This article suggests why you must have market intelligence for your product launch. No matter the size of the company and resources, launching a new product into the market is a significant milestone. One of the most important aspects of a successful and profitable product launch is Market Intelligence. You must understand and clearly define the B2B / B2C market sector you work.
What is Market Intelligence?
Say you are selling a software product into the fishing industry. The answer to which market you need to collect Intelligence in is not the software sector. Its where you are selling your products – The fishing industry. While keeping up to date with tech changes within the software industry is important, you need to focus on the customer. So your focus must be on the fishing industry. Market Intelligence activities can include visiting and surveying customers and suppliers. Lots of reading – journals, white papers, industry standards and reports etc. Going to conferences, joining trade associations. networking, taking part in online forums and getting up to speed with governmental level regulations are also important.
Why Market Intelligence in Product Management?
When conducting Marketing Intelligence, a Product Manager must focus on your future customer, and the affinity they need to make to your product. All your essential decision making must take into account the Market Intelligence you have created. Without Market Intelligence, you will struggle. Market Intelligence helps you identify new markets for your product, understand the potential market penetration and identify the most affluent target markets. And you will monitor your company’s market place reputation, as well as identifying new product development opportunities from any gaps in the market.
Also, with Intelligence your will find out who are your competitors and what are they good at and what could they do better. Without Market Intelligence, there is little you can do to define, drive or change the sector marketing mix, and you will have less chance of positioning your products correctly. You will have many but a finite number of market resources for your product launch. So it is best to have your soldiers lined up in the right direction in the right field to get the best Return on Investment from your available marketing tools.
Take good aim
Carrying on with the military theme, Market Intelligence is the sniper, not the tank commander. You have to aim your sights on concrete Market Intelligence goals and questions. The first target has to be an in-depth understanding of your products customers problems to enable you to build market-driven features into your product to solve them. Once you know what your customer problems and needs are you can focus your marketing tools on how to communicate how your product is are going make their life easier.
Tell your customer what the benefits are, avoid any confusing messages and offer an unequivocal statement why you differentiate from your competitor. So, if you haven’t done any Market Intelligence, you will have no idea what their benefits and features are. So what chance do you have offering a better product than them? Also, remember, most customers are not interested in the jargon and technical words. Most are just interested in how it will benefit them, and your Market Intelligence will tell you what to say and what not to mention.
Where do they shop?
If you are not selling direct, you will have to deal with distributors, agents and retailers. It is vital that you find the channel who already have the customers you want to buy your product. Market Intelligence will allow you to create an in-depth typical customer profile. The profile will include a geographic location, spending habits, age range and critically, where do they shop?
Also, determine if they shop online or do they go to the high street? Or do they do a little of both? If online, what search terms and keyword strings do they use? Is your website optimised for your product or is the site targeting other products? Use Market Intelligence to understand the media outlets of your target market. Which magazines, trade publications or newspapers do they read. Who are the editors of the relevant publications? And will your marketing message reach your target audience?
4 must-have Market Intelligence for your product launch
This article suggested why you must have market intelligence for your product launch. No matter the size of the company and resources, launching a new product into the market can be a significant milestone. With the numerous variables that can impact the possible success of your product launch, having the right Market Intelligence will ensure you do not water down your marketing investment. Market Intelligence will provide your with a better chance of getting the right message across to your new customers because you understand their motivations to buy.