Common Product Launch Terms

Announce

The point in time a product is announced to the public. 

Available

(See also GA and LA) - the point in time your product is available to the public. 

Beta 

Typically defines a testing phase for a product where the product is stable enough to share with a limited audience. Beta can also be used to validate Positioning, Unique Value Proposition, and stress test operations. 

Buyer Persona

A fictional representation of the people who are involved in a decision to buy a product or service. The Buyer Persona is developed from factual information about people through interviews and observation. 

 

Buyer's Journey (also Buyer Journey)

The steps buyers take to purchase a product or service. It is much more detailed than a sales process and more expressive of what buyers actually do. Also referred to as the Buying Process.

Buying Center

A group of Customer Profiles (buyer personas) in a Market Segment involved in a decision to buy a product. 

Campaign

A series of connected activities designed to bring about an accelerated result.

 

Competitive Landscape

A summary of all potential competitors (rivals) capable of solving a similar set of customer problems. Used to identify threats and market entry points, develop value propositions, and position a product offering.

Continuous Delivery

A software development practice of pushing new features to a clone of the system which have passed automated testing. Software releases in the clone are ready for manual testing. New features are often delivered with feature flags.

Continuous Deployment

A software development practice of pushing new features into a live system which have passed automated testing. The new features are often deployed with feature flags to allow them to be turned on and off. Depending on the state of the feature flag, new features can be available to all customers or limited to select customers. 

Continuous Integration

A software development practice that merges the code of all developers into one code base. 

Customer Advisory Board (CAB)

Typically a group of customers that provide feedback on company/product direction.

 

Customer Profile

Another term used for a Buyer Persona 

Dark Features

A software development practice of releasing features to a subset of customers. The features can be validated and modified as needed. This group of customers may not know they are being tested (they are "in the dark").

Demo Dolly

A lighthearted term used to describe someone who routinely conducts a demonstration of a product.

Framework

A basic, conceptual structure that provides direction and guidance. E.g., development framework, design framework, testing framework, messaging framework, or go-to-market framework

General Availability (GA)

A term that denotes that a product can be sold and revenue can be recognized. Used widely in the software industry. 

Golden Master (GM)

Borrowed from the days of burning a software product onto a CD or DVD. It's the final version that is released to manufacturing (RTM). 

 

Go-to-Market (GTM)

An umbrella term used to describe the set of activities involved in bringing a new product or new version of a product to market. Some organizations use Go-to-Market and Product Launch interchangeably.

 

Go-to-Market Strategy (GTM Strategy)

The overarching approach (stratagem) taken to introduce a product to market in order to achieve a business goal. Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy requires identifying ideal customer profiles, target market segments, communications channels, partnerships, distribution channels, competitive landscape, business models, and pricing models.

Launch Director

The individual accountable for launch success.

 

Limited Availability (LA)

The state of a product when it can be sold but only to select customers. LA is used to control the delivery of a product and often used to get reference customers in advance of a product launch. 

 

Marketing Asset

An artifact, skill, knowledge, or quality that helps achieve a marketing objective, e.g., increase conversions, educate buyers, or retain customers.

 

Marketing Plan

A strategy document that documents the go-to-market strategy and tactics.

 

Market Position

A place in the minds of potential customers to occupy. It provides a way for potential customers to make a comparison between your product and other products.

 

Market Segment

A group of people who share common needs, common behaviors, common preferences, and reference each other. Market segments refine the focus of development, marketing, and sales efforts to optimize resources for a higher return. Also referred to as a Customer Segment.

 

Messaging

The practice of developing a message potential customers  understand and will respond to in a positive way.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)

An abbreviation for Marketing Qualified Lead. An MQL is a sales lead that meets a set of qualification criteria before handing off to a sales team.

Opportunity

AKA Sales Opportunity. It's a potential customer that has expressed interest in your product or service. 

 

Positioning

The practice of developing a 'position' in the minds of buyers. More commonly positioning refers to the process of connecting a potential customer's needs and preferences with the strengths of an organization (people and product) to get them to take action. 

 

Pricing

The practice of defining and evaluating pricing models.

 

Product Launch

A coordinated effort to bring a product to market that accelerates business objectives. Not to be confused with a product release.

 

Product Management

The discipline of moving successful products through a life cycle from idea to creation to growth. Titles in this discipline include product manager, offer manager, product marketing manager, and many other clever derivatives.

 

Product Marketing

The discipline of bringing a product or service to market to achieve a stated business goal. Product marketing includes developing a go-to-market (GTM) strategy, positioning, making the market aware of a product offering, pricing, packaging, preparing the sales team, and launching the product. 

 

Release

A version of a product completed by the Development team. In the software world releases are frequent, but don't always require a launch. For hard goods a release is associated with a new model of product and the frequency is far less than software. 

Release to Manufacturing (RTM)

A term used to indicate when a product is complete and ready to take to market. 

 

Roadmap

A strategy document that results from a roadmapping exercise. Often erroneously considered a commitment document by everyone outside the product team. (from Under10 Playbook)

 

Roadmapping

The planning practice for identifying and sequencing product capabilities, markets opportunities, and events. (from Under10 Consulting)

 

Sales Enablement

The practice of preparing and verifying a sales team is capable of guiding a qualified sales prospect through a decision to buy a product. This includes infrastructure, methods, process, knowledge, and tools. 

 

Sales Engineer

A role that provides technical pre-sales support. Often abbreviated to SE. A sales engineer has deeper knowledge of a product than a salesperson and is the technical expert in the field. 

 

Sales Funnel

A common representation, the graphic of a funnel, of a sales process from lead to the close of a sale. 

Scrum

"Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value." Go to the SCRUM website for details. 

 

Show Up and Throw Up

A term used to describe a presentation or a demonstration of a product where the prospect's problems are not known or taken into consideration.

Spray and Pray

A marketing practice that employs unfocused methods in an attempt to find a qualified lead. Companies employing 'Spray and Pray' spend a lot of money and have a low return on investment (ROI). 

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

An SQL is a sales lead that has been accepted by a sales team and appears as a Sales Opportunity. (not to be confused with Structured Query Language). 

Unique Value Proposition

AKA Unique Selling Proposition. The unique, differentiated thing you offer your customers. It's what sets your company or product apart from the competition. 

Value Proposition

A promise made to potential customers to address a need they care about.