Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire   April 2008




Being in the 2%

It is generally estimated that 98% of all new products launched in the UK market fail!  The causes of this startling statistic are many and varied.  However there are some things you can do to improve your chance of being in the 2% that succeed.  Here are some tips ...

Do enough people really want it?

It might seem like a great idea to you.  A new 'widget' that saves you a lot of time or money.  Or a new service that makes something much easier ... in your opinion.  Maybe close colleagues, friends and family think it's a good idea as well.  Maybe even some of them would pay good money to buy it.

But outside of your close circle of acquaintances, would people really want to buy this? And by really, I mean that they'd want it enough to forgo purchasing something else that they are used to buying.

The only way to prove the answer is to test the idea.  Depending upon the nature of the new product or service, it's always a good idea to try it out on 'strangers'.  If they can see that the benefits apply to them are a) desirable and b) worth the price, then you might well have a winner on your hands.

If the nature of your new offer means that it won't be sold directly to the end-users, then you'll need to test it on intermediaries (shops, recommenders, etc.). Again, they need to see that the end-user benefits are real and believe that, should they stock/recommend the item, it would sell well.

Unfortunately, it's no good just testing it on a few 'strangers'. You really need to prove to yourself that there is sufficient volume of potential buyers to justify the investment of bringing it to market. That might mean testing it in a number of different geographic areas, or in different market segments, until you are sure of the level of demand.

During this testing you will be able to get invaluable feedback that you can use in your marketing as well as tips to improve the product/service and pricing ... but only if you ask and take the trouble to analyse the answers.  And in analysing the answers you might uncover the message that your product idea isn't as good as you thought.  Better to find out now than after you've spent a heap on launching it to no avail.

Can you afford to launch it?

Assuming that you do get good response from the market testing and that you're convinced that there is a real demand for your new product or service, the next area to manage is the launch process ... and the funding in particular.The are always options when launching something new.  These  fall onto a scale ranging from 'launch with big bang' at one end, to 'escapes with barely a noise' at the other end.  As you can imagine there is a marked difference in cost between the two ends of the scale.  Don't let your ego drive where on the scale your launch fits.Launching is in essence the start of your marketing communication activity to tell the market segments that will most benefit from the new product/service of its existence, its benefits and how they can buy it.I've seen many marketing plans that call for a large and expensive launch and then ... nothing much.  Not surprisingly these products fail to return the volume of sales predicted.

So whilst the launch is the start of the communication process, it should never be the end as well.  Marketing communications is a long haul strategy and to be successful you need to budget for continued activity after the launch.  A general rule of thumb here is 'if you can't afford to finish, then don't spend the money to start'.  My own experience also tells me that budgets that rely on revenue from early sales to fund subsequent marketing rarely work.  Early sales almost never come at the rate that you predicted, which then causes a diminution in post launch marketing which ultimately slows momentum ... completely.

Many of the 98% of new products that fail are good products ... but marketed without sufficient budget or foresight.  Make sure that yours is not one of them.

Memorable marketing

Thinking and working pragmatically like this will help you to make your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way. This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors and clearly see the value in buying from you.

If you would like some advice on memorable marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.


New Product Development

Download this handy guide which explains how best to approach the development of new products in order to improve business effectiveness.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.


Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing activities that the business can implement immediately and at low cost.

Download the factsheet now.


Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)

Marketing Profs (free articles)



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