5 Important Steps of Launching a New Tech Product (Part 2)
Article by Darlyn Okojoie, Tech entrepreneur (Image: iStock)
As a continuation to part 1 of the article “5 Important Steps of Launching a New Tech Product,” we will look into the final steps that are crucial to launching a new tech product.
As noted in part 1, knowing how to create a successful product launch strategy from development to launch, promotion, and delivery to users is as important as the tech idea itself. The reason for this is that we have seen great ideas fail due to poor market entry strategies. Hence, the need to share some steps for launching a new tech product to assist founders, creators, and developers in increasing the chances of their product’s market success.
Here are the final 5 crucial steps in launching a new tech product that we have tested with Memo.Africa and recommend that every founder should consider to increase their chances of success:
1). Build anticipation for your product by pre-marketing
Creating teasers, disclosing some features of the product bit by bit, and creating strategic product awareness to build anticipation for the product before launching it cannot be overemphasized. When you build anticipation among your audience by promoting the product before launching it, it helps to create more dominant brand awareness in the market and ultimately drives sales for the new product when it eventually hit the market.
Building anticipation includes; creating a landing page, an email campaign for signups, reaching out to a journalist, bloggers and industry influencers, engaging in PR and advertising etc.
2). Build a solid supply chain or seamless distribution channel
Aside from taking inventory of your products and ensuring you have enough to meet demand when you eventually launch them, you must also ensure you establish a manageable supply chain or distribution channel for this product. Work closely with your vendors and distributors, and ask them what their maximum capacity is for how many units they can provide at one time. This initial response from customers will determine how to scale production if your product launch yields more demand than supply.
3). Network and share your product with your target audience
Now that you are getting closer to the launch date, ensure you stick to it to avoid having to inform the media, customers, vendors, or anyone involved, of any changes. Use every opportunity you have, both online and offline, to talk about your product. Promote the new product with all the available media tools and encourage your contacts to spread the news.
Go all out at this, sell your brand, and make sure you get the public’s attention on every platform available. For example, set a countdown on social media to herald the eventual launch of your new tech product.
4). Reach out to the press post-launch
Take your audience on a journey from inception to production to commerce using the media. People love to hear the origin story of a great product, especially if it has an interesting story, and you deploy the media both from a personal platform and through paid media.
Concerning the paid media outfits, once you have launched your product, and good reviews and feedback start rolling in, reach out to the various media outlets that covered your story pre-launch and ask them to share an update.
From the personal brand point, use your platform to post your story on any of our social media channels. Your audience wants to hear that inspiring product story of yours. This help to create a connection between your product and your customers.
5). Consider and prepare for public feedback and reviews post-launch
After the launch, brace yourself for customer reviews. No matter how successfully you have introduced your product to the world, public perception of your brand can be brutal if your organization delivered below expectations.
In the case of a negative review, be empathetic and always respond politely and provide a short-term solution to address the consumer’s immediate concerns and a long-term solution to ensure future customers won’t encounter the same issues. You command more respect for your brand when you respond as soon as possible to any question raised by the target audience.
Telkom Partners with Clickatell to Launch Mobile Messaging Payments in South Africa
Telkom, South Africa’s largest integrated communications company has partnered with Clickatell, the Chat Commerce and business messaging leader to launched their Chat 2 Pay feature. Telkom’s millions of customers can now make payments in WhatsApp, the country’s largest chat channel. Responding to the growing demand for fast, digital, self-help services, Telkom now deploys to its customers the Chat 2 Pay pay-by-link capability in WhatsApp, providing them with the convenience of safe and effortless mobile payments. Telkom post-paid and prepaid customers can pay their phone and xDSL/fibre bills, and buy airtime, data and SMS bundles by simply sending “Hi” on WhatsApp to 0811 601 700.
Currently, Telkom’s chatbot offers customers mobile support by accessing their accounts and billing information, plus allows them to view sales deals, check for mobile or fibre upgrades, do cancellations, make directory inquiries and more. With the addition of Chat 2 Pay, customers benefit from a convenient and personalized service to pay bills and VAS top-ups via Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards.
“User behaviour has shifted, and organizations are relying more and more on digital channels for revenue generation. But, asking customers to make payments through a different channel creates a break in the customer journey and challenges companies to convert sales,” said Werner Lindemann, Clickatell’s Senior Vice President Enterprise Sales, Growth Markets. “Payments in chat give telcos the tools they need to help their customers complete payments simply and safely in the channel they already know and trust, significantly boosting customer experience and revenue.”
With Chat 2 Pay, the payment process is exceptionally simple. Telkom customers can transact by simply making a menu selection to trigger a payment request. A link is then sent to the customer in a WhatsApp message. When they click on the link, they access a fully hosted checkout page. The customer then can securely enter payment details and submit, receiving a confirmation of the payment and receipt in a chat message.
