Product Launch Marketing Plan: Why It Matters & Free Template

First things first—what is product launch marketing

Considering a product launch is the process of adding a new product to the market, product launch marketing would be the way you're letting everyone know about it.

Clearly, that’s no easy feat.

How are you going to announce the launch to the world?

That’s what we’re here for—to help you figure that out. Read on as we tell you about:

  • What a product launch marketing plan is
  • The importance of having a product launch marketing plan in place
  • Things to include in your product launch marketing plan
  • How to use our product launch marketing plan template to meet your goals

We’ll go over all of this, and more!

In other words, you’ll get to know everything there is to know about creating and implementing a successful product launch marketing plan.

Let’s get started.

What is a Product Launch Marketing Plan?

A product launch marketing plan is a three-phase promotion strategy to coordinate all paid and organic marketing campaigns aimed at creating product awareness, and ensuring a successful product launch.

A product launch marketing plan consists of:

  1. The pre-launch phase—research & roadmapping: Here’s where all the research and planning happens. During this step you do all the research about the product and the market you’re about to enter. You establish your marketing strategies and the channels best suitable to implement them.
  2. The launch phase—rollout & reporting: Next, you implement your plans. You create events, press releases, blog content, email marketing campaigns, ads, videos, or any other piece of physical or digital content that will help you reach as many customers as possible.
  3. The post-launch phase—response & retention: Finally, you analyze your data and implement customers’ feedback. You and your project management team establish what product features need to be modified, removed, or added. 

Product launch marketing plan example

That’s a lot of work to be done! And that’s only a glimpse into what these three stages actually entail. 

Depending on the product you’re about to launch, your marketing strategy might take different forms.

Let’s have a look at what happens when Apple launches a product. 

Apple marketing example

Image Source: Apple

How do they do it so well with such a small advertising budget (compared to their competitors’)?

Well, Apple surely has a well-defined buyer persona. 

Plus, their products exceed the barriers of useful technology and transcend into lifestyle. 

Apple products are about status and luxury. Someone’s iPhone is almost an extension of their personality.

So, before getting into the actual Apple product launch marketing strategy, it is paramount to highlight the importance of understanding your target audience and how your product can address their needs.

Now, back to the marketing tactics. 

Here’s an overview of the three Apple product launch stages from a marketing perspective:

Pre-launch: The hype

First, we observe the hype created before the product launch—a great buzz marketing technique.

Prior to the Worldwide Developers Conference each year, only Apple employees know about the actual announcements and product releases to be made during the event. 

This creates a buzz around the conference and leads to a lot of speculations and theories from both customers and the media.

The result? 

Enthusiasm and curiosity - two of the brand awareness drivers.

Thought leaders and influencers get on board and spread the word about the next product release. 

The event is scheduled and customers wait in suspense. 

Pre-orders are available. 

Everybody is talking about it.

Launch: The spellbinding event

It’s showtime! The big launch usually never fails to exceed customer expectations with:

  • Exciting presentations that contain minimal technical details 
  • A focus on how customers can benefit from using the new products
  • Enticing product demos

Post-launch: Addressing customer feedback

After launching the product, customer reviews explode. What does Apple do? They listen and address customers’ pain points.

Key takeaways

  1. Get your customers excited about your product during the pre-launch phase. Think teasers, short videos, and other types of content that can build anticipation.
  2. Deliver on your promises and meet or even exceed your customers’ expectations during the launch phase.
  3. Listen to your customers and implement relevant feedback.

Clearly, there’s a lot that goes into planning a successful product launch event. A big part of the launch success lies in the hands of the marketing team.

As we’ve seen in the Apple example above, having the right product launch marketing plan in place can make a huge difference.

Let’s see exactly why that is. 

Why is it Important to Have a Product Launch Marketing Plan?

According to the Marketing Research Association, 60% of developed products don't make it to market. 

Moreover, of the 40% that do make it, only a half of them generate revenue.

The grocery industry is even more unforgiving with only 20-30% of newly launched products being successful.

Why do so many products fail? Is it because of buying behavior?

A part of it is. In fact, today’s average American family buys roughly the same 150 products over and over again. Clearly, introducing a new product is not an easy task.

But it’s not impossible.

Having a product launch marketing plan in place will help you:

  1. Increase the chances of your product reaching your target market.
  2. Reduce the chances of product failure.
  3. Generate leads.
  4. Find investors and partners.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the benefits of having a well-tailored product launch marketing plan.

Reason #1: You have increased chances of your product reaching your target market.

When following the right research strategies during the pre-launch phase, you know exactly who you’re selling to. 

Based on your findings, you can then create targeted campaigns tailored to your ideal customer’s needs.

For example, if you’ve put enough effort into outlining the buyer persona with your target customers’ demographic, geographic, and psychographic details, you will be able to create launch campaigns that arouse interest.

Let’s say you’re targeting businesses. Data shows that LinkedIn is the social media platform preferred by 93% of B2B customers.

In case you’re a B2C customer, you want to promote your product on Facebook, Instagram, or other relevant platforms or marketing channels.

