Why Innovative Projects Fail

Cooper talks about fifteen critical success factors for innovative products, based on the NewProd Study. To sum up, I want to single out several reasons why innovative projects fail.

  1. The product/service developed does not have a real competitive advantage against competing products (also substitutes) and does not offer any added value for the customer.  In this case, you have to compete on price, which is often not possible for innovative products due to high R&D costs.
  2. The target market is unattractive and the product is not scalable to other markets (including the markets abroad).
  3. The necessary research on the target market, as well as  financial and technical feasibility of the project had been skipped or insufficiently conducted before the project was pushed into the pipeline. Too much rush in implementing the project. Think of the time-to-profit, not time-to-market.
  4. The product or service were not defined clearly from the start (including technical specifications, distribution channels and market positioning).  I think the reason behind it is the desire to leave the side door open for sudden changes. But without any clear definition the project cannot be successfully managed by a cross-functional team.
  5. The project team members cannot (missing competencies) or are not willing (missing understanding) to work on the innovative project. The human factor must not be underestimated!
  6. The company has too many projects in the pipeline, the decisions to “kill” do not take place on time. This leads to the resources being spread too thinly and insufficient time and money granted to the potential winner projects.
  7. The organizational structure and the culture of the organization do not allow for the necessary flexibility in the innovative process. The innovative projects have no “advocates” in the company management.
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Specifics of Advertising on the Radio

Visiting the local Radio House the other day got me into thinking about radio as a marketing means.

As the managing director stated: radio is alive and kicking. Among the  reasons he named were: firstly, the radio can be used in the background of other activities, such as daily morning routines (morning is prime-time in the radio business). Secondly, real-time shows allow for instant news updates (DJs were constantly monitoring the news situation while moderating the show). And finally  the local nature of the radio is attractive for most clients (despite the unlimited number of Internet radio channels, the majority of radio listeners stick to the local providers).  Recent research even shows a growing number of younger people listening to the radio.

Thus, radio seems to be still a factor in media planing. First of all, radio is great for locally offered products or services. Secondly, radio offers a better reach  in comparison to the Internet or the local newspaper. The format of the radio (repeating of information, background flow of information) has the potential to increase the share of mind of any brand significantly.

However, I am still not convinced that radio advertising can be used successfully for any given product. For example, for a specific, niche product, the radio advertising unfortunately causes massive coverage waste, that is the relative conversion cost is rising.

A complex product or service has to be marketed through two-stage communication model: a user is forwarded to a landing page or another source of information by the radio commercial, which again may cause distortions/interruptions  in the communication process.

Another interesting finding was that advertising alone  is often not enough, it has to be coupled with promotion, e.g. extra benefits/ discounts/special offers in order to attract the customers.  In this case the question rises if the customer has been attracted by the discount or by way the product/ service has been positioned in the radio commercial.

What is more, the product or service and the brand itself  has to fit into the format of the radio channel/ radio program where it is advertised.

All in all, the goal of a marketer in doing radio advertising  should be looking for ways to build up a share of heart in addition the share of mind.

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Generating Leads in Direct Marketing

In order to exchange quantity for quality in direct marketing, it is important to base your first contact with the customer on the following principles.

In order to stay customer-focused and exchange quantity for quality in direct marketing, it is important to base your first contact with the customer on the following principles:

1. Study the business environment of the customer. What industry are they in, what are the trends and challenges in the industry?

2. Study the working environment of the customer. What department are they in, what is their function in the company?

3. On the basis of data derived in this way, generate a hypothesis on what challenges this particular customer group might face. If you are selling online marketing services to local restaurants’ directors think in terms of difficulty in attracting new customers, local nature of the business and growing competition.

4. Generate a solution for this problem based on YOUR product. For example, a good website and professional social media activity help to be closer to the customers and build a relationship with them. They also help to optimize the offered services through soliciting customers’ feedback on their needs and desires. What is more, they create a certain level of managed publicity in order to attract new customers.

5. Describe  how YOUR product/service has helped customers with similar needs or problems in the past. E.g. restaurant XYZ has increased its customer base by… percent and overrode competition by offering better services with an interactive and appealing website.

6. Now you probably  have established common grounds with your customer and your first contact in direct marketing will be more successful.

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