Imagine that your company is about to launch a new product or service. You’ve invested years and substantial man-hours in product development, but just as you’re about to take it to market, there are differing points of view within your company on the key selling messages. This launch is a key defining moment for your company, and the stakes are high.
Before you move forward with your launch, invest a little time and money with a market research program to clearly understand the buying criteria among your prospects. This will solidify your company’s direction, prioritize your key selling messages in the decision-making process and assist in creating consensus within your management team. Your entire organization will feel more confident that the marketing communications are on point and that the launch will reap the ROI you expect.
We’ve helped a number of clients (Ericsson, Fujitsu, Microwave Networks, CPS HR Consulting, Vari-Lite and others) successfully launch new products and services with the help of market research programs. In every instance, the research benefited the client on multiple fronts:
- Company direction
- Importance of product and/or service attributes in the decision-making process
- Product/service strengths and weaknesses
- Market threats and opportunities
- Perceived growth areas and obstacles to growth
- Awareness and competitive sets
- Image attributes
- Audience satisfaction levels (with the client and the competition)
- Competitive advantages and disadvantages
- Company strengths and weaknesses
Typically market research combines unaided (open-ended) questions and aided questions to acquire unprompted answers that illustrate language and top-of-mind responses. In addition to this, the research provides quantitative rankings and ratings and captures and prioritizes the functional and emotional buying criteria.
The results of this market intelligence should become the primary drivers for launching your company’s external communications programs. In addition, the market research assists in creating consensus within your company since it objectively captures the perceptions of your customers. This level of objectivity helps to eliminate personal opinions and perceptions and keeps your company focused on the buyers’ perceptions and priorities.
Market research is a strategic tool that adds clarity and helps eliminate the unknown. So when your company is developing a new product/service, make sure market research is included in the launch program. It is integral to the success of any significant launch program. Never launch without it.