What Is a Good Marketing Strategy for New Product Development?
Good marketing strategy for a new product begins with social listening and benchmarking competitors. This statement seems matter-of-fact, but it moves beyond traditional product marketing thinking that places the usefulness of the product before its place in the market. Times are a-changin’ and when you’re ready to make the change to a social and data analytics based approach, we’re ready to help.
Over and again, I have found that fledgling innovators or entrepreneurs start with the product idea first and link their strategies to it. Campaigns flounder because they start from their vantage point rather than that of their clients. In the end, these individuals may end up pleasing just themselves–or not even themselves because they end up at a loss.
Here’s a far better way to innovate and launch new product development:
Start off by having no idea whatsoever. Watch social media conversations that are relevant to your industry to find pain points and a desire for solutions that don’t exist.
The social media platforms that best fit your needs include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogs. Google+ is slipping, but may still give you something.
In countries outside the U.S, sites such as Bebo, Habbo, Hi5, Zorpia, or Orkut may help you.
Here’s how I used this approach to write a book proposal.
It is well-known that the most popular, bestselling category is self-help. Yet, self-help also has a reputation for not working. I specified my field of inquiry to limit it: self-help regarding self-development; not spiritualism nor money nor health nor aspects like Zen (etc.). To maximize time, I listed the 12 most popular blogs and groups on Facebook and Twitter and spent two days reading comments of the past two-three months. I came up with an unsolved pain point which had a significant following and twisted an idea around that.
Traditional Market Research
Now’s the time to proceed with polls, focus groups, telephone interviews, A/B testing and other traditional research strategies. There’s a way you can do this while protecting the discovery of your pain point and your hunches.
The so-called “Mother of Invention,” Patricia Nolan-Brown, who has sold millions of products, holds multiple patents, and has her products regularly featured in national newscasts and magazines, protects her hunches by formatting her survey questions around existent product pain points rather than her idea. So, for instance, she tested her idea of an innovative car seat mirror by asking mothers what bothered them about their baby seats and their wish for a fantasy version, rather than divulging her idea and asking what they thought of it. This helped her not only confirm the validity of the need but also gave her other perspectives.
For all you know, one or more of your competitors may have already hit on your idea, or seen the gap and proposed some viable solution. Check their website and PR to make sure you’re the “king of the castle” and not colliding with someone else. It’s ok if someone else has picked up the same need; you may be offering a different solution–one that may even be more effective. The important thing is to make sure your product solution is unique.