Marketing a new product can be a difficult process, especially the first few times. Knowing what steps to take and what order to take them in makes for a much more successful project introduction.
One mistake I often see is first time entrepreneurs who begin the marketing process while they are still in product development phase.
It’s important to have a marketing focus during the product development phase, but the focus should be on the market research, customer benefits, pricing and competitive analysis part of marketing… Not the promotional part of marketing.
Jumping into promotion too soon, to try to get customers and get cash flow quickly, will actually cost you MUCH more in the long run.
It not only costs more, it takes more time and is more difficult because of all the additional changes. It create reworks, which costs more. It confuses the writers, graphic designers and potentially, the very customers you’re trying to reach.
Remember: Research first. Promotion later.
Anyone who has ever created a product will probably recommend NOT trying to do research yourself, unless you really can’t afford to have a professional do it or you have a background in research. You are just to close to the project to be objective.
However, I realize that developing products can be extremely expensive, particularly to first time entrepreneurs. So, if you really want to do inexpensive market research yourself, try these sites:
- Online interviews: Survey monkey - Do it yourself surveys
- Demographics: Government census - Working with 2002 data, but still helpful
- More demographics: Reference USA - Use this for free, if you have a library card
- Competitive Info for manufacturers: Thomas Register - Easy to sort by location and product.
In addition, as a service to entrepreneurs who are working on a new product introduction, I have developed an inexpensive audio CD filled with helpful tips, tools and techniques called Bring Your New Product to Market. It was recorded at Staples as part of a business workshop series and is 55 minutes of good advice to help with a new product introduction, including a long section on research.
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