SI finds and secures engagements with managers and executives excited to participate in your NPD team's VOC interview process. SI identifies and conducts VoC interviews with the right decision-makers at the right non-customer companies in your 'new/unfamiliar target market.'
The Way Most NPD Teams Find VoC Interview Opportunities in 'New/Unfamiliar Markets' Doesn't Work.
What are the problems?
Poor Research: The specialized tools and resources to do the in-depth market research to find the most innovative companies in new/unfamiliar markets are not found in NPD teams. Tired of the endless work of researching non-client companies, NPD teams often stop researching after finding just a handful of potential companies. They are usually unaware of these firms' purchasing impact or innovation in the new/unfamiliar target market. The result is poor market research and company research.
Poor Cold Calling: The cold-calling skills needed to secure appointments with the best contacts in non-customer companies to engage in VOC interviews are not common to NPD teams, nor is it within their nature as technical professionals. It is hard to secure an interview with non-clients with which teams have no relationship with or connection. NPD teams working in new/unfamiliar markets often try to jump right to securing VoC interviews after finding a handful of companies without knowing how important these companies are to the market and without having a clear idea of which contacts they should call. NPD teams start calling the main numbers for this small number of companies, trying to find the right person for thier VoC interviews. This process often grinds to a halt quickly as the receptionist and administrative staff, who work to limit access to managers and executives, put up road obstacles. NPD teams quickly become frustrated and lose momentum. They stop calling once they feel it is impossible to gain access to those who can answer their essential VOC questions.
Bad Insights: You can see how the quality of VoC Interview is limited by how lucky a team is at finding contacts with real insights before the cold calling makes them uncomfortable or exhausted. Interview results from selecting the wrong companies with the wrong contacts—if the interviews ever happen—could be disastrous to your NPD research and your product development.
Months of Delay: Loss of time is the other negative by-product of this process; NPD teams in 'new/unfamiliar markets' can take 5-9 months just to research and start contacting non-customer companies. During the cold calling of non-client companies, participation is lost due to the problems with back-and-forth communication while NPD teams are busy with the many other essential tasks of their jobs. That means major delays in bringing a product to market.
SI's Unique Solution: 6-10 weeks from our initial research to VoC Interviews for your 'NPD Project'
The following is a detailed overview of how Supporting Innovation can solve these problems for your teams focused on unfamiliar markets. The typical Supporting Innovation service offering for an NPD project team is a 5-step process focused on investigating the potential for a blockbuster product in an unfamiliar market.
Step A: Deep, original market research into your unfamiliar target market, which can include market-sizing and potential opportunity analysis.
As a starting point, Supporting Innovation (SI) researchers conduct unique deep market research into the unfamiliar target market. Our market research is essential to your team's understanding of the most important details of the target micro market.
We provide thorough research on all the following areas in the first phase of the project, making sure your team and SI have the best possible insights into your unfamiliar micro market:
- Important industry and company news over the past 5 years for the target market
- A definition of terms and nomenclature used in the micro market by its participants
- Documentation of competitive products in the target market
- Background market research into each of the important end-use companies
- Summary and links to important target market publications, articles, and presentations
- Summary and links to important target market industry research
- Summary and links to important target market academic/university thesis research
- Optional: 'market sizing,' 'potential analysis,' and other 'competitive intelligence'
- Establishment of the project criteria for company and decision-maker research
By providing this extensive research into the 'unfamiliar' target market, SI can bring early insights to the NPD team, often in just a week or two. Our clients are always impressed with how complete and targeted our market research is to their needs.
Deliverable: The deliverable from this step is a secure, web-based SI Project Dashboard with full documentation of all the areas identified above, along with copies of PDFs, PowerPoints, and any other documents critical to your team's knowledge. Our SI Project Dashboard provides your team with group communication tools so each project member can comment, discuss and note what they want other team members to think about or focus on when reviewing the research SI has identified and listed. The SI Project Dashboard platform facilitates private, secure intra-team communication as your team reviews the unique market research data SI provides for your target market.
Step B: Identify the total population of companies in your 'unfamiliar/new' target market.
Next, Supporting Innovation (SI) researchers identify the overall population of companies in your unfamiliar target market with a focus on sizing, while identifying innovation and leadership.
Our research team uses our proprietary tools and resources to assemble the ultimate list of target-market companies that could have a need for the potential products, materials, or resources from your NPD efforts.
Primary Benefit—Identifying Market Innovators: We use a wide range of resources to build the ultimate list of companies presently purchasing products, materials, services, resources etc. focused in your target marketplace. We keep a tight focus on the goal of finding the best decision-makers and companies identified as marketplace innovators for our VOC .
During this research process we break down each firm by industry, products consumed, produced products, and more. We do our best to identify product/material budgets and other data critical to your decision-making.
Secondary Benefit—Company Marketing Research: It is critical to note that this work will not only be valuable to your NPD team (who we work for), but will also be valuable to your marketing team once you're ready for market. Think what a head start our research will provide once the new product is ready for market and your firm is ready to start selling.
Deliverable: The deliverable from this step is a secure, web-based SI Project Dashboard with the full list of our recommended companies in your new market. Our SI Project Dashboard provides your team with group communication tools so each project member can comment, discuss and note what they want other team members to think about or focus on when reviewing the companies SI has identified and listed. The SI Project Dashboard platform facilitates private, secure intra-team communication as you narrow in on the targeted companies you think are best for your onsite interviews. We provide complete research data so you can see why the companies we list and recommend are truly the best for your needs.
