All of us at Percepta have cumulatively been involved in literally hundreds of biotools product launches in the course of our careers at various well known biotools companies. Some of these products were fabulous successes and others were fantastic flops. The flops failed for a variety of reasons but the successes all had one thing in common – they were fast out of the gate and delivered what they promised.
I remember one success particularly well. I was responsible for introducing a new line of products for a major supplier. The new portfolio was a significant expansion of what was a minor product line for my employer at the time. The launch was quite large with over 65 individual kits all focused on various aspects of a very common molecular biology application performed by more than 90% of life science labs. There was a lot to worry about because we were late to market with this portfolio and we knew we were facing serious competition and an uphill battle to take share from them, yet we were confident that if we could get researchers to try the product we would be able to convert them. Naturally, we had a sample program in place and the sales force had been trained and properly incentivized. But there was one thing we did that I still believe made the difference between early post-launch success and trench warfare with the competition (and our sales force too). We asked our existing customers a few simple questions.
I have always been a strong proponent of the bird-in-hand mentality, so for the sake of saving time and extending our thinly spread launch team we hired an outside marketing research consultant to poll our company customer list to identify researchers that were not all that happy with their current competing supplier for this common molecular biology application. The goal was to prime the sales force pump, so to speak, with easy to reach customers that were predisposed to try our new products.
It turned out that there were about 1,500 disgruntled researchers among those responding to our short survey that were receptive to a new method/kit/supplier. Best yet, we knew who and where they were and what they were unhappy about.
Putting this kind of information in the hands of a hungry sales force is a bit like throwing gasoline on a fire. We decided to generate a one page profile on each of the receptive customers and divvy them up by sales territory to the respective sales rep. The sales force really ate this up and to make a long story short the portfolio launch was the most successful revenue garneting product launch in the company’s (at the time 18 year) history! It was fast out of the gate and just kept going. It is still growing today.
It is a simple idea that any company can do with their own resources – but few if any try. Why? Because most marketing managers are too thinly spread already and have too much to do before any launch. There is not enough bandwidth and so many internal hurdles to get over like getting access to the customer mailing lists, writing and then setting up the survey, analyzing the data. And who writes the one page reports and gets them sorted by sales territory? In my experience it is almost always a matter of bandwidth and not” know how” that prevents companies from doing this at launch.
If this sounds familiar , take heart and remember that we hired a consultant to help – and it was well worth it to do so. Percepta’s Profile Program™ can do all the heavy lifting and help your next product launch with a minimum of your time. We’re here when the time is right.
As always, your comments are encouraged.