Back to Basics: Market Research Tips for New Product Development

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Market research is an important aspect of any business, regardless of size or sector. The role of market research in product development enables a company to find out what potential customers are looking for from a particular product or service so they can tailor theirs to suit consumer needs.

This leads to a more successful  business and happier customers at the same time.

In terms of new product development it is vital to harness the power of feedback.

The benefits of market research

Market research has a swathe of benefits. It helps you to develop a strong marketing plan so you can have the right product,  price and promotion in place from the very start.

This saves money and time in the long run and can lead to increased sales and success. We all know how important resources such as money and time  are, so taking a little longer to research your marketplace and products well can really make a  beneficial difference.

You can undertake this research yourself but many companies hire in a  professional to complete this task in a comprehensive way for the best possible results.

Product testing tips

There are various tips to think about during the product testing and development process. You should  start testing during the ideas stage and make sure to be objective. Ask yourself if your product is fit  for purpose and how much it would cost to make, plus whether it leaves a healthy profit margin.  

Speak to manufacturers and suppliers to find out if the idea is possible to implement and be sure to  drop the product if it’s not going to work. Conduct research and testing via an impartial third party for  an unbiased result and ask customers how much they would be willing to spend on the product.

Change the product to meet any consumer needs and make it the best version it can possibly be. It is essential to invite constructive (even negative) feedback about the product to allow time to find ways to resolve and improve these aspects before the launch.  

Market research incentives for consumers

Market research incentives are important as giving these to consumers in return for their opinions can  persuade them to take part and really engage in the marketing survey which is what you want as  honest opinions are vital.

You may reward them in vouchers, cash or free products for giving their  feedback and ideas during a survey or focus group. Sometimes competition entries or prize draws are used as well, but these are not always as successful as guaranteed cash or voucher incentives.  

Conducting market research

Focus groups can be conducted online or in person. Existing surveys and business reports from the  internet can also be utilised in order to find out facts and figures about a particular market. This may  include market size, sale trends, consumer profiles and competitor success rates, amongst many other  factors.

You can also use your own customer records to determine a sales trend and use this to  implement a stronger marketing plan for the future. Research consumer needs and what they want  from advertising, packaging and the product or service itself.

This can be undertaken at any stage in  the product life cycle, but we would argue that it is even more vital in the new product development  point.

Electronics companies may have an Research and Development budget equal to 15% of their sales,  but this is required in order to cope with the rapid pace of change in their sector. For most companies, the expenditure on Research and Development is somewhere between 2% and 5% of  sales.  

The value of market research incentives

You can either conduct market research yourself or hire a professional company to undertake this for you and help to interpret the results so you can implement a strong plan for the future.

Market research incentives are highly important and help to engage consumers in taking part. SSI used Ovation for their market research and saw great results even in the early stages.

These are the results  as outlined below, which were very positive...

“The results of the initial stated objectives were more than reached through the use of aggressive  recruitment, retention, and incentive strategies including the implementation of Ovation Incentives globally.

  • Panel retention rates were 230% above target
  • Survey completion rates were 60% above target
  • Reduction in logistical costs were 63% above target
  • Highly relevant rewards options delivered for different cultures, including such popular  prepaid items such as game cards in China, rice gift vouchers in Japan and online currencies in Korea."

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