engage cross-functional and cross-regional team members through the use of regular and consistent communications. This includes vehicles such as weekly launch meetings, regional launch calls, and email updates.
Karina Jensen learned the importance of global readiness from her career in international marketing and sales. She’s the principal and founder of Global Minds Network, a consulting firm dedicated to global readiness and launch success for professionals, teams, and organizations.
Karina can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org