Strategic planning and marketing is considered one of the most important elements of new product development because they often determine the success of a new product or service.
Targeting the Audience
Competition in today’s marketplace is fierce, and therefore companies no longer develop products and services without first having a distinct audience in mind. Often, before products even become a valid concept, businesses first determine what their target market will be and analyze how it may sell at different price points. The process involves extensive market research with regard to demographics, locations, and other factors that help the development team choose the product or service ideas that will be successful.
Defining the Need
After the target audience is found, marketers need to discover which products and services can meet the needs of that audience. Even the most visually appealing marketing materials and inventive TV commercials will not sell products that no one identifies with enough to perceive why they might need it. Marketing professionals must provide expert input about what the target market requires.
Differentiating a Product
Marketing teams typically research similar products and services offered by competitors to determine how to market them in unique ways. If a product can only be marketed in the same way as another generic product, there is no direction for the marketing campaign; however, when new products can be differentiated, for example, by how they are used or a more affordable price point, the development and marketing teams gain specific goals to reach.
Determining the Timing
Products and services that were particularly marketable just a few years ago may not be relevant any longer. It isn’t practical to consider products that people are no longer interested in, unless they can be reinvented and adapted. It is always crucial to consider factors such as the seasons, economic recessions, and other circumstances that can clarify the need that will determine a product’s success. Not all timing factors may be foreseen, but many are predictable.
Everything from the concept to actually meeting customer need is an integral part of new product development. With the correct research and strategy, products and services will be successful from inception through to their integration into the marketplace.