Three Secrets to Running a Successful Product-Launch Campaign

Three Secrets to Running a Successful Product-Launch Campaign

Not long ago, we ran a successful tease and launch campaign for Tadano America Corporation. While I can’t reveal the actual numbers, suffice it to say that it was the most successful campaign we’ve ever run, especially when using the only metric that truly matters: number of product orders placed.

As part of our internal retrospective, which we perform after every project, we unpacked each of the reasons why we believe this campaign worked as well as it did.

You probably won’t be surprised to know that it was the strategy, not just the creative, that gave this campaign the edge that it needed. Here’s how we thought about it, and how you might think about it the next time you launch a product.

Set a primary goal that you won’t deviate from. No matter what. And set a secondary and tertiary goal as well.  

In the case of Tadano, our primary goal—what you might call our North Star—was the number of product orders placed. From the very beginning, we knew this goal, so everything we did was in service of achieving it. The way that we segmented the audience, the creative we developed, the marketing tactics we deployed—each of these were considered through the lens of fulfilling a certain number of product sales.

Our secondary and tertiary goals were general brand awareness from unaware prospects and to educate the existing audience. While these were both awareness goals, we viewed them as separate, because the corresponding personas we built were each in a different phase of the marketing funnel.

Identify and articulate whether you have one marketing problem to solve, or more than one.

Our early strategy work allowed us to understand that we were facing two marketing challenges from the start. One, customers didn’t know about these new truck cranes. And two, when they ultimately would find out about them, they wouldn’t necessarily know why they should care unless we specifically told them. 

Knowing this early on allowed us to reframe the problem into two “How might we…” questions, which is an effective design-thinking technique, the answers to which would give us the overarching campaign approach. 

The questions we used were:

  • How might we create awareness and anticipation for a soon-to-be-introduced product?
  • How might we empower crane buyers to quickly understand the benefits of owning a Tadano truck crane?
When deciding on your approach, appeal to both emotion and logic.

I’ve written about the importance of combining logic and emotion before, so you might be familiar with this idea, but in Tadano’s case, we set out to use emotion and logic in very particular ways, which we codified in these two campaign purpose statements.

  • Use excitement, emotion, and anticipation to spark a reaction that people will remember.
  • Appeal to logic by educating people about the myriad ways Tadano truck cranes will improve their work (and life).

By doing this at the beginning of the project—and by keeping our sensibilities trained on the campaign North Star—we were able to bring the creative team together to build messaging and designs that weren’t just clever, but were laser-focused on our overall sales objective.


The next time you and your team get ready to launch a product, or embark upon a campaign, keep these three points in mind. 

While we can’t promise it will be the most successful campaign of your life, we know that it will be better and more effective, and you and your team will be better—and smarter— for it.

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