Strategy for a Product Launch – Learning Management System – Part 1

One of the mega challenges for any product manager is to create a great product that satisfies all the internal audiences from designers, developers, testers, upper management, marketers and resonates with the needs of external audience (customers who are going to pay for it). As a product manager, you have seen the time when your developer swipe last trickling drops of sweat off her forehead, and your tester breathes his first sigh of relief, your marketer and graphic designer get down to work on developing and tweaking all the marketing collateral you need for the launch, and you finally think its time to lift the veil off your product and let the potential customers marvel at its beauty. However, your product is more than just well-oiled lines of code or marketing collateral, its an experience, it is the satisfaction the consumer will get as they will utilize it. The degree of this satisfaction is directly related to the value your product brings in the day-to-day life of its consumers, and while your job as product manager is to maximize this value, at the same time, you will also be responsible for increasing the value of your product for internal audience, which is mostly the revenue your product brings in.
In this case study we will be examining the variables related to a product launch and laying down the strategic framework for launching a Learning Management System, and analyzing different distribution models for the product.
We will start our examination by asking key questions we think are important as they correspond to a successful product launch for a Learning Management System and put the product on the path to maximizing value for internal audience (revenue) and external audience (satisfaction)
Note: – This case study is divided into five parts, Part 1 will focus on Question 1. In Part 2 we will focus on Question 2. Part 3 will be focused on Question 3 and 4. Part 4 will answer Question 5. And Part 6 will contain the Problem / Product fit matrix.

Key Questions:

1. How are we acquiring the users? (the channels)
2. How does the distribution model look like?
3. How are we converting a free trial account into a paying contract?
4. How are we going to increase in-app user engagement
5. What is our competition profile?
6. What is our Problem / Product fit?

Part 1

The Channels ( How are we acquiring users? )

The strategy to implement a right channel mix can take different approaches, in our case, we will consider the channels most appropriate to our product which is a Learning Management System (LMS), and we will lay down the steps to implement each approach.


  • User Acquisition through cross-institution interaction
  1. Creating a community (In-App forums)
  2. Creating a Content Exchange Platform
  • Trade shows and conferences.
  • Digital Marketing / Growth Hacking (SEO, Social, Content)
  • Business Relations and Partnerships

1. User Acquisition through cross-institution interaction

For a Learning Management System, the platform can have the ability to let an institution that has a paid subscription to share classes and courses with other institutions. In the same manner, this ability can be extended to sharing course structures, curriculum designs, and learning objects (videos, ppts, pdfs, blogs, wikis, articles etc). This essentially creates two use cases where one institution is sharing an object in a class with other institutions and the other institutions are accessing that shared object.

Then to improve the Free:Paid account ratio, the full advanced access to platform’s features can be locked for the free accounts with an option to switch to a paid account, the advance user functionalities such as creating content on the platform, creating and publishing classes, editing the shared content to fit the unique needs of an institutions, to be able to install apps from the LMS marketplace and to add some of the more sophisticated abilities of the LMS such as adaptive recommendations, student profiling, degree and course recommendations, social, discussion boards, grade-book, etc can be restored for that account.

Steps for implementation:

Step 1:

The user count can be increased on Learning Management System platform by requiring the institutions which are accessing the object to create an account on the LMS platform first.

All the institutions which are currently using the LMS in the capacity to only access the content shared by current customers can be prompted to create user accounts.

Step 2:

A conversation forum must be built within the application where the current users with admin privileges from each institution can interact with each other to discuss curriculum design and other academic and education related theories and best practices.

1. This will encourage the increased use of the application.

2. It will direct the attention of free account holders to some of the advanced features of the LMS platform as they interact with paid account holders who are already using the LMS platform for its full capabilities.

The paid account holders can also trigger free subscriptions to convert into paid subscriptions as it will make it easier for the institution who are fully subscribed to the LMS to collaborate with other institutions (Collaboration functionality will only be offered to paid subscriptions)

The paid account holders can also trigger free subscriptions to convert into paid subscriptions as it will make it easier for the institution who are fully subscribed to the LMS to collaborate with other institutions (Collaboration functionality will only be offered to paid subscriptions)

Please refer to the matrix below for the list of features that may be accessed by free account holders:

2. Trade Shows and Conferences


Please refer to the matrix below for the list of features that may be accessed by free account holders:Educause is an organization that hosts a trade show for technology companies that serve education industry, offering a special discount for startups in EdTech market. This conference will feature many industry-recognized speakers and provide us with an opportunity to get an exposure of the market and interact with schools that can be potential opportunities in the future to follow.

Plus this conference can also be a good avenue for getting the word about our new LMS out in the EdTech space and get media attention.

Steps for implementation:

Register the company for the “Startup” Alley program (Educause)

Get our designers on board for designing Brochures, Banners, Cards, etc.

3. Digital Marketing / Growth Hacking (SEO, Social, Content)


Social Media is a powerful channel to attract prospective customers while launching our product.

The goal for implementing a social media strategy is to:

  1. Demonstrate Thought Leadership that exists within the company through blogs and vlogs.
  2. Create a community of followers who are excited about our company’s news, product, features and what our product stands for. (Branding)
  3. Use SEO to turn visitors into likers, followers and readers of our blog (Create awareness)
  4. Use our media contacts or services like or PRweb to get media attention for Product’s launch.
  5. Use youtube (second largest search engine) to make explainer videos that demonstrate important concepts, ideas and functionalities of our LMS’ unique features and educate our potential customers.

Steps for implementation:

First, Identify the belief system we want to talk to:

Identify Influencers.

  • Make a list of all the Tweeters, Bloggers and Facebookers who are actively talking about EdTech and related topics
  • Make the list of all the hashtags which are trending on twitter in Education and EdTech.

Engage the influencers.

  • Engage in active, interesting and intellectual conversations with the influencers and continue to build trust and nurture that relationship.

Introduce our story.

  • Listen to what influencers are saying, Introduce the idea of our story around that
  • Create the list of Keywords.
  • Implement keyword strategy
  • Produce the content (blogs, infographics, videos) around our keyword strategy
  • Start drawing a clearer picture of our product’s purpose through conversations, active following of Edtech leaders and staying on top of and communicating what’s going on in EdTech.
  • Leverage all the connections and contacts in other technology communities and invite them to be a part of our product’s purpose and community.

Long term

  • Have a software/analytics package in place to track and engage in conversations happening around our product’s brand and also to provide valuable feedback.

For an example of how we can use social media and other digital channels to build a community around our product please refer to this short Case Study

4. Business Relations and Partnerships

Our LMS platform can be developed to integrate with the existing technology that can be useful in pedagogy for the professors who are using the LMS. Adobe’s Connect Platform, which is a live virtual classroom solution can be used for engaging students who are enrolled in blended or online learning option, hence the opportunity to be listed as a partner on Adobe Connect’s website page and the potential to tap into the Adobe Connect’s already established client base.
In next part of this series we will focus on the distribution model for our LMS Application, what are the financial implications associated with each model and what is the push mechanism to roll out updates specific to each model.