As marketers, we’ve all heard the statistics about the insanely high percentage of new products that crash and burn within the first year of introduction. From the Ford Edsel to New Coke to Colgate Kitchen Entrees, history is littered with new product failures. Many of these were doomed from the beginning – maybe because the adjacency category for the brand wasn’t a fit, or the product just wasn’t any good, or the product was overall a bad idea. However, in some cases, good products fail because they aren’t marketed to the right audience and in the right place. What if there were a way to better stack the odds in a new product’s favor of a successful launch by ensuring the right targeted audience is exposed to the product in the right place?
To answer this question, we must first go back to our new product innovation roots of ideation and concept development. Once a consumer problem or potential need is identified, the origination of a new product to address the problem or need begins with ideation. The manifestation of new product ideas, and the first concrete articulation of a new product, is the product concept. The constructs in developing a compelling concept that resonates with consumers have remained largely unchanged for decades. All successful concepts must contain three critical elements:
- An insight or problem statement that creatively articulates why a consumer needs the product you’re about to describe.
- A benefit – which can be functional or emotional – that the consumer will gain from using the product.
- Reasons to believe that the product will deliver on the previously stated benefit.
The tried-and-true way to help determine if you have what could be a winning new product idea is to conduct a concept test – one of the pillar methodologies of market research. Ultimately, a concept test allows for an understanding of key consumer metrics, such as consumer purchase interest, likability, believability, uniqueness, value, and relevance. If the concept meets measurement standards (e.g. positively comparable to current products in the market), the new product will be green-lit to move into development.
Typically, a great deal of planning and effort goes into a marketing strategy for a new product, primarily addressing who to target, where to target them, and how to get the message of the new product to them. Many marketers tackle the “who” by either utilizing an existing segmentation and simply marketing to that group or even utilizing personas created during an early qualitative phase of previous research. The “where” we reach consumers can be anywhere from more traditional channels like TV, billboards, and in-store promotions, to more digital avenues like connected TV and other digital ad placements.
In this time of the declining brick and mortar purchase behavior and the explosion of online buying, it’s this area of buying more targeted digital ad placements as part of a new product launch that can really help to ensure its success. But, what if instead of buying digital ad placement on websites you generally think the new product’s target audience might visit, there is a better way to ensure the promotional spots appear in front of your known audience?
Well, there is in fact a way to be more targeted and efficient in your marketing strategies, thus increasing the likelihood of the new product’s success. It’s through Audience Intelligence, which uses a combination of a consumer’s attitudes and actual digital behaviors, identifying and creating audiences that truly are interested in the product and are easily targetable.
- Quantitative Survey: After you’ve identified your “winning” concept, you can field it monadically as part of a survey among a larger sample size to determine who is most receptive to the concept and most likely to purchase it upon market introduction (those that are top box purchase intenders from the questionnaire).
- Digital Behavior Data Appends: Some market research agencies, like Big Village Insights, are able to track recent online behavior (such as websites most frequently visited, brands and types of products researched, and online purchases) of those that are top box purchase intenders of the new product concept. This can be tracked looking backwards (past 30 days) and forwards (7 days after completing the survey).
- Developing Models: The stated beliefs of these product enthusiasts, coupled with their online behaviors, allows for the creation of a custom behave-alike modeled target market audience. This audience is comprised of consumers who truly are most likely to buy this new product.
- Audience Profiles: The audience can also be profiled to help determine what your customers of this product look like demographically, attitudinally, and behaviorally; where they go online for product information; and where they are most likely to shop online now and in the future.
- Activating Against the Target Audience: As a final step, this new product target audience can be deterministically mapped directly to a media exchange supply for activation. A direct connection with the audience creator and provider or media supply allows for increased scale and limited data loss between audience creation and activation.
So, as you are faced with the daunting task of avoiding failure and ensuring success on your next new product launch, consider taking the extra step of building analytics into better understanding your target audience for the product. It will help to ensure the right, most interested prospects see your advertising and will ultimately increase the product’s chances for success.
Written by Matthew Conrad, SVP, Research Excellence at Big Village Insights.