The development of new products and services is the lifeblood of most businesses and brands. Being on top of consumers’ emerging wants and needs, or responding to new products/services from your competitors, is key to maintaining relevance. And CMOs know it.
In fact, a recent survey from Gartner found that 45% of CMOs planned to introduce new products as their primary strategy to fuel growth in 2021.
However, there are a great deal of resources required to bring new products and services to market—making it a risky proposition in the absence of proper planning.
How can you ensure your next NPD initiative is a success?
These three questions will help shape your approach and identify the proper tools and methods needed—regardless of where you stand in the development cycle.
What are the objectives for your NPD effort?
It may sound overly simplistic at face value, but having clarity on the goal of your NPD effort will enable you to determine the research tools and methods that will best suit your needs. Many new products and services operate as extensions of existing offers and are largely aimed at short-term revenue maximization.
Other efforts may be designed for long-term staying power or developing an entirely different business opportunity. Knowing where you stand will help frame your choices for gathering data.
Some other questions to consider:
- What are the strengths of your current portfolio? Will existing products or services suffer with the introduction of new ones?
- Taking the long view, which areas of the portfolio are you updating or replacing?
- What is the current competitive context? Moving quickly is often the key to outmaneuvering your competitors.
What data is needed to answer your NPD objectives?
Wherever you are in the development process, there could be more than one relevant solution from a research perspective. And each can provide answers on different aspects of your initiative.
Ultimately, that breadth of learning provides you with more and richer data, which, in turn, enables evidence-based decision-making.
That evidence-based decision-making needn’t come at the expense of speed, either. Modern automated technologies have made it possible to get high-quality data without sacrificing time.
To that point, we’ve had cases where 60+ claims were being tested in multiple markets. The turnaround time for results? Less than 24 hours.
What decisions will you make with that data?
In the early stages of the new product development cycle, you may be looking for solutions that help you prioritize and focus on the right ideas. If you’re closer to taking that product to market, you’ve likely passed that stage and are looking to assess potential.
That’s not to suggest that NPD is a linear process. In fact, you may choose to re-work or re-validate certain stages, such as when testing new copy or creative. However, all of this should be considered when determining your research methods and identifying research tools. Put simply: what is the critical information you need to validate your plan, and what are your nice-to-haves?
Keeping these questions in mind throughout the NPD cycle will enable you to derive productive, actionable use of all the data and insights that a robust research plan can provide.
Toluna delivers real-time consumer insights at the speed of the on-demand economy. By combining global scale and local expertise with innovative technology and award-winning research design, we help clients explore tomorrow, now.
Toluna is the parent company of Harris Interactive Europe and KuRunData. Together, we strive to push the field of market research toward a better tomorrow.