Don’t Just Ship It, Launch It

Software launches used to be a big deal. They required cross functional teams, big project plans, and meetings–lots of meetings. But those days are behind us now. We’re in the cloud. We’re Agile. We embrace change, deploy often, and “just ship it.” But what have we lost in exchange?

The product launch and the marketing opportunities it offers.

Deploying is Not Launching

Even established SaaS companies can neglect their go-to-market (GTM) strategies for ongoing development because the drive to “just ship it” is strong. The situation is worse in startups that lack marketing resources and need to have viable product in the market quickly. And there are some real costs to neglecting to launch innovative features as they are deployed.

Software launches are your opportunity to:

  • Differentiate your product in the market
  • Show innovation for your brand
  • Communicate benefits to users and manage change
  • Build excitement among your clients and employees
  • Create sales opportunities and ready your sales team

And these are just the beginning. What if your new features require pricing and packaging changes? Won’t they need codes in your CRM? What about contract or EULA changes? All of this work is managed efficiently with a strong GTM process and the way to build one is through investing in marketing.

GTM Won’t Slow You Down

An effective GTM strategy requires a unified approach to the product roadmap and identifies features and capabilities that require launch activities without disrupting the deployment schedule or the overall rate of innovation. I tend to favor a three-tiered approach and I plan to demonstrate how to implement such a GTM practice in future posts, so please subscribe below if you don’t want to miss them.

A key principle of Agile software development states, “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project,” but unless your organization is set up to support this interaction, it isn’t likely to happen. As more organizations learn this lesson, the GTM function is back in the spotlight and this is a golden age for product marketers with strong SaaS experience.