At the beginning of the 21st century, new services become an essential part of the market. A new or established company wishing to grow through a strategy of new services introductions first develops sources that generate ideas for new services. Then it analyzes those new service ideas ‘in order to identify the more promising ones (Paley, 2006). Following such an analysis, the company will do a business forecast to estimate the sales and profit potential associated with the more promising new service ideas. A company’s criteria form obstacles through which an idea must pass if it is to proceed to the next stage of the NPDP. In the screening stage, a company must attempt to avoid two types of error–continuing to evaluate an idea that will not succeed, or discarding an idea that might lead to a successful new product.
The new mobile service proposed by mobile operators is SimulScribe. This service allows mobile users to convert voice messages in text format. In the business analysis step of the SimulScribe, new product ideas that have successfully passed through the screening step are further evaluated to see if they satisfy corporate requirements for initial estimates of sales, market share, profit, or return on investment. The requisites for this analysis include studies of markets, competition, and marketing plans, as well as costs and technical inputs. Sales are the critical measure in a business analysis, and it can be estimated in different ways.
One source of sales estimates is use of judgmental estimates, which can be obtained from various sources such as consumers, sales representatives, distributors, management, and other experts. Computer models have been developed to estimate sales and rates of return using judgmental sales estimates in combination with estimates of primary demand, the company’s ability to exploit the opportunities, expected penetration, and saturation of the market. Diffusion of innovation approach was applied to SimulScribe. This approach is useful for attempting sales estimates of infrequently purchased products.
Many principles of marketing textbooks suggest that rapid diffusion of innovation (i.e., high sales estimates) is likely to occur if the new product possesses five characteristics when compared with products already on the market: if it has relative advantages, it is compatible with current use, it is easier to use, it can be experienced on a trial basis, and it has benefits that are easy to communicate (Doyle and Stern 2006).
This year, the new internet service, The NYSSCSW Internet Services, was launched by the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work’s Website Committee and all Listserv Committee moderators. Firms that are currently in the relevant market find their business analysis to be relatively routine when introducing a new product. An in-depth study of ten new product introductions showed that, for nine of the ten new products, the firms in question had previous, ongoing experience in the market.
The previous section suggested that probably not all new products are subjected to each of the steps of the NYSSCSW. NYSSCSW developing new products that are new to the firm but not new to the marketplace, or that are only slight or moderate improvements over those currently available, may feel that it is not necessary to subject such new products to a thorough investigation within each step of marketing (Fill 1999).
If the NYSSCSW idea is based on a “new-to-the-world” product or service, then by definition it is not likely that the NYSSCSW will be experienced with the marketplace or how to market the product/service involved. Additionally, it may not be clear whether a market exists for the “new-to-the-world” thing or how well the marketplace is currently being satisfied. Under such conditions, it would appear that screening and evaluating the new service idea would definitely be necessary. With the possible exception of true innovations, a target market must preexist if the new service idea is to succeed.
If there is a target market, it is probably already partially satisfied by the offerings of one or more competitors. Who are these competitors? How do they compete? Are they strong, moderate, or weak competitors? How will they respond if the proposed new service enters the market and tries to capture market share? Questions such as these can help entrepreneurs realistically estimate the percentage of the target market that might possibly switch their loyalties and purchases to the entrepreneur’s new service (Hollensen, 2007).
After the preceding information is thoroughly evaluated, the entrepreneur should have a more realistic estimate of his or her market potential. In order to actually attain that market potential, the entrepreneur should develop a marketing plan to effectively attract the target market and persuade it to switch to the entrepreneur’s new offering. Most marketing textbooks agree that a successful marketing plan must be directed at a well-defined target market, and it must offer a superior product/service relative to the competition.
Or, if the new business involves a “me too” product/service, it should be priced lower than the competition and/or offer some other obvious advantage to the target market. A successful marketing plan should also include a good promotional program and good “product positioning” (i.e., what is communicated about the product/service in order to make it more appealing to the target market than any of the competitors’ offerings). Equally important to the success of the new service is that the plan includes a method of distribution that can effectively reach the identified target market (Kotabe and Helsen 2007).
Verizon Wireless and AT&T introduced new services for customers aimed to improve communication and interaction processes. These companies recognize that markets for a new ‘s product are typically not homogeneous. The idea of a market structure pinpoints this fact. Market structure is the arrangement of groups or segments of buyers comprising a total market. Notably, each segment differs from the others in the way its buyers will respond to a marketing strategy. In fact, this structure exists, for the most part, because customers in different groups have at least somewhat different market requirements. Market requirements are the benefits that buyers expect from sellers as a condition of buying. Probably the most important and difficult challenge for Verizon Wireless and AT&T is to find out what the market structure is and what its customers’ market requirements are (Kotabe and Helsen 2007).
An example of Verizon Wireless and AT&T shows that marketing and new product launch have some similarities, operationally, conceptually they are different and may not even interface. There are several reasons for this. For entrepreneurship, the real focus is on innovation, being innovative, and the drive for independence. Although marketing should also be innovative, this frequently is not the case. In fact, much of marketing is more duplication than innovation–with companies merely following a successful pattern established by the market leader in such areas as advertising appeal, product design, sales promotion techniques, and the distribution system.
The divergence between the two also occurs in the area of internality/externality. New product management is much more internally oriented in focus than marketing. All the aspects of the service must come together in order for a successful launch to occur. This aspect, as well as the other commonalities and differences, is often affected when external financing is involved. The presence of external financing can significantly change the entrepreneurial process by impacting the activities of the entrepreneur and the new business. With external financing, often an entrepreneur can no longer freely direct and guide the business as there is now a need to satisfy another party–particularly when it is the one providing the needed capital. This can eventually lead to less innovative, creative behavior, and a more controlled entrepreneurial process similar to that which occurs in many marketing situations (Kotabe and Helsen 2003).
In sum, new service introduction reflects strategies and goals of the companies. Because the economic model of strategic management serves as a guideline for modern companies, perhaps these processes ought to be considered from other perspectives. This marketing structure separates the new product development, planning, and management tasks from the existing divisions in the organization in order to centralize the new product decision-making process and eliminate redundancy of tasks across divisions.
The service approach of this central authority is frequently given to a new product manager or director who has a staff position and likely reports to a vice president or executive vice president of the company. Here, the manager of the new service reports to the executive vice president who, in turn, reports to the president of the firm. Although in this simplified chart, the new service is a staff rather than a line function, some feel that new product development should be a line function with the accompanying authority.
Doyle, P., Stern, Ph. 2006, Marketing Management and Strategy. Financial Times/Prentice-Hall; 4 edition.
Fill, C. 1999. Marketing Communication: Contexts, Contents, and Strategies 2 edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Hollensen, S. 2007, International Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.
Kotabe, M., Helsen, K. 2003, International Marketing Management. Wiley.
Paley, N. 2006, The Manager’s Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies. Thorogood.