By: Fatema Fatakdawala
Today is the first day of RIC’s 3-day Entrepreneur workshop on Marketing and Communications. MarCom is a tool that has become relevant in every job description. Talk to any successful organization and you will find that the MarCom team is probably the most cross functional in terms of collaborating with R&D for product benefits, Finance and Accounting for price and Sales for execution.
I recently attended a seminar about how to best market your product and take a new idea to commercialization. I will discuss the top three lessons that if implemented properly, will go a long way for your company’s success (Note: when I say product, I am referring to your product or service):
1) Have a good insight: Your product idea should be developed based on an unmet need for customers in your target market. Using market research tools, it is very important to understand your customers. There may be several unmet needs but the key lies in digging out where the pain point is.
2) Make the right claims: Now that you have the pain point, make a claim that addresses it. Bear in mind that if you are introducing a new version of an older product that you not only have to introduce the new benefit but also retain the existing ones. But here’s the big question: is your claim simply a functional benefit or does it make the emotional connection? Once you capture the latter, you’re golden.
3) Get feedback: By taking the effort to go back to your customers after the product launch and ask them whether they like it, dislike it, don’t mind it, etc. is important for continuous product improvement. By this, I don’t simply mean doing a survey (although this is a good idea for large customer groups); I mean actually going out and talking to GPOs (group purchasing organizations) and analyzing the results of your product’s purchases. This information can then be fed back into your company’s market research to gain insight (1).
The concepts above fit hand in hand with the Stage Gate method of idea evaluation and commercialization. This is a useful tool for emerging products and startups to use as a guideline in their product development endeavours. So remember, know your customers, make the right claims to position your product and get continuous feedback.
Fatema joins the RIC team as the Communications Officer responsible for marketing, social media, event and web management. She is a graduate student pursuing her final year in the Master of Biotechnology program at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
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