“Telkom continues to look at ways to advance our customers’ digital experiences, and our digital channels are core for future delivery,” said Gugu Mthembu, CMO at Telkom. “Chat 2 Pay helps us optimize our payment channels and payment collection. What’s more, the ease of and availability of VAS services is expected to further boost revenue opportunities.”
“With 93% of conversations transpiring on Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Platform and ending in a transaction, Chat Commerce, including Chat 2 Pay, is especially relevant for telcos that are looking for new revenue channels and better efficiencies. Chat Commerce doesn’t just respond to your customers’ needs, it fulfills many of your shareholders’ needs too,” said Lindemann.
Fawry partners with My Fatoorah to provide FawryPay reference code service
Fawry, the leading company in the field of banking technology and electronic payments, celebrated the signing of a cooperation agreement with ‘My Fatoorah’, the leading provider of online payment services in the GCC region, in order to provide FawryPay reference code service for My Fatoorah‘s customers and merchants in the Egyptian market. The agreement was signed in the presence of Mr. Bassem Lotfy, Head of Acceptance at ‘Fawry’, and Bola Saad, ‘My Fatoorah’ Country Manager.
The cooperation comes in light of the increasing demand in the Egyptian market among users towards electronic payment solutions and options, which have become an integral part of citizens’ lives, coinciding with the digital transformation and financial inclusion that the world is witnessing in the recent period, as well as merchants’ awareness of the need to enhance their electronic services to customers.
‘Fawry’ works to support and enhance the operations of electronic payment companies that seek to enter the payments market in Egypt. It also works hand in hand with regional investments towards advancing the economy, in addition to Fawry’s continuous efforts towards supporting and enhancing the payments market through an innovative and new package in the field of banking technology and high-level technologies in the field of electronic payment, which would develop the digital economy.
Bassem Lotfy, Head of Acceptance at Fawry, said: “We are very pleased to cooperate with ‘My Fatoorah’, as it specializes in providing a wide range of electronic payment solutions at the regional level, which in turn will enrich the payments market with many advanced services and technologies in terms of digital payment solutions”. He also indicated that this cooperation confirms Fawry’s interest in supporting and developing companies in order to advance the digital payments market”.
Bola Saad, My Fatoorah Country Manager, said: “Based on its leading role in the field of banking services and financial technology, we chose ‘Fawry’ to use one of their distinguished services by paying via FawryPay reference code, which makes it easier for merchants and the public to have multiple payment options suitable for all categories.
He added: ” Therefore, our partnership today represents an exceptional opportunity to support and accelerate the growth of all our businesses in the Egyptian payments market, especially since’ Fawry’ has a wide spread in the Egyptian market.
African fintech Paycode on a winning streak
Biometric identity and digital payments fintech, Paycode, has been selected as one of the Top 4 Finalists in the Women’s World Banking Fintech Innovation Challenge and will be competing live at the 2023 Making Finance Work for Women Summit in Mumbai in May. Selected from a pool of 98 highly qualified applicants across 34 countries, Paycode were judged based on rigorous criteria by an expert Advisory Committee that evaluated several factors, including product innovation, gender inclusivity, financial viability, scale potential, team experience and diversity.
Speaking about the Challenge, Marina Dimova, Global Head of Financial Industry and Network Advocacy for Women’s World Banking said, “Fintech founders develop new solutions when they see an unmet need or an underserved community, and low-income women are absolutely an underserved community. By calling on fintech innovators from around the world and inviting them to present their best ideas at the Fintech Innovation Challenge, we aim to advance women’s financial inclusion and scale growth. We look forward to seeing our finalists presenting their exciting solutions live in India this May, bringing us closer to achieving an inclusive economy for all.”
The announcement builds on Paycode’s winning streak which started in May 2022 in Mozambique after winning the Mondato Award for Digital Finance Innovation. This was followed by the UK-based Payments Association Pay360 Award where Paycode won Best Financial Inclusion Payments Initiative. Paycode was then named 2nd Runner Up in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge in October 2022 in Togo and a Top 10 Semifinalist in the Women’s World Banking Fintech Innovation Challenge in December.
The common theme across all the competitions was the need for robust financial inclusion solutions that serve people living in deep rural areas. In Africa alone, almost one billion people cannot access basic financial services due to lack of identity, lack of connectivity, and high fees. Paycode’s biometric identity and digital payments solution works offline in real-time, overcoming these barriers to financial inclusion.
Paycode CEO, Gabe Ruhan, commented, “Paycode is delighted to be a Finalist in the Women’s World Banking Fintech Innovation Challenge and we look forward to presenting our solution to the judges at the Making Finance Work for Women Summit in Mumbai later this year. We are proud to be recognised as a leading fintech in Africa, and we look forward to building on our success to drive financial inclusion for millions through our world-class digital identity and payments solution.”