by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Marketers have lots of analogies for initiating a product or service: it feels like giving birth, or sending your kid off to school for the first time, or launching a ship and hoping it won’t be the Titanic. If you’ve ever designed and promoted a completely new wellness program, you know what they mean. 

Here are 5 keys to increase your chance of a successful experience instead:

  • Get everyone in on it. Develop strategies to involve all those affected by the service — staff, clients, management, receptionists, other departments, supervisors, custodians — from conceptualization through evaluation. Create a grid with Players along one axis, and Roles along the other.
  • Clarify your vision. Make sure everyone gets the same message on goals, action plans, deadlines, outcomes, etc. And don’t rely on team members to read and know a product launch plan, even if they helped create it. Review plans individually or in small groups to ensure understanding and cement buy-in.
  • Build on what you know. Good recordkeeping and analysis of past launches allow you to avoid reinventing the wheel. Be careful, however, of falling into a “that’s the way it’s always been done” trap. You’ll still need continuous innovation in design, marketing, and delivery.
  • Define and measure success. We’ve all been guilty of saying “The employees really liked it” in response to the question of success. While satisfaction is a legitimate measure, without outlining and tracking the who, what, and why behind it, you won’t have much to build on for your next launch. Outline all success indicators, attach a goal to each, then track your progress. 
  • Use resources wisely. Trying to do it all yourself is not only exhausting, it’s probably foolish and will contribute to a less than successful program. Do what you do well, then borrow, trade, or pay for the other skills you need.

Launching a new wellness service isn’t rocket science; much of this advice you probably know. Yet, admit it — all too often you ignore what you know in the rush to get the program out there, then either abandon the idea when it doesn’t pan out or downplay the significance of low interest or participation. Take the time to work through all 5 keys and you’ll have greater success as well as easier, faster, more efficient launches in the future.

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