Being first to market with a differentiated offering is often the difference between winners and losers in today’s marketplace
This means selecting and developing the right products in as short a time as possible.
Best ideas for development
Innovation needs to be encouraged and managed. Idea generation and screening is essential. New product ideas can come from many sources such as customers, competitors, dealers and employees. It is important to create an environment of innovation and nurture these ideas. One needs to have a process to review and assess ideas on a regular basis. It’s not so much about “doing things right” as it is about “doing the right things”.
Time to market is critical. Being first to market with a new technology or product can have dramatic impacts on market share. Development cycle times can often be more than halved by having a defined process for development and decision making. Empowerment of the team within agreed boundaries is also a key enabler. Advance Consulting can assist you in significantly reducing time to market and improving the quality of your development process. Killing off product developments earlier in the cycle is also important and strangely something few companies have the courage and wisdom to do.
Customer/Market Input is Key
Customer and User input from the idea stage to end of life is essential. Here are some ways of engaging customers in the definition and development process:
- User needs and wants survey
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Key user forums
- User studies
- Customer visits
- Customer testimonials
Structured Model for Product Development
The key elements of the process are :
- A well defined core and extended team
- A clear decision making process which is timely and informed
- An idea generation and screening process distilling the best ideas to move forward into the development stage
- A stage gate development process with clear decision making criteria, deliverables and investment details
- A set of tools and techniques to support the process
The Product Marketing Role in development
Product Marketing is a key function often neglected in companies. Research and Development always needs to be closely supported by Product Marketing. The Product Marketing function is the voice of the customer and user, identifying and defining new product ideas, testing and validating those ideas, effectively launching the product and managing the life cycle of the product through to end of life. Market assessment, market research and competitive analysis are key activities carried out by Product Marketing, as well as effective positioning, pricing and promotion. Development and enhancement of this function can be facilitated by Advance Consulting and can make a significant difference to a company’s performance.