Gartner Blog Network


Make Product Launches Great Again

by Adrian Lee  |  May 9, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

It Doesn’t Sell Itself

Even the most well-designed products can’t sell themselves. It needs help to get to market. It needs an introduction. And it’s time to make product launches great again.

Successful product launches require product managers (PMs) to leverage the insights of product planning and development. PMs must provide products to the market at the right time, through the right sales channels, at the right price, targeting the right customer segment. Success requires support from all stakeholders and the right promotion and messaging to convey the product’s value proposition to potential customers.

So Many Ways to Fail, So Little Time…

The 2019 Gartner Product Manager survey shows that products get to market on time in 55% of all new launches. You heard it right, one of two new tech products are launched late. Even more disturbing, up to 42% of launches that do happen on-time still suffer from product launch failures. In the present epoch of digital product management, product development trends point to increasingly shorter development cycles (via agile methodologies, APIs and linguistic data repositories). A compressed time to launch can, in turn, dramatically increase the points of failure.

While there are plenty of ways to miss the targets set for a new product launch, below are a list of the most common. Product launch failures can include any combination of the following reasons:

  • Lack of formal launch processes
  • Delays in product development
  • Noncompetitive pricing or costing
  • Missed market opportunities
  • Lack of sales enablement or training
  • Failure to meet customer requirements
  • Product quality or supply problems
  • Poor positioning and/or messaging
  • Resources being wasted
  • Creating collateral and sales tools that buyers do not use.

It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Your First or the Nth Product

Whether it’s a startup or experienced product team, EVERY launch is different and must be addressed as such. Product managers need to master and execute the below critical steps in order to ensure success for their launches. Every. Single. Time.

  • Initiate the “launch lead” and team by appointing a launch team leader and mapping out requirements from each participant in a launch schedule.
  • Scope the launch by creating a “baseline” readiness report, cataloging inputs from all functions in the launch team to determine time and scale of launch.
  • Create the launch plan with definitive, measurable goals by utilizing product marketing to produce the marketing collaterals, and promotional plan.
  • Build sales and operational readiness by ensuring sales, support and operational teams are completely trained and have signed off on sales’ start date.
  • Conduct a postlaunch evaluation to learn lessons for future launches by performing a thorough assessment and debrief of launch-related actions.

To learn about product launches and see the new research I’m launching, heads of product teams can read more here.

Additional Resources

Category: product-management  

Tags: product-introduction  product-launch  product-managers  product-marketing  

Adrian Lee
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
15 years IT Industry

Adrian Lee focuses on providing advice and market guidance on the overall personal technology environment, encompassing devices, services, apps and ecosystems. Adrian brings a focus on B2C and B2B2C mobile applications in personal technologies and service provider markets. He advises brand, product marketing, sales leaders and other stakeholders on how to deploy digital advertising, branded content and e-commerce platforms to drive profitable revenue growth. He supports brand management teams on how to navigate disruptive innovation and tools to create best-of-breed user experiences. Read Full Bio




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.