One third of marketers plan product launches in three months, research reveals

Only 25% of Australian marketers are planning product launches seven to 12 months ahead of time, while 32% are planning two to three months ahead, new research has revealed.

The 2016 Launch Marketing Report, commissioned by agency Five by Five, revealed Australian marketers were more likely to spend between two to three and four to six months (33%) planning a product launch.

Think stock- business startup-launchmarketing

However, the study, which involved in-depth interviews with senior marketers from the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, showed local marketers were more likely to plan ahead, with 21% of UK marketers and 22% of US marketers planning launches across the seven to 12 months period.

Matt Lawton, managing director of Five by Five Sydney, said the findings could be attributed to product managers excluding colleagues from marketing, research and development cycles, and also approaching marketing with a product they believe is ready for market.

A marketer from the study said: “New online tools have also made it easier to conduct extensive market research far quicker, allowing marketers to achieve rapid feedback and bring the right product to market sooner.”

Another interviewee added: “We have to be quicker to take advantage of consumer trends, however we are typically given less time to demonstrate that the launch is a success, so that means we have to be confident of what we are proposing to our customers.”

The report also claimed 39% of marketers attributed launch failure to a lack of budget, while 37% said flops were due to ineffective marketing communications and 36% to a slow marketing process.

Other top-line figures reported 41% of Australian marketers launch new products through PR channels while 38% launch with a sales promotion.

Lawton said of the results: “Obviously there is an appreciation within the Australian marketing community although I think there is perhaps still a barrier or a misconception that PR is cheap.

I think it some ways it can be cost effective but in other ways clients have to pay for that market knowledge and insight and expertise and those column inches can come at a cost.”


Lawton: “There is a misconception that PR is cheap”

While the report indicated PR channels were a priority for launch marketing, the findings showed social media was the biggest priority for the 103 Australian marketers interviewed, at 51%.

Lawton said social as a leading channel was a surprise and urged marketers to ensure they understand paid social and the channel itself.

“Paid social might be what a lot of marketers had in mind when they answered the question because you can’t use social media for the launch of a new product, service or brand unless you have a sizeable following,” Lawton said.

“With paid social I think there’s a very real challenge and perhaps a danger that an expectation is unfulfilled. It’s really easy to think you are going to generate earned media from social activity but that needs to germinate from a certain level of following and it’s very hard to build that following in a short space of time when you are launching a product.

“I would think Australians marketers need to look at paid social and understand that channel and spend in a lot of detail; how to target and build an audience through paid social would also be quite an interesting topic of conversation.”

According to the marketers interviewed, the biggest benefit of social was to create awareness prior to launch (33%), followed by encouraging conversation after launch (27%) and determining preferences prior to launch (25%).

Launch Marketing report 2017

Source: 2017 Launch Marketing Report, Five by Five.

While social, PR and sales promotion were the dominant channels, only 30% of Australian marketers said they would use television.

Lawton said the finding was not a shock as most people launching new products were working in start-ups not focused on mainstream media but rather putting funds towards social and digital channels.

Commenting on what is most important for launch marketing, Australian marketers said trial, market share, engagement rate, customer satisfaction, sales and awareness were all important to consider.

Lawton said the findings offered “macro-level validation” for the research.

“When we embarked on this research we weren’t even sure the market viewed launch marketing any differently than their regular campaign marketing and we were absolutely delighted that such a huge percentage of people viewed launch marketing as different,” he added.

“I think that’s probably down to the pressure of a new product launch and also perhaps it’s a chance to evaluate things afresh.”


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