In my last few posts I shared ideas on how to enhance product planning efforts to maximize the market potential for a product. This is just one important component. A truly successful approach to product development requires a solid understanding of the clinical issues and data, a careful assessment of the market, and a framework to analyze this information and evaluate opportunities. Seasoned marketers play a critical role in these early phases of development to ensure the product can reach its full potential once it is on the market.
As you embark on product planning for new products and new uses of existing products, consider these five key questions to guide your assessment of the market.
1. Is there an unmet need that the new/improved product can address? Too often we fall into the “build it and they will come” mentality. If your product doesn’t fulfill an unmet need don’t fool yourself into thinking “they will come.”
2. What is the true size of the market? While some conditions afflict millions of patients, a treatment may only be appropriate for a small subset of them. Patients are often stratified by severity and certain treatments are only appropriate for particular severity levels. Don’t get caught here—know which patients would likely receive your treatment and how many would be eligible for treatment.
3. Do you have the necessary budget to create awareness with healthcare providers that there is a solution to the problem? This is a particular challenge when your product is treating a common condition treated by large numbers of healthcare providers, as well as for rare diseases and disorders that are difficult to diagnose and may span a number of specialties.
4. Will a new condition need to be created in order for the product to gain success? To do this successfully requires a significant amount of awareness creation, time, and resources. Evaluate your company’s resources carefully to determine if this is possible.
5. Is the go/no-go strategy encompassing multiple sources and are they in alignment? Don’t base a go/no-go decision on just a few sources. Pull together multiple sources of information from a variety of experts. Look for consistency in their recommendations. If you receive the same comments or advice a number of times, stop and evaluate what you are hearing.
I hope these five questions have prompted you to think about the process you use to understand your product’s marketplace. Successful product development requires a view of many areas. Use an integrated approach to understand the critical clinical and marketing issues. Establish an analytical framework to assess opportunities and drive actions.
What questions do you ask as a part of your market planning efforts? In your organization, is this done early in the process, or closer to when the product is ready to be launched? Please share your experiences and we can learn from each other.
Product planning is an exciting endeavor. At the same time it can be overwhelming. Engage a partner to help you with it. At Snowfish, we have the in-depth knowledge of the industry needed to answer your questions and provide actionable insights. Our website provides detailed information on our services and expertise. If you’re interested in more information on effective product planning, we published a White Paper titled “No More Product Losers! Strategic Lessons Learned”. Please click here for a list of White Papers.
Finally, I am more than happy to have a one-on-one conversation with you. Please call me at +1 703-759-6100.