Effective Use of Market Research during Each Product Life Cycle

PLC describes the stages a product goes through from when it was first thought of until it finally is removed from the market. Not all products reach this final stage. Some continue to grow and others rise and fall. Once the product is launched, the marketing needs are going to evolve alongside the product as it progresses through its life cycle. Each stage of a product’s life cycle will require different forms of market research to most effectively market your product in the industry.
Development Stage
This is the base before entering into any new market with any new product. It is nothing but research and development stage. Before you go ahead with an idea it is very necessary to test and see if you are in line with your consumer’s needs. At this stage market research conducts studies like consumer profiling, market sizing, consumer profiling, opportunity assessment, partner identification etc.
Introduction Stage
This stage of the cycle could be the most expensive for a company launching a new product. Introducing a new product into the market is going to require knowing information on your distribution channels, buyer behavior and competition. Once you gather that data, you can determine which distribution channels and location will be used, the promotion or advertising strategies that will be most effective, and the pricing that you will use. Basically, you need market research to help make the decisions of where your product will go and how it will get there; who is going to buy it; how much you are going to charge for it; and, most importantly, if anyone is going to want to purchase your product at all.
At this stage research advises to do Price point, Mystery Shopping, Channel Identification, Go to market strategy etc.
Growth Stage
The growth stage is typically characterized by a strong growth in sales and profits, and because the company can start to benefit from economies of scale in production, the profit margins, as well as the overall amount of profit, will increase. This makes it possible for businesses to invest more money in the promotional Development Stage Introduction Stage Growth Stage Effective Use of Market Research During Each Product Life Cycle Stage activity to maximize the potential of this growth stage, need to recognize new or improved competitors, to solve the new concerns arising and figure out how to maintain a positive image to your consumers. Pushing your marketing team and using resources is extremely important to ensure that you are able to get the most data possible to make the most effective decisions to push your product in the right direction. At this stage it is advisable to Brand Image, Ad track, Measurement of ROI, usage and attitude study etc.
Maturity Stage
When your product becomes mature there is little you can do to expand sales significantly. The aim for the manufacturer is now to maintain the market share they have built up. You also need to consider any product modifications or improvements to the production process which might give them a competitive advantage. After doing so, working to study your segmentation and target your customers can help you readjust marketing strategies to begin attracting new or larger groups of customers.
Decline Stage
At this stage generally studies undertaken are Price sensitivity, Satisfaction studies across stake holders, loyalty programs, drivers and restraint etc. Eventually, the market for a product will start to shrink, and this is what’s known as the decline stage. If your product reaches the decline phase, you will need to work diligently to get as much profit out of sales as possible .This shrinkage could be due to the market becoming saturated or because the consumers are switching to a different type of product. While this decline may be inevitable, it may still be possible for companies to make some profit by switching to less-expensive production methods and cheaper markets. As your product comes to a decline stage, you might also want to consider going back to the drawing board to get creative with new ways to change the product completely to revamp sales.
Market research suggests to take up research studies like feature up gradation /optimization, ROI on promotional schemes, Sales incentive programs, Image etc.
The market research process never truly ends. Continuing to market your product in new ways, as well as staying aware of your market’s customer needs and competition will allow you to remain conscious of what changes might be necessary to continually push your product forward. Maturity Stage Decline Stage
About the Author
Jyoti comes with a wealth of research and leadership experience across sectors. She has over 20 years of research experience working with Market Research companies like Nielsen, Market Probe and MRSS India. Her range of experience includes handling research projects for industry segments such as BFSI, FMCG, Industrial, E commerce, Services, Automobile, Telecom, Media, Retail, Agriculture, Pharma and several other service industries and successful handling of 500+ clients in a span of 20 years. With a handful experience in research she launched Allegiant Market Research Service and Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. (AMRSC).

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