To sum up, all your marketing efforts and long research hours WILL pay off. Your ads will speak directly to your potential customers and start generating leads.

As a result, your product is more likely to be a hit—which brings us to reason #2.

Reason #2: You have reduced chances of product failure.

Before pushing a new product to market, you need to be able to answer questions like:

  • Why is my product needed?
  • Is it better than the competitors'?
  • What makes my product unique?
  • Who will be interested in buying my product?
  • How can I reach out to those consumers?
  • What is the best time for my new product launch?
  • What marketing channels should I use to reach my target audience?
  • Should I use social media marketing or traditional media for my campaigns?
  • What steps should my digital marketing strategy contain? How much will that cost me?
  • What metrics should I look for when promoting my product?

Your launch campaign marketing plan should hold the answers to these questions and more.

Did you know that poor marketing is one of the leading causes of startups’ failure?

With a flawless product development, launch campaign, and a marketing plan laid down to the last detail, failure should be the least of your worries. 

Plus, when you have such a complex plan to follow, you will not have time to even think about product failure. The only thing on your mind should be the leads you’re about to get, and how to offer them the best customer experience possible.

Speaking of leads, here’s the next reason why having a well-laid-out plan is beneficial.

Reason #3: You’re more likely to generate leads.

The ultimate goals of any product launch campaign is lead generation and/or high landing page conversion rates.

How can you generate new leads?

You guessed it: by following your carefully built marketing plan.

Depending on your product, your marketing strategy might include online marketing campaigns. For example, if you’re launching a new beauty product, the best way to reach a wide audience and attract leads might be influencer marketing.

You will be amazed at what a couple of strategic partnerships with relevant and trustworthy influencers might do for your customer base.

Or, let’s say you’re launching a new SaaS platform. 

In this case, your best lead generation tactic might be a series of case studies, an email campaign, and a LinkedIn promotion.

It all depends on your industry. 

However, one thing crosses all these technicalities—the universal need for perfectly timed and meticulously detailed product launch marketing plans.

Besides leads... you know who else your marketing plan will bring to your yard?

Reason #4: You’re more likely to find investors and partners.

When you’re doing all the right things, people become interested in your business and new business opportunities may arise. 

Plus, your marketing strategy will help you get the exposure you need to attract the attention of investors.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can include in your launch marketing plan to attract the attention your product needs to be a hit.

What Should be Included in a Product Launch Marketing Plan?

As you probably know, a product launch doesn’t just entail adding a new product to your product catalog. 

A product launch is a complex process that requires:

  • Planning
  • Researching
  • Building momentum
  • Reaching out to partners and the media
  • Designing a killer product launch presentation
  • Finding the right channels to spread the word about your new product

Thankfully, we can break down this vast array of processes into three launch phases as follows:

  1. Pre-launch stage
  2. Launch stage
  3. Post-launch stage

By breaking down the behemoth task of launching a product into the three stages, things become easier to plan. 

The same goes for creating your product launch marketing plan.

With that in mind, you can build a marketing strategy following the three launch phases.

And if that doesn’t simplify things enough, we’ve created an easy-to-follow, six-step product launch marketing model for you - the 6 R’s of product launch marketing:

  1. Research
  2. Roadmap
  3. Rollout
  4. Reporting
  5. Response
  6. Retention + retargeting, remarketing

As you’ve already seen in a previous section of this article, each pair of the Rs corresponds to a product launch phase.

We’ll explain more about that shortly.

1. Pre-launch stage: Research and roadmap

During this phase, you acquire the necessary knowledge that helps you assemble your go-to-market strategy.

First, you do the Research.

Don’t know where to begin?

Then you can start by writing down your product’s value proposition. To do so, you need answers to the following questions:

  • Who is your ideal customer? ⇒ Gather as much information about your potential customers as possible. Jot down their age range, hobbies and interests, demographic characteristics, and psychographic details. In other words, create detailed buyer personas.
  • What problems are your customers experiencing? ⇒ Think about your customers’ needs, pain points, hopes and dreams, and pretty much every other aspect that your product could address.
  • What is your solution to the problem? ⇒ Figure out how your product is going to solve your customer’s pain points.
  • What differentiates your solutions from that of competitors’? ⇒ Identify your product’s differentiators.

Next, you need to consider doing a thorough product analysis. As a marketer, this is when you become the product expert. You need to learn everything about features and functionality.

You can create focus groups and identify product shortcomings and drawbacks before the launch. This way, you’ll have time to adjust and improve your product before the launch date.

Once you know your customers and product inside-out, you’re ready to conduct a competitive analysis. Do a side-by-side of things like:

  • Pricing strategies
  • Product appearance (packaging, branding, etc.)
  • Content marketing strategies
  • Social media presence

You can also do a SWOT analysis to identify your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Now that you have the research, you can trace down a Roadmap. To do so, pick the channels you’re going to promote according to your research.

Next, plan your paid advertising campaigns as well as your organic outreach strategies. At this point, you can already write and schedule content to be released at strategic times during and after the launch date.

