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Product launch playbook

Launch a product using RACE planning to structure your marketing activities

How will this playbook help me and my business?

This playbook will guide you through the process of how to successfully launch your product online, mapping each of the activities you need to complete to our RACE Planning framework. We'll give you a roadmap for success as you carry out preliminary research and define your success factors before utilizing earned, owned, and paid media to make your product a success.

What is a marketing playbook?

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

The concept is based on the idea of playbooks in sports like American football and baseball. The coach compiles a selection of different offensive and defensive techniques their team can be deploy in different situations to help beat the opposition.

In marketing, SEO is fiercely competitive with multiple competitors and many best practices which vary through time. The larger the team in marketing, the more important it is to have an agreed approach which everyone in team follows including different agencies working with the 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 for, Reach, Act with, Convert, and Engage an audience. For this playbook, the framework is broken down into 25 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.

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)

Latest updates

This playbook was updated in December 2019 with links through to 18 new resources throughout the activities of the RACE Planning framework, including our latest Quick Wins, guides, and templates.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Jonathan Gabay, Dr Dave Chaffey and Pat Pruchnickyj
  • Format: Downloadable PDF

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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