If you have ever been involved in the creation and launch of a media product—whether it be a new recording or a website or a book or a newspaper column—you’ve probably dealt with a scenario that looks something like this:
This simple outline glosses over a lot of small steps, but the basic structure can be found in all kinds of media ventures and product launches, both large and small. It distills the following processes:
- Creators have an idea (or the creators’ managers have an idea).
- Resources allocated/development timeline created
- Internal feedback/refinement
- Marketing plan/launch date set.
- Production wraps up.
More often than not, the product itself is kept under wraps until the launch. Audiences never see or experience it until the day it is unveiled. If any improvements are made in response to post-launch audience feedback, it typically takes place after the initial launch—if ever.
And that’s a problem. Teams can make elaborate plans and spend lots of time and money developing something that audiences are supposed to like. However, the true test doesn’t come until the end of the process when it’s released to the world. If it doesn’t work? There may be some low-hanging fruit that can help put the product on the right track. But for some types of media, it may be too late or too hard to fix it.