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Everything You Need to Know



Everything You Need to Know

Bringing a new product to life can be challenging. You know that you have an idea that can bring value to a target market, but you aren’t exactly sure how to bring your product to that market.

This process can become especially difficult if you’ve never done it before, as you may not even know where to begin. Thankfully, a blueprint exists in the new product development process, which is a strategy that will help you bring your ideas to life. Read on to discover how it’s done.

New Product Development Process

New product development refers to the process that goes into bringing a new product to market, from brainstorming an idea to understanding if it fits into the market, ironing it out to prototyping to final commercialization.

Although it can be a rather lengthy process that sometimes requires iteration, it’s all done to ensure that your product is the best it can be before it reaches your customers and solves their needs in the best possible way.

Let’s discuss the different stages involved in new product development.

new product development process steps

1. Idea Generation

The new product development process begins with idea generation, where you brainstorm an idea (or ideas) that will help you solve an existing customer problem in a new and innovative way. As you’re coming up with ideas that will help you solve customer needs, it’s important to have a robust understanding of your target market and the pain points they have that you want to solve.

Your initial idea generation stage can be as simple as saying “What if we did this?” and then they become more ROBUST during the research stage.

2. Research

Once you’ve developed a product idea, the next step is conducting research to FLESH IT OUT. There are various steps you can take to do this, like:

  • Market research to understand the current sentiment in your industry and if there are any holes that your product will fit into, and if there will even be demand for it.
  • Competitor analysis to understand if customers think there are things your competitors’ products or services lack that you can incorporate into your product to better fit your target market’s needs.

During this stage, you can also get early feedback from customers about what they think of your ideas before coming up with a final definition for your product. One of the best ways to get this feedback is through surveys, where you can easily and quickly collect information from existing customers. A high-quality tool like Lucky Orange can help you create these surveys, and with it, you can ask multiple choice questions about types of products they may be interested in, or more open-ended questions that give you more insight into customer opinions.

This stage may include a bit of iteration because your research may tell you that you need to refine your original ideas and adjust your research scope before moving on to the next stage.

3. Planning

The third stage is planning, where you formulate a final product idea/definition based on your initial idea and research and begin coming up with your plans to bring it to life.

When you define your final product, you’ll want to begin planning for what you’ll need in order to create it. For example, if you’re creating a physical product, you’ll need to source the necessary materials or find production partners that will assist in manufacturing.

Planning also involves coming up with a marketing strategy that will help you effectively market when your product is completed, pricing models that make sense for your product, and that your customers will pay.

It’s also critical to identify the teams that will be involved in your product development process that will help bring it to market, from the marketing teams that will promote your product to any possible external partners that will assist with production.

4. Prototyping

The prototyping phase is when you come up with a sample product that is a mockup of what will be created during mass production.

This prototype is often referred to as a minimum viable product (MVP), which is a basic version of your tool, still similar to your final product, that will help you get a sense of how it functions and identify any areas that need to be improved.

You may make multiple prototypes and go back and forth between this stage and the testing stage before you have a finalized prototype.

5. Testing

Before launching your product you need to test it to ensure it will work as advertised and effectively solve your customer needs. So, during this stage, you’ll share your prototypes with target audiences and ask for actionable feedback on how the product works.  

Essentially, you want your product to be used in situations that are similar to real-world use cases so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes the results of your testing will require you to go back and make changes to your prototype, as mentioned above.

Once you feel as though your prototype is finished and ready to solve your customer needs, you’ll begin product development.

6. Product Development

This stage involves creating the final product that will be commercialized once completed. You’ll use the insights gained from testing your MVP to make final touches to your prototype, and begin mass production.

Depending on your type of business, you’ll likely have a different process for product development. For example, if you’re a SaaS business, your internal software development or programming teams will likely work to finalize code. If you create a physical product, you may outsource labor for certain components and assemble final products in your warehouse.

Whichever your process is, your planning stage should’ve helped you identify how your product development will go.

7. Commercialization

The final stage of your new product development process is commercialization, where you introduce your products to market. This is the culmination of your brainstorming, research, iteration, where your audiences can finally make use of what you created.

You’ll enact your marketing plans to make your audiences aware of your new product, and enact campaigns that will entice them to become customers.

