Management of New Product Launches and Other Marketing Projects
By Michael W. Lodato Ph.D.
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In this book is a detailed methodology for planning, arranging, sourcing, orchestrating and controlling projects that are encountered in sales and marketing. The methodology is applied to one of the most difficult challenges in marketing – the launch of new products and services.
Sales and marketing projects
The jobs in sales and marketing are both routine and project type. There is enough important sales and marketing work that is time specific and produces specific products, systems or other deliverables, that it should be managed as a project.
- New product launches, (covered in Chapter 7), where a lot of specific things – including the product, the support program, and promotion – have to be completed by a specific date – the launch target date
- Promotion campaigns, where specific ads, brochures, TV spots, etc. have to be placed by specific dates
- Recruiting of channel partners, where specific agreements need to be signed with specific companies to be business partners within a specific time frame.
- The sale of a specific offering to a specific prospect or customer
Other activity, such as customer support, writing weekly status reports and analysis of the competition, is on-going or routine and so does not require management as projects. It is our conviction that success in performing sales and marketing work is enhanced when formal project management methodology is consistently applied.
Yet not many sales and marketing personnel get exposed to training or guidance in project management and so are ill equipped to perform well on these important tasks. This book has been written to help marketing and sales people develop strong project management capabilities. This is what the reader will find in the rest of this book:
Chapter 2, Management and Management Processes, sets a proper context for performing project management work.
Chapter 3, Project Management, discusses management of projects that are encountered in sales and marketing.
Chapter 4, The Project Planning Process, provides detailed guidance in the planning of marketing and sales projects. It shows how to define the tasks needed to be done, in what sequence and how long each task should take.
Chapter 5, The Project Execution Process, discusses deciding on the proper organization and relationship of resources and processes to achieve the plan objectives, locating and getting all resources and processes needed to achieve the goals, and directing, coordinating, synchronizing, and symphonizing resources in changing and dynamic environments.
Chapter 6, Controlling the Project, discusses measuring and monitoring actual performance and providing direction when expectations are not being met. The discussion covers the concept of control, outlines quality reviews, distinguishes between calendar-driven and event-driven control, and describes time and progress reporting.
Chapter 7, Product Launch Management, details how to apply the previous six chapters to managing new product launches. The reader will get an appreciation of the magnitude of the product launch challenge and will develop a confidence that, with the tools provided, they can overcome these challenges. You will find a very ample list of launch program tasks and see how they are related in work breakdown structures. Further, there is a set of Launch Readiness Checklists and instructions for how to use them to control product launch projects.
At the end of this chapter are guidelines for using the Launch Readiness Checklists methodology as a product launch audit tool.
The book contains all the elements needed to plan, execute and control sales and marketing projects.
Launching a New Product.
One of the most challenging marketing projects is the launching of a new product – the focus of the book. Here are some of the things that must be ready on the launch date:
- The product itself including packaging, documentation and demonstration packages
- Product support, including trained people and tools for customer support
- Broad-based promotion efforts such as print ads, articles and white papers, website use, publicity releases and trade shows.
- Focused promotion efforts such as telemarketing, direct mail and seminars
- Fully trained salespeople to meet sales goals, guided by a sales management process
- A sales support organization ready to handle lead management
- Pricing schedules along with contract terms and conditions
- Marketing intermediaries, such as distributors and resellers, along with a group ready to train and support them
- A company-wide understanding of how customers benefit from the new product and how employees can play a role in the success of the launch
It is the author’s conviction that success in performing marketing and sales work is enhanced when formal project management methodology is consistently applied. So the early chapters provide the reader with perhaps the most clearly articulated project management methodology that can be found anywhere.