When your company launches a product, the marketing needs are going to evolve alongside the product as it progresses through its life cycle. There are four main stages of the product life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Each stage of a product’s life cycle will require different forms of market research to most effectively market your product in the industry.
Here are some examples of the different types of marketing styles and research necessary for each stage:
Introducing a new product into the market is going to require knowing information on your competition, buyer behavior, and distribution channels. Once you gather that data, you can determine which distribution channels and location will be used, the promotion or advertising strategies that will be most effective, and the pricing that you will use. Basically, you need market research to help make the decisions of where your product will go and how it will get there; who is going to buy it; how much you are going to charge for it; and, most importantly, if anyone is going to want to purchase your product at all.
Once your product begins earning a profit and growth continues to occur, new concerns will arise. You will need to recognize new or improved competitors, possibly consider expansion in production and markets, and figure out how to maintain a positive image to your consumers. Pushing your marketing team and using resources is extremely important to ensure that you are able to get the most data possible to make the most effective decisions to push your product in the right direction.
When your product becomes mature there is little you can do to expand sales significantly. At this point your product is often at a climax or might be near a plateau phase. You will need to research your competitors more than anything else so you can potentially obtain their customers. After doing so, working to study your segmentation and target your customers can help you readjust marketing strategies to begin attracting new or larger groups of customers.
If your product reaches the decline phase, you will need to work diligently to get as much profit out of sales as possible. If your product has been on the market for a long time, customers might be sensitive to price adjustments. You need to determine how sensitive your consumer market is to changes in order to see how you might be able to alter price. If there is no possibility of lowering price, research and development might be effective to see how you can cut back costs during production. As your product comes to a decline stage, you might also want to consider going back to the drawing board to get creative with new ways to change the product completely to revamp sales.
The market research process never truly ends. Continuing to market your product in new ways, as well as staying aware of your market’s customer needs and competition will allow you to remain conscious of what changes might be necessary to continually push your product forward.
For more information on how to effectively use market research to launch a product, or push it forward, download our free white paper.
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