A really expert analysis there, you're enlightened me greatly, it all still boils down to timing in the end. but at the least, we were able to bring out a number of other deciding varibles, to which timing still applies.
TIOLUWA - Believe we agree. A market trend, such as change in the shape of demand, i.e. for green, mobile, interoperable products, all affect product development, availability and promotional timing strategies. Too early and no one is paying attention or can't yet see the need. Too late and you're facing well established competitors and declining prices. Another of Trout & Ries' 22 Laws that's likely applicable here is, "It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace."
Understanding technology that's available and applicable to newly arrising or discovered customer pains or pleasures is the what its all about. That's one of the roles market reseach analysts and product planners play in the tech sector. Additionally, new technology sometimes creates its own demand as people realize a new need rather than just replacing older ways of doing things. For example, people didn't generally realize the values of a personal computer at its initial introduction and availability at affordable prices. In that case marketing investment plays an essential role in driving demand for something entirely new. Effective promotional timing remains critical.
you made a good point on that. i think the reason for that is because every manufacturer want to be at the top of the market and one of the ways to do that is to keep releasing new products which may not have passed the test of time though.
Innovation is a major foundation for staying on top on the market but then you products are being released even before customers could think about the previous ones tend to scare them because innovation could also bring the fear on the unknown or untrusted products.
It is a good question and I really appreciated, because it allows thinking more about. My personal feeling is trend acts as "key" and right timing could help a product in ramping the trend or in doing a break, starting a new one. I also insist in external events as possible major influencers , this is not a topic discussed inside current Ford's editorial, I guess to share some opinions about, with EBN community, in the future as per next editorials. -Thx
Anandvy - Your question is at the core of nearly every marketer's dilema. The challenge is not only when to invest in marketing but how much. The list of questions (see bullets) in my original post provides some direction. There are certainly additional variables worth including in the decision process. There is no pat formula for the "correct" amount. This is decision that must be based on a wide range of market conditions. Establishing a level of marketing spend on a certain percentage of sales is a vague guideline and may or may not be adequate. From my fairly long experience, tech marketers' error is often investing too little too late. They underestimate what it takes to drive and maintain awareness, credibility and demand against relentless competition. There tends to be an inherent belief that products should stand on their own merits and that promotion is, or should be, unnecessary. I have theories on why that happens but it would be way off topic.
To the other replies around jumping the gun with products or services that aren't customer-ready (introducing too early), I addressed that in the original post. I'd add that the whole customer experience (often referred to using the buzzword "solution") must be in place for optimal success. Its not just about the device. Claiming a "complete solution" will come back to bite tech marketers nearly every time because customers will nearly always find something that is lacking and that can be added. If, as marketer, you think you're done innovating or inventing a product, you're mistaken.
On TIOLUWA's comment regarding quality, I offer that "quality" whatever that may entail, is a basic requirement for being in business today. It's merely table stakes to be in the game. Claiming quality as a differentiator is of no value since its highly likely that all your competitors already have it, or if by some strange chance they're lacking it, they'll have it soon. Figure out something else of value to customers on which to base you brand's difference.
It is right Tioluwa, in effect one dimension of phenomenon I have forgot to mention is exactly market's power to "absorb" products and promotional mix of messages. For example timing to launch one specific tech product can be very aligned to end users needs, but external factors could influence the success in one sense or in the opposite. Just to be pragmatic: tech products in the area of photovoltaic are mapping exactly the strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and create alternatives to oil, unfortunately fund from Govs are gone due to current financial crisis and political events in Northen Africa and Middle East. As consequence the process has been stopped and products are not achieving targets.
mfbertozzi's are very interesting, distinguising what kind of product does matter. however, i believe the question of timing does affect all kinds of products, but in varying degree and in different ways.
timing for business solutions is a matter of relevance to business trends within the market as well as flunctuations. a flunctuation in business trends could create an opportunity for a particular business model to fit in, if that opening is not maximized, then the model becomes useless afterwards.
Solution for vendors is also dependent on market trends which change, and usually continue to advance, without going back. we looked at the issue of solution based products from electronics suppliers in the past on this blog, rather than mear sales of components. this was a trend in the market that started some time back and is still on.
so timing is critical everywhere, but again to varying degree.
Thanks for your reply Ford, it was really helpful and informative.
as for the whole issue of promotions coming too soon, i think the market is just too competitive, everyone is on everyone's neck, causing manufactures to do anything just to draw the attention of customers to themselves, the trick just backfires sometimes.
I think quality is one of the greatest marketting tools, and to ensure that, some companies while promoting an unfinished product give a timeframe for its completion, this could help prevent the product being release too soon.
Ariellastates this point very well. again, pressure from competitors could be killing.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.