Although this is the final stage, many businesses launch their products and, over time, return to make improvements to their products based on customer feedback and market changes to ensure they’re always providing the best possible customer experience.

From Brainstorming To Reality

When you complete your new product development process, you’ll have brought your brainstorming ideas to fruition, and created a real product or service that solves a customer need. If you find success, you’ll have created a valuable strategy to replicate that will help you continuously innovate and create new products, giving customers the delightful experiences they desire.

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling



The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.


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How to Blog When You Have No Time



How to Blog When You Have No Time

Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

[Include screenshot]

Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How clean, organized and actionable is your data?



90% of marketers say their CDP doesn't meet current business needs

A customer data platform (CDP) centralizes an organization’s customer data, providing a single 360-view of each consumer that engages with the company. Yet there are still data-related considerations that organizations have to make beyond what the CDP does.

“[CDPs] were designed to fill a need – to enable a marketer to easily get to the data they need to create their segmentation and then go on and mark it from that point,” said George Corugedo, CTO of data management company Redpoint Global, at The MarTech Conference. “But the issue is that CDPs really don’t take care of the quality aspects of the data.”

Maintaining data quality also impacts segmentation, campaigns and privacy compliance challenges for marketing teams that use this data.

Data quality

The data in a CDP depends on the quality of where it came from. Therefore, an organization using a CDP must also consider the quality of the data sources and reference files used to build out the CDP.

“The inevitable question is going to be, how good is this data?” said Corugedo. “How much can I trust it to make a bold decision?”

This is something that has to be on every organization’s radar. For instance, when identity resolution is used, the issue depends on the quality of the third-party reference files. If they are provided by a telecommunications company or credit bureau as the data partner, those files might only be updated quarterly.

“It’s just not an optimal solution, but every single CDP on the market uses some form of reference file,” Corugedo stated.

It’s up to the data scientists and other team members working within the organization to own the accuracy of these data sources.

Read next: What is a CDP?

Segmentation and other actions

The quality of the data using specific reference files and sources will vary and will impact the confidence that marketers have in creating segments and using them when deploying campaigns.

Marketers have to make this decision at a granular level, based on the trustworthiness of data from a particular lineage.

“If they have a campaign that is reliant on suspect data, they can actually delay that campaign and say maybe we wait until that data gets refreshed,” said Corugedo.

Otherwise, marketers are just “spraying and praying.”

Using rules instead of lists

The advantage of having a CDP is unification of all data. But the data is being updated all the time. Instead of deploying campaigns based on a fixed list of customers, the use of rules to define segments allows marketers to update who they engage in the campaign.

“A list, as soon as it’s detached from the database, starts to decay because it doesn’t get any updates anymore,” Corugedo, adding that using lists takes longer to execute a campaign.

Lower quality from data that isn’t updated can have serious implications for healthcare and other industries, where accuracy is essential. 

“Instead, rules are passed through the campaign just like they would be with a list, but those rules reevaluate every time there’s a decision point to make sure that only the qualified people get the particular content at that point,” Corugedo explained.

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Privacy and regulatory compliance

Maintaining data quality through a Redpoint Global dashboard, or a similar combination of tools and data personnel, will also help an organization manage privacy.

The crucial point is that people on the team know where the data came from and how it’s being used in campaigns. The stakes for sending out relevant messaging are high. Privacy and compliance issues raise the bar even higher.

If you’re using a CDP, you can save headaches and extra labor by using a tool that has compliance and privacy baked in, so to speak.

“What we’ve done is embrace some of this complexity and absorb it into the environment, so the marketer never even sees it,” said Corugedo. “What we do is with every implementation, we will implement a PII vault that keeps PII data super secure, and we can anonymize the marketing database.”

This way, personal information of individual customers (PII) is never violated.

“Marketers ultimately don’t necessarily need to have visibility to PII,” Corugedo explained “They like to see it for testing purposes and making sure that it looks right and everything, but the truth is we can do that in other ways without revealing PII.”

Having a handle on data quality adds to the confidence marketing teams have in creating segments and executing campaigns, and it can also help protect the customer’s privacy and guard against regulatory infringements.

Facts not fiction: Beyond the CDP from Third Door Media on Vimeo.

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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