Someone once said that there are no new products left to introduce to the market. Tell that to a marketer who continually introduces new products that are successful. It's not so much a matter of the quality of the offering as much as it is how well a company plans and executes a new product introduction.
- Skill level:
Clearly define the potential customer to whom you will target your message. Decide where you plan to engage him, whether it is online, in stores or by mail. Each of those avenues has its unique set of requirements. For example, if you are planning to sell the new product in retail stores, you must address issues such as distribution and wholesale and retail pricing to assure you, your wholesaler and the retailer a reasonable profit margin. Then you must decide who within your company has the talent to make the introduction successful. You may conclude that many of the talents you need to guarantee a successful introduction do not currently exist in your company. If so, consider looking elsewhere for it.
Select the marketing tools you will need to support your launch. Since you must know a lot about competitive products such as their attributes, price points and the methods used to promote them, you will need to invest in either qualitative or quantitative research to answer those questions. Then you must decide which promotional and advertising methods are called for in the introduction. For instance, will most of your budget be spent on point-of-purchase adverting to support the retailer's efforts, or will you engage in a robust general advertising program?
Be flexible. No matter how well you plan your introduction, you will have to replace some of your efforts with new ideas. For example, you may be generating more sales of the product as a result of in-store promotions than you are with general media. You should be able to reduce your traditional advertising costs and bolster your in-store promotional effort in a matter of days.
Research indicates that a potential customer must be exposed to a new product a minimum of four times before he remembers it, and about 10 times before he considers buying it. For instance, let's say you run advertising once each week. First, the buying public, on average, will see about 1/3 of what you run, so it can take a minimum of seven to eight months before the product is purchased. The fact that it will be several months before you'll know whether your introduction was a success should be considered when the budget is decided.
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