Guides and Templates

Product launch playbook

Launch a product using RACE planning to structure your marketing activities

How will this guide help me and my business?

This playbook will guide you through the process of how to successfully launch your product online. It considers how to avoid common pitfalls encountered when launching a product and how to promote your online launch. These pitfalls commonly involve missed opportunities to reach or persuade your audience through the customer lifecycle.

What is a Marketing Playbook?

A marketing playbook defines the key messages, types of communications, best practices and optimisation techniques that should be used to maximise return-on-investment for different marketing objectives.

The concept is based on the idea of Playbooks in sports like American Football and Baseball where the coach agrees different attacking and defensive techniques with their team which can be deployed in different situations to help win against their opposition. In marketing, media is fiercely competitive with multiple competitors and many communications techniques which vary through time. The larger the team in marketing, the more important it is to have an agreed approach which everyone in the team follows including any external agencies working with the business.

What our product launch playbook shows you

Playbooks help a business make the most of the opportunities of today’s marketing communications opportunities by approaching each in the most effective way by considering:

  1. Investment priorities and best practices for communications. Which types of communications, best practices and optimisation techniques should be used to maximise return-on-investment depending on marketing objectives?
  2. Audience media use. Insight on how consumers or businesses adopt, interact and respond to different communications channels.
  3. Communications orchestration. How to plan, resource and define workflows for campaigns and execution.
  4. Goal setting and measurement. How to set objectives and evaluate the channel with relevant KPIs.
  5. Integration of activities. How to maximise impact in campaigns through the consistent and integrated use of media channels.
  6. Marketing technology and data. Which technologies and tools can support planning, measurement and execution of the various techniques that are available?

Who is this guide for?

This guide is aimed at marketers responsible for defining the product messaging and involved with managing and implementing the communications activities around the product launch. It may also be useful for others in the business who are closely involved in the product development, but are less familiar with the communications around the launch. These include:

  • Product marketers and managers
  • Brand managers
  • Business owners and CEOs (in a smaller business)

How is the playbook structured?

We already have many templates and guides on campaign planning in our planning toolkit, but these focus on communications, not an end-to-end new product development (NPD) and launch. This guide focuses on the messaging and communications needed to launch the new product successfully rather than the research and development related to NPD.

To provide a comprehensive coverage of all the marketing activities shown in the visual needed to reach and nurture the audience for your product, this guide is based on our RACE planning framework. You may know this as five parts explaining how to Plan – Reach – InterAct – Convert and Engage an audience. For this Playbook, the framework is broken down into 25 more detailed activities for you to review in a checklist format. For each of these 25 activities there we recommend specific actions to take and resources and tools giving more details.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Jonathan Gabay, Dave Chaffey and Pat Pruchnickyj
  • Last updated: October 2017
  • Format: 30 page Playbook with actionable and practical checklists and tables

About the authors

Jonathan Gabay 

Jonathan Gabay

Jonathan Gabay is a digital marketing polymath. Author of 15 books, he advises some of the world’s most formidable brands on creative brand strategy, crisis management and business psychology. His involvement in travel includes having worked with British Airways, Colony Holidays, P&0 cruises and other respected brands.

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Pat Pruchnickyj

Pat PruchnickyjPat Pruchnickyj has worked as a sales & marketing leader for over 25 years’ helping to deliver diverse technology based solutions to global organisations across a wide range of industries. He has extensive experience of marketing digital products for tech start-ups and established vendors, successfully launching many new products to the market. He is skilled at creating compelling product messaging for engaging sales and marketing campaigns. Connect to Pat on LinkedIn.


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