New Product and Expansion Development Process – What do I do? AND Not do?
New Product Development (NPD) is a process that is different for each organization. Some organizations take as little as 30 days to go to market and other organizations have a longer process taking from 6 months up to a year.
What is the right process?
The process depends on the organizational structure and the products/services they are offering. It is important to continuously look at the process because of the fast-moving technological world we live in. The duration from ideation to launching the product depends on the target audience, the goals of the organization, resources available and of course, as always, the budget and expected return on investment.
There are some key questions when deciding how long the process will take and what is needed for the product to succeed. Is the new product an enhancement of a current product? Is this a new product but to the current customers or a new customer base? What resources are needed internally and externally? What are the organization’s expectations? Is the product a soft or hard launch? Is the new product local, national or international?
A new product can increase the acquisition of new customers; growth of current customer ROI; open or broaden to a new market or industry; improve or push a company’s resources; increase market share within the industry.
There are obstacles and challenges in developing new products and there are times when the odds are higher than the successes. It is important for the companies and the employees to understand the consequences, the markets, the competitors and the target market. What are the costs to develop and launch new products? Is the organization capable of handling possible losses? Are there processes within the organization to review and approve next steps?
There are eight major steps in the product development process:
1. Idea Generation – What’s a good idea?
2. Idea Screening – How do we screen?
3. Development and Testing – Who and what is involved?
4. Development of Marketing Strategy – Getting leadership on board
5. Business Case Analysis – Make your case!
6. Product Development Tactics – Details!
7. Pilot/Test – What is the right timeline? How are results measured?
8. Launch/Commercialization – Yes!
If you are new to the world of marketing strategy, the concept of audience definition may be a bit alien to you. That’s OK because it is to most people. Perhaps the best way to illustrate what it entails is to think about two people discussing any given topic. Each person has taken up one side of the discussion and is arguing its merits to the other person. The problem is that the argument is going nowhere. Over time, voices get louder & what was once a discussion is now a shouting match with one common insult: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
The truth of the matter is that this insult is very accurate for both parties. Prior to the discussion, no one took the time to define what the foundation of facts would be, and that, in turn, led to no actual common ground on which to stand. The same goes for audience definition and marketing strategy. Unless you take the time to define your audience, you’re essentially taking a shot in the dark at finding what might connect with prospective customers.
If you think that your company may have a marketing strategy that’s in need of help, here are three ways audience definition can come to the rescue:
A Narrowed Focus Helps Develop More Effective Strategy – Business owners have one thing in common: they’re all over the place. The inability to dedicate enough time to any one thing can be detrimental to business. Hiring an agency that handles your marketing strategy through audience definition means that the resulting plan of action has been given the attention it deserves.
Precious Resources Are Not Wasted – The two most precious resources any business has are time and money. If your marketing strategy is lacking audience definition, you’re taking chances & guessing at what might work with no guarantees. If you’ve got deep pockets & the ability to slow down time, more power to you.
Helps Develop A Personal Connection & Trust Between You & Customer – Though businesses want to be successful, they don’t want to be seen as behemoths that care nothing for their customers. By employing audience definition in developing your marketing strategy, you’re taking the time to connect with customers on a more personal level. This, in turn, develops greater trust among your customer base, leading to more profitable transactions & the added benefit of customer-driven advertising by word-of-mouth.
Audience definition takes work to do well and do right. As a business, you often want immediate results that favor your bottom line, and when there is lag-time, you chalk it up to something not working. But being too quick to pull the plug on a marketing strategy can actually do more harm than good for your business. The right agency will see you through this initial period, maintain solid communication with you, and they have the right tools to find the optimal ways to reach your customer.
They sound similar but in reality they are not.
Most people believe that Marketing and Advertising are the same thing. Fact is they’re not. What is known as advertising, is just a part of the whole game, which is marketing. Marketing includes the complete development of a brand, starting from the research then continuing to designing, advertising, sale, etc. Advertising is considered a part of the whole marketing process, which sends the message using several mediums, in order to promote a product.
Advertising is one of the most important components.
Advertising is for sure, the most important component of the marketing strategy, at the same time is the most expensive. Advertising is about sending the message to a public regarding a company, services or products. At the same time, advertising represents the behind the scenes work process, which includes the development of several strategies and methods to finally capture the attention of a target audience. These strategies includes planning several actions like the following: purchasing ads, deciding where to buy the ad space, the media to be used the time, the frequency and several other factors. The mediums used to put the advertising are the following: mail, newspapers, television, internet, email, magazines flyers, billboards, etc. Television is considered the most popular one, although the internet is the one becoming popular faster.
Consider marketing as the whole cake.
One excellent approach to make a difference between marketing and advertising is seeing marketing as a whole cake and advertising as a piece of one cake. Some other pieces of the cake are: product designing, product pricing, customer satisfaction, market research, sales, etc. These pieces of the cake are expected to work independently, but at the same time as a whole, to achieve a much bigger goal. To illustrate this, we can think about the process of selling a specific process, and at the same time, build reputation of the company involved in a specific market. This is way marketing can be seen as a marathon process, which involves several tasks that take several hours or even days of research. This research, is the marketing process which requires more time. The reason of this, is related to the fact that it involves the deeply understating of the way people behave towards a specific product. Other two elements that also require a lot of time are: product design and developing an advertising strategy. The components that require much less time are: executing advertisements and sales. Similarly, marketing can be seen as a medium between the product consumers and the company.
Companies often make the mistake of confusing advertising with marketing.
Most of the times, companies, specially new ones, make the mistake of confusing both. What they do is compete with huge well-known companies in advertising, ignoring what’s behind. To illustrate this, we can think about a logo. For several business owner, the logo represents the most important factor of the company in their advertisements. They have the believe that a better logo will bring more sales. True is, that the logo is good, only if the reputation behind a company is good, in other words, the reputation of a company makes the logo. It’s imperative that the log, reflects the company’s values. It’s important to keep in mid, that these big companies invest a lot of capital on advertising, new companies can’t afford to do the same. Based on this, the most important thing is to invest money and time in establishing a communication with the consumers. The message should tell the consumers, that the company understand their needs. It’s about educating the consumers, it’s about giving them an understanding that the company knows what is doing and that it’s the best doing it.
Smart marketers are aggressive in approach rather than passive.
Smart marketers have the ability to really provoke reader’s minds by suggesting the to perform certain actions, instead of just telling them the existence of the product. They also know how to bring to the company, contacts (including names, addresses and phone numbers), who are interested in using the services of the company. They do this, by using what is known as aggressive marketing. Here is the key of a good marketing campaign, it definitely speaks a lot about a specific company and the services and products it offers, then the advertising is what provides the special touch to that very hard work the marketing professionals did.