For instance, you could create an editorial calendar for your future blog posts, social media posts, online events, and so on. At the same time (if suitable for your audience), you can also start printing marketing materials, such as fliers, posters, and banners.

The roadmap would not be complete without a PR strategy, so you should think about press releases, media outreach, strategic influencer partnerships, local and online events, and anything else that could help you generate demand.

Your roadmap to-do list is almost done. Lastly, establish what you expect to get from each marketing effort. Also, determine what data you will track for each campaign. Metrics and KPIs are important to measure your launch success.

Three, two, one, zero. 


And liftoff!

You’re ready to launch and make your product go viral!

2. Launch stage: Rollout and reporting

It’s launch day and it’s time to start Rolling out all the campaigns made during pre-launch.

In short, the Rollout phase refers to the execution of the pre-launch planning. So, if everything was done properly, you only need to follow through with the steps you already established during the Roadmap stage.

As your campaigns are unfolding, keep a close eye on Reporting. You and your sales team need to carefully collect and centralize the KPIs and metrics that will help you later optimize the customer journey, adjust your content, and improve your product.

3. Post-launch stage: Response and retention

Your work is not done after the launch.

It’s merely the time to collect the fruits of your labor—customer reviews and KPIs. This happens during the Response phase when customers have already bought the product - or at least interacted with your campaigns.

So, you have your customer feedback. 

Now what?

Get your customer support team ready as you need to address as many customer concerns, negative reviews, and complaints as possible. 

What’s more, negative feedback is a valuable resource for identifying product shortcomings and developing new features.

By religiously taking into account product reviews, you will be able to maintain Retention and get your first brand ambassadors. 

Other methods to ensure customer retention include, but are not limited to:

Now, let’s see what all this theoretical knowledge looks like in a worksheet-like template.

Download our Free Product Launch Marketing Plan Template (Google Sheets)

Our product launch marketing plan template is a step-by-step, beginner-friendly model that covers everything you need to do for an efficiently marketed launch.

It takes you through all three product launch stages and their corresponding sub-stages (the 6 Rs).

The Pre-launch Section

For example, in the Pre-launch stages, you can take Research notes right in the template. 

Product marketing plan template 1

We designed special fields for each step of the value proposition, product analysis, and competitor analysis.

Product marketing plan template 2

Moving on, you reach the second pre-launch sub-phase, which is the Roadmap. Here, you can start planning your campaigns. 

Here, you can plan your:

  • Social media campaigns
  • PR strategy
  • Content strategy
Product marketing plan template 3

The Launch Section

In the Launch section, you first go through the Rollout. Here, you will write down a task name, its implementation status, and relevant notes.

Product marketing plan template 4

In the Reporting section, you can keep track of KPIs from your launched social media campaigns and the outcome of your PR and content strategies. 

Product marketing plan template 5

The Post-launch Section

In the Post-launch stage, you will first go to Response, where you can input a numeric value that would best describe your customers' response to your product launch marketing campaigns from different social media platforms. 

Right next to the column where you write down the number, there is a column where the corresponding number of stars is automatically displayed.

Product marketing plan template 6

Next, you have the columns to register negative feedback, as well a column for writing down a solution for each problem highlighted by customers in their reviews.

Product marketing plan template 6

Finally, the Retention section offers you the necessary space to brainstorm ideas with your team members. 

You have three separate sections for referral marketing, benchmark marketing, and customer loyalty rewards program.

Product marketing plan template 7

Before you go on with your day, make sure you go through our Product Launch 101 post to get all the necessary information that can help make your product launch a success.

Before You Go

You’ve got this! 

We strongly believe in your ability to implement all the right marketing moves and make the best of your resources for the upcoming product launch.

Do you still have pre-launch butterflies?

Don’t worry. Viral Loops can help you optimize the launch and pre-launch campaigns through the power of referral marketing.

The best part?

You can try it for free. Book a quick demo and we’ll tell you all about it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What should a product launch marketing plan include?

A product launch marketing plan should follow the main three product launch stages and include:

  • The product's value proposition
  • Product analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Paid advertising campaigns
  • Organic outreach strategies
  • PR strategies
  • Relevant metrics and KPIs
  • Retention strategies

Q2. How do you know if your product launch marketing plan is working?

You can tell how successful your product launch marketing plan is by tracking and analyzing relevant metrics. 

For instance, when you’re running a Facebook paid campaign, you need to keep an eye on the click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click bid (CPC), and cost per purchase (CPP).

Q3. What’s the difference between a product launch plan and a product marketing plan?

A product launch plan is the strategy of bringing a new product to market through a series of collaborative product development, marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.

On the other hand, a product marketing plan represents a marketer’s endeavors to promote the launch and create demand for the newly launched product.

Written by:

Nikitas Filosofof

Nik has launched products in many industries for himself and clients. He's responsible for growth at Viral Loops, and he has worked in marketing since he was 17. Passionate about applying psychology to marketing. Favorite number: 42. Let's connect on LinkedIn