Is a hunch a good enough reason to enter a new market or develop a new product? It is certainly a good place to start. But while there are examples of companies that have enjoyed wild success from launching a new offering because their gut told them it was right, that is not the norm. Often the opposite happens: a company feels it makes sense to enter a new market, or they know their clients really need a new product, so they spend millions of dollars developing the offering, only to have it fail.
That doesn’t need to happen. Market assessment research or product research can save a company millions of dollars by letting them know if they should pull the plug on an idea, make some adjustments to the plan, or go full steam ahead with the original idea.
Whether ensuring the marketplace is ready or a new product is something prospects will buy, savvy corporations invest in making sure their actions resonate with decision makers. They don’t rely on hunches. Rather, they prove the hunch is right before investing resources.
Market Opportunity Assessment
A market needs assessment will help you determine if, where, and with whom there truly is long-term growth potential for one or more of your products or services. These studies help our clients determine whether to keep, eliminate, or enhance their offerings by providing a profile of selected markets, specific target audiences that offer the strongest potential for success, the market needs within the framework of the offering and characteristics and features of the offering that resonate the strongest in the market.
Real World Example
We worked with a Fortune 20 technology company that wanted to expand into a new market: social service agencies. This was not an environment they worked in, so they commissioned a market assessment to understand the challenges social service agencies around the world face in meeting agency goals and to learn key capabilities in which agencies were investing. Their ultimate goal was to understand if this market would outsource IT solutions to meet these challenges.
The market assessment results indicated there were opportunities they could map to agency priorities. The results also identified which countries were most receptive, therefore where to focus on in the short, medium, and long‐term. Eliminating the guesswork helped the company successfully enter a new market.
New Product & Service Testing
This research provides the data necessary to support new product decisions and/or to better understand the market structure and competitive landscape. It helps you:
- Determine strengths and weaknesses of the product or service with a “real-world” test
- Assess the offering’s viability and likelihood of ultimate success
- Refine the offering for maximum market appeal
- Create promotional messaging for the launch that will best resonate with prospects
Real World Example
When one of our commercial clients was planning a full-scale introduction of a new online information database, they wanted to ensure there would be a good ROI before investing the resources to market such a tool. We conducted focus groups with customers and prospects in the client’s target market in each of eight different geographies across the country. During these focus groups, we demonstrated the new web-based product.
We discovered that while the audience responded well to the tool, it needed a few modifications to highlight the features most important to the audience. The research also identified some features the audience found relatively unimportant, allowing the company to pull the plug on developing those features that were considered too labor-intensive to launch and/or use, saving the company substantial investment dollars.
The bottom line: When millions of dollars are on the line, don’t trust your gut.