Despite its challenges, the creation of an effective global launch framework and process offers great rewards. Organizations who demonstrate best practices enjoy improved alignment and support, increased product recognition, market share, and revenue in international markets. Leaders who have mastered an effective launch system show particular strengths in planning, communication, organization, and delivery. We are happy to share the top ten best practices from our Global Launch Survey participants as follows:
1. Ensure Early Planning
“Allocate sufficient time and planning, then process will follow”. The global launch plan provides a clear vision and roadmap to facilitate execution by cross-functional and cross-regional teams. The creation of the global launch plan also provides the opportunity to engage teams worldwide. Ensure early input from key functional and country teams who will drive global and local marketing, communication, and sales readiness activities.
2. Organize a Dedicated Resource
“You really need a dedicated global launch manager”. The global launch effort demands a champion that can secure organizational commitment, manage communications and relationships across cultures, and drive project results. In addition to multidisciplinary and cross-cultural skills, the global launch manager needs to design and drive consistent systems needed for aligning the organization and ensuring business results worldwide.
3. Build an Efficient System and Process
“Create systems and tools to automate the process and make it more consistent for regions”. Consistency is a recurrent theme from concept to execution. In addition to the launch plan, the system and process require a global standard with flexibility for local application. A scaleable and repeatable life cycle process with consistent systems and tools creates improved understanding, accountability, and performance for meeting launch objectives.
4. Develop a Global Network
”To be a multimillion global workforce you need to reflect the face of the customer”. While it’s important to get global input, you also need to assemble a diverse, global team that can cover all aspects of launch and key touch points. Expand your international knowledge base through a capable team with international experience and understanding of international requirements.
5. Create Effective Communication Strategy
“Cultural differences and nuances place more emphasis on effective communications during a global launch”. When communicating around the world, you’ll need to ensure that you can align teams and manage time zones effectively. In order to maximize awareness, interest, and participation in the global launch, it’s important to develop a communication strategy that will engage team members in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.
6. Capture Organizational Commitment
“Ensure understanding company-wide”. The active involvement and support of cross-functional and cross-regional teams is essential for ensuring global launch success. In achieving objectives, the sponsorship and support of the executive team plays a critical role in strategic planning and issue resolution. This provides an effective launch pad for securing company-wide participation and commitment.
7. Leverage International Customers
“Leverage beta programs and global customer references”. Early involvement and use of international customers in beta programs, customer references, and case studies helps country teams accelerate sales. In order to turn launch awareness into international revenue, promote customer communication and relationship management on local and regional levels.
8. Focus on Local Market Needs
“Ensure timely delivery with material that meets local market needs”. A cross-cultural perspective and local market understanding is needed when delivering effective sales and customer communication tools. Aside from creating a consistent format for internal and external launch material, customization should be based on local product and customer needs.
9. Enable Local Sales Readiness
“Customize content and delivery media for regions”. When ensuring sales readiness globally, it’s important to create content integration, management commitment, and enforcement of local sales training objectives. When targeting local training needs and resources, make sure to secure commitment from product, marketing, and sales teams for content creation and delivery.
10. Manage Post-Launch Momentum
“Keep teams going post-launch to capture results”. The product launch does not conclude when the worldwide announcement is made. In order to fully capture sales results and measure market success, launch objectives need to be measured against localization and delivery of products and marketing campaigns throughout the product life cycle.