You’ve got a new product idea but how can you be sure it will sell? More importantly, how can you be sure what are the best markets in which to sell it? And of course, how should you sell it?
Entrepreneurs or product managers developing or managing the introduction of a new product need facts.
This is where marketing can help, in the form of a product trial or as its more widely known, a market test.
The following 10 key elements incorporate a top line view of what a product trial will address:
- Market research
- Trial planning
- Trial participant recruitment
- Support requirements
- Product or company branding and collateral
- Marketing, promotional and communications planning and implementation
- Trial set up, implementation and management
- Trial reporting
- Trial wind down
- Product launch plan and budget
Market research is the critical element of the process as it advises the direction of your entire trial and future direction. It informs on your target customer, how your product should be positioned, what your target audience need and value and how you can position your offering in a way that will resonate with potential customers.
Furthermore, it will identify your sales strategy – direct or distribution model? Where should you distribute your product and through which distribution channels? Would your target audience rather buy your product online, or direct?
Your research will also illustrate the importance of your pricing model. How should you price your product? What’s the average income of your target demographic? Will they find the product too expensive or perceive it too cheap based on the quality expected ? What kind of adjustments can you make in order to fit their perceived price point?
Remember your testing the market and that includes testing your marketing. Detailed analysis of where and how you should market your product, which social media platforms your target customers use and what tone you should use in your trial marketing collateral will provide a clear run in the development of messaging and a value proposition that’s far more likely to succeed that guess work ever would.
What can you learn from a test market or product trial?
The purpose of testing the market is to provide a dress rehearsal for testing all the product and marketing elements together. It also tests elements of the overall strategy in a real-world setting before significant investment is made. You get to test drive the product and marketing plan and make amends to launch a product that will hit the ground running.
The market test will give you a bank of information that encapsulates how consumers will react to your product, the price, its marketing, communications and promotion. It allows early decisions to be made that generate significant long terms cost savings.