Your Team’s Follow-up Actions: Your team utilizes the SI Project Dashboard for the selection process, which feeds directly into the next step of finding the right decision-makers. By incorporating the fully researched and analyzed companies in the SI Project Dashboard with all our findings, we enable your team to select the firms you want SI to further qualify for your onsite interviews.
Step C: Identify the best contacts and decision-makers within the companies you select.
SI identifies the best decision-makers at each of the target companies you choose to move forward with from Step B.
Determining if a target company is a good fit for VOC interviews can only happen by finding the right decision-makers and influencers at each company and having conversations about their operations, usage, present challenges, and future outlook. Step C is the identification of all the most important decision-makers at each target company identified in Step B.
We will provide all the important decision-makers in for each target company your team has selected, along with contact information. Your team will find that the contacts we identify as being essential to your NPD VOC interviews and your product decision-making—insights previously unavailable before SI.
We have a proprietary process and platform to identify the right company decision-makers and those knowledgeable of issues and challenges with existing targeted products. We know how to gauge their willingness to participate in the SI 'backgrounder' interviews and your team's ultimate onsite VOC interview.
Deliverables: Within the Project Dashboard, we provide a complete listing of all the key decision-makers we have identified from our experience as being insightful and knowledgeable. We provide key details about each contact's position in the company, responsibilities, and past experience. We identify why we feel each is valuable to the SI backgrounder interview process.
Your Team’s Actions: The NPD team reviews our recommendations and requests changes if needed. We find most NPD teams make only slight modifications to our recommendations.
Step D: SI conducts 'backgrounder VOC interviews' with multiple key decision-makers at each target company
SI conducts recorded, phone-based background Interviews with the contacts your team selects from our recommendation list in Step C.
SI will contact the decision-makers at each end-user company your team selects and secure a 20-30 minute preliminary background recorded VOC phone interview. Our results provide insights that your team will find essential to your NPD process and decision-making—insights previously unavailable before SI.
Our goal is to contact and qualify the right decision-makers at each target company and to have them answer some very important questions for your team. We deliver decision-maker interviews based on the companies your team selects from the recommendations we present in the Project Dashboard in Step C.
The questions we use in the interview are all based on an Interview Guide designed by SI, which your team reviews, edits, and approves.
Using the pre-approved interview guide, the recorded phone interviews by SI will help your team hear and understand each decision-maker’s present product usage environment (competitor's product) within their company, along with basic challenges their companies face using existing resources from the marketplace.
- We guarantee recorded interviews with 70% of the target companies and their contacts. Most often we achieve an 80%-90% success rate for recorded interviews due to our unique experience, methods, and cold-calling process.
- All interviewees find our conversations to be highly professional and respectful. We find almost all the contacts we engage in a successful recorded 'backgrounder' interview to be willing to talk with your team for a more in-depth VOC interview.
- Each one of our 20-30 minute 'backgrounder' VOC interviews will provide your team with specific insights into the real needs of that company given their present product usage.
- You will hear each decision-maker's unfiltered insights into your target competitive product, including what is working and what is not, how the product affects their operation and business, and what the opportunity is for a new innovative competitive product.
- Our recorded and transcribed phone interviews will also allow your team to select those firms you feel offer the potential for high-value, in-depth, onsite VOC / Blueprinting Discovery Interviews and site visits by your team to conduct your extensive in-person research.
Deliverables: Within the Project Dashboard, we provide a one-of-a-kind interview platform where each interview is transcribed and the audio is time-synced to the transcript, so both work in unison. SI staff will also highlight the most important quotes from each company's decision-maker along with a summary outlining focus areas we feel your team should read and hear. As with all of our services, our Project Dashboard provides tools for your team to comment, discuss, and make notes within with each interview.
Your Team’s Actions: Read and listen to the recorded phone interviews we conducted with the decision-makers at the companies identified by your NPD team in Step B.
Step E: (Optional) SI solves onsite VOC / Blueprinting Interview logistics.
We schedule and support your onsite visits and interviews to ensure there are no issues or mix-ups.
Once Supporting Innovation has identified the best market-leading companies ready to engage, and your team has made its selection of the companies you want to interview onsite, SI facilitates all of the site visits by scheduling and supporting the visits while processing all documentation and agreements required with each firm. We eliminate any logistical problems that could be a hindrance to your interview process.
We make sure the companies you are visiting are ready and engaged via our detailed site visit scheduling process, so your team members can focus on what is critical: the VOC / Blueprinting Discovery Interview.
We do it all quickly, effectively, and with a convenient web-based process that ensures your time is never wasted and that your tight NPD schedules are met.
Not only will you save person-hours, you will know everything will be perfect for each and every visit with our Interview Logistics Services.
Your Team’s Actions: SI will work with the company's schedule and your interview team's schedule to line up onsite meetings and tours so your NPD team can conduct the best possible VOC / Blueprinting Discovery Interview. You will be comfortable knowing you have the best possible companies with the right decision-makers for your onsite interviews and tours. (Please note that your team will need to setup their own travel arrangements, including travel and hotel—SI does not handle travel or accommodations.)