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Top 7 Internal Communications that are Key to Your Product Launch

product_manager_internal_comm.jpgFor manufacturers in regulated industries, preparing to introduce a new product to market is a significant undertaking. A product launch is the final culmination of years of development, user studies, and redesign, as well as significant investment and regulatory compliance effort.

Product launch is a critical time. The failure to effectively launch a product can be a contributing factor to its failure in the market. For a product to succeed, Product Managers must ensure company leaders have buy-in, departments are supported with resources, and all teammates understand the launch plan. Since Product Managers face the unique challenge of owning the outcome without directly managing the entire team, overlooking internal communications can be a dangerous misstep that results in failure through misalignment of activities, project cancellation, or poor customer service and retention of your newly acquired customers.

7 Product Launch Must-Have Communications

Internal communication is crucial for a successful product launch. Knowing how to segment information to meet the needs of your various audiences is even more crucial. Here’s a list of internal audiences a Product Manager should not overlook and the information they require:

1. Executive Management
Executive support is essential for continued investment in the project. Communicate your strategic direction and reasoning with evidence-based decisions. Anticipate their concerns and proactively address them.

2. Senior Managers
Senior managers hold the power to commit resources to your project or not. Yet senior managers have their department’s priorities and interests at heart. Frequent discussion and negotiation is necessary to get them onboard. Put yourself in their shoes and communicate what’s in it for them.

3. Engineering
Product Managers must rely on an engineering team to implement the product vision. To ensure they’re successful, create requirements documentation they can refer to on a regular basis. Providing written communication also promotes consistency and accountability.

Recommended documentation includes:

  • Business Requirements Document
  • Market Requirements Document
  • Product Requirements Document
  • Functional Specifications Document
4. Marketing

The marketing department can create anticipation and interest in the market so all eyes are watching when you’re ready to launch. Communicate your vision and provide frequent updates so the marketing team can plan and execute pre-launch communications to the industry, prepare sales and channel readiness, conduct launch day activities, and appropriate launch follow-up.

5. Sales

The sales department is your gateway to customers. Without their effort, the product launch will fail. The purpose of communications with this group is to equip the sales team to effectively sell your product and show how you can help them meet their sales goals. Outline the key benefits of the new product and how they correspond to user needs. Explain how the product measures up to the competition and identify desirable prospects.

6. Distributors

If using outside distributors or resellers, your product will need to fight for attention. Provide this audience with a product demonstration and Sales Guide that outlines the market need, benefits, and positioning, as well as frequently asked questions. Having this information in handy documentation shows your respect for their time and interest in their success. 

7. Customer Service
The customer service department needs to be prepared for questions, problems, and complaints.  Since there’s no one individual that know and understand the customers better than the Product Manager, dedicate time to educate the service team on the exact dynamics of real customer situations. Provide input to training so all service personnel are competent in handling customer calls or service requests.

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Topics: Business productivity, product launch