Skip to main content

How to Successfully Launch B2B Products and Services

A new survey produced by Schneider Associates and the Center for Business Innovation at Babson College details some very interesting findings on what makes for a successful B2B product or service launch. The free report, entitled Business-to-Business Launch Survey, profiles the ten key lessons B2B companies can use to improve their odds for launch success. The study investigated effective product and service launches to help B2B product and service managers improve their launch practices and success rate.

Among the most interesting findings in the study (and keep in mind, these are the successful launches):
  • Just 22% of B2B services companies and 37% of product vendors followed a formal, documented launch process—though another third of each group said they used "a general, undocumented repeatable process."

  • Planning most commonly started anywhere from three to 12 months before launch—though nearly 40% of B2B product companies didn't get started until within three months of the planned launch. Correspondingly, about 30% of respondents said they would change launch timing for their next release.

  • Product companies were four times more likely than service firms to use an outside PR firm to assist with their launch. Not surprisingly then, nearly 30% of service launchers expressed an interest in improving their PR campaigns, compared to about half that percentage for product firms.

  • Roughly a quarter of respondents—the largest group—considered their launch process "complete" once the first commercial sale was made. Another 20% placed called the process complete six months after the first sale, while about 10% said the launch process continued through the first year after initial sales.

  • Astoundingly, a third of respondents hadn't established a specific launch budget, and 18% didn't even know if there had been a budget established! In addition, 42% of B2B product companies didn't know the percentage of their overall marketing departmental budget was dedicated to launch activities.

  • Among the companies that did set a launch budget, more than half established this budget during the product or service development phase.

  • Just 16% of B2B service providers used an external PR, advertising or digital agency as part of the launch process; 40% of product companies included outside firms.

  • While a number of metrics were used to measure launch success, "achieving sales targets" was by far the most common measure, cited by nearly 60% of service providers and 70% of product companies.

  • "Sales force preparation" was identified as the most important contributing factor to launch success, followed by word-of-mouth and online campaigns. Word-of-mouth promotion was fostered by press releases and articles, webinars, and customer seminars and testimonials. Nearly half "were happy with their Internet-based activities."

  • Three things you probably didn't need a survey to tell you: 1) nearly 40% of respondents (the largest single group) said that if they could change one thing next time around, they'd want a bigger budget. 2) "Launch delays are almost inevitable." 3) New-to-the-world products and services have greater launch impact than line extensions, upgrades or copy-cat offerings.

There's lots more. To improve the success of your next B2B service or product launch, check out this study. Finally (being an agency type) my favorite quote from the report:

"Having the right marketing professionals participate in designing your launch from the start is critical. It's worth noting that nearly all the factors B2B launchers in our survey chose as being most important to their success are best handled by a marketing communications firm."


Contact Mike Bannan:


Popular posts from this blog

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Hello March!

It is finally March! What will be your marketing strategy for this new month?!