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The Role of Marketing in Product Development

missingpuzzlepiece19378437.jpgProfitability is every businesses aim. The more profit a business can manage to garner, the better the business is. One way to improve the profitability of your business is by producing new products for purchase which in turn opens new markets or gives more value to current customers. However, a new product isn't always a profitable product. You want to make sure there is a need for the product you want to develop before you actually put out the money and take the time to develop it. This is where your marketing team comes into play.

Your marketing team should know your target market. They should know what your customers need and want based on the primary and secondary research they are doing for your business's marketing campaigns. They can tell you whether a product idea could potentially increase profits or not based on how that product fulfills your customers' specific needs. Here are the basic steps to use marketing to drive your product development.

Step #1: Assess your target market.

Your business is in business because you have a target market. You are currently filling a need by what you sell to your target market. Use the research your marketing team has put together to assess unfulfilled needs your target market has. Give a list of those unmet needs to your product development team. Product development and marketing can work together to determine which needs are the most urgent and define the problems that your company wants to solve through product development.

Step #2: Solution brain storming.

Once your product development team has an idea of the unmet needs of your customers, they can start solution brain storming. Your product development team members are problem solvers, and so are your marketing team members so have them work together to brainstorm and they'll come up with a product that will be a solution.

Step #3: Re-assess your target market.

Present your solutions to your marketing team and have them conduct studies to see what the customer response will be to your new product idea. Your customers' needs may have changed, or they may be able to give you feedback on whether this new product really will sell or not. Customer response to your product ideas is key to whether you are wasting your time and resources or not. Don't pass over this step because you are enthusiastic about your new product ideas. Customers don't always respond the way you want them to.

Step #4: Develop product in conjunction with a marketing strategy.

If your new product idea is one that research indicates will sell, start developing the new product in conjunction with a marketing strategy. As your product takes shape, is trouble-shot, and develops, you marketing team can figure out the best strategy by which to sell it. They can help you decide if changes need to be made to fit the needs of your customers. They can help develop the aesthetics and packaging of your product so when it is presented to your customers they'll respond. Get all of your employees working together and you'll find that using marketing to drive your product development is much more profitable.

The more your departments work in harmony to develop new products, the better those products will sell. Your marketing people are focused on people's responses to product and your product development is focused on developing good products, so bring the two together to get the ideas working for the benefit of your business. Developing need-driven products is much more profitable to your business than just developing a new product.

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