Avoid these marketing pitfallsLaunching a new product or service can bring out the best—or the worst—in an organization. From cost overruns to development delays, the process of innovation is ripe with obstacles.

Make sure your marketing efforts stay on track by watching out for these issues.

Marketing Don’ts:

(1)    Overpromise. A launch means pressure to build a sales pipeline long before the product debuts, but don’t paint yourself into a corner with pre-launch sales tools and marketing messages. Be cautious about including feature names, screen shots, pricing and other details too early in published materials. Instead, sell your vision for the product and leave the specifics for verbal discussions.

(2)    Underestimate your needs. New products and new market entries are two of the most taxing projects for marketing. Do your due diligence and set appropriate expectations; your first year efforts will require substantially more resources than a typical project.

(3)    Skimp on naming. A name is like a tattoo. You’re going to have it for a long time, and it’s complicated, expensive and painful to change. Don’t leave something this important to an employee contest. Hire a professional and find a moniker that has staying power and panache.

(4)    Guess what the market needs. Don’t rely on developers, documentation or third-hand stories to figure out your marketing approach. Get to the source by visiting your audience and hearing firsthand about their needs. Build time into your launch planning for site visits and testing your product positioning.

(5)    Get too technical too early. Yes, features matter. But how your product works only becomes important once your audience knows it can solve their problems. Tell your story so the big picture benefits always get top billing—no matter how much the engineers push to feature the functionality.

(6)    Forget the influencers. From IT to analysts, bloggers to past employees, social media gives everyone a platform. Identify and reach out to those who can champion your solution, with messages that speak to their role and area of expertise.

Ready to move forward? Read the companion post, “Six marketing essentials for a successful product launch.”