In a LinkedIn poll I conducted, I asked business leaders, “What are you most uncertain about when you go to market?”
Defining the right product
Reaching the right customers
Knowing how much customers will pay
Uncertainties in Other areas
Recognize Your Customers
New product launch best practice dictates that you build “the voice of the customer into a market-driven, customer-focused, new product process.”1
Once you know how your target customers will respond to your product, then you need to know how to recognize those customers and get your offering to them. That’s where demographics come in. Factors such as age, gender, income, education, and number of children living at home all characterize individual customers to improve your odds of locating them and winning in the market. Combined with details like what targets buy, the kind of entertainment they enjoy, their credit rating, and behavioral data, you get a fact-based picture of how to find the customers you want to serve.
Determining what to offer them, at what price and how to get it to them are the other pieces of the Go-to-Market plan that can be fleshed out with different kinds of data.
Integrating the right data sources provides you with a bridge between how customers will behave toward your offering in the future and how they are behaving in their lives today. You may have names and addresses of those who responded to a survey testing the details of your new offering. But privacy regulations prevent the other side of the bridge from being that specific. So, what do you do? The question becomes “How do I get a full picture of the customers I want to target, so my message and offer can become part of what they do every day?”
Some brands are very clear about the right features to offer, promotional tactics, and price to attract the share of demand that delivers profit. Often, selecting the right distribution channel depends on where targeted customers expect to find the products. The big questions are often
- Which competitor(s) do my target customers like to buy from?
- How do I zero in on where they live so I can efficiently engage them?
Answers to those questions come from the target customers themselves. With the right data, you can predict market demand for new offerings significantly reduced certainty. Using statistical methodologies and big data intelligence you can generate a marketing mix based on perceptions of how your future offering is valued. That mix is your marketing plan that describes how to reach the right customers.