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A software company was interested in broadening its product offering up the supply chain. The Client believed the new product should be marketed to different types of customers as well as other decision makers within a customer organization. As such, the software company had no experience to draw upon to understand the key purchase decision factors that were influencing these unfamiliar decision makers. Before rolling out its new product, the Client needed to understand which market segments to target, as well as which product features to develop and how to effectively promote customer benefits.

Problem

  • Client lacked in-depth knowledge of the key business drivers (e.g. government regulation, cost containment, etc.) affecting customers within each of seven targeted market segments.
  • Client needed to understand customer needs, and how they differed by market segment, customer size, and application.
  • Customers’ receptiveness to the Client’s innovative new products was largely unknown – what were the key barriers to customer acceptance?
  • What competing products would the Client face, and what were the strengths and weaknesses of key competitors’ product and marketing strategies?

RSR Approach and Methodology

  1. Understand customers’ key business drivers – RSR contacted industry insiders from 20 companies per market segment to identify and assess key business issues that customers faced in each segment. These insights served as the foundation for identifying key information needs and developing software product specifications.
  2. Assess customer purchasing behavior – A critical part of the analysis was to gain insights into how customers perceived various software products and their suppliers. RSR gathered customer-specific information on current installed base of software and systems, recent and anticipated purchase volumes, supplier selection criteria, and comments on how customers perceive the Client (without disclosing Client’s identity). These inputs helped define the marketing challenges the Client was facing.
  3. Evaluate competition – For key competitors, RSR quantified revenues and participation in each of the major product and market segments. We determined each competitor’s product, market niche, product functionality, sales, service strategies, growth plans, new product pipeline, and other relevant competitive signals. This intelligence helped the Client learn how competitors perceive market opportunities, and enabled the Client to understand and anticipate competitive behavior.

RSR Marketing Solutions conducted in-depth interviews with key executives at over 20 competitors and 100 customers. RSR used its unique blend of industry expertise and interviewing skills to develop the ” inside story” into this new product.

Results

  • RSR presented observations and recommendations to the Client, backed by a solid foundation of primary research, that highlighted the market segments to target and the key product features necessary to be successful in these segments.
  • The RSR report integrated input from customers and competitors, providing insights into the available market, industry growth rates, market trends, new product pipelines, and critical success factors for suppliers.

From this analysis, the Client was able to select the market segments that offered the best prospects for initial success in developing and launching its new software products. The report explained how customers were evaluating this type of software, and what kind of value proposition would be required to get people to purchase the new software. The RSR study also indicated that many customers were not yet receptive to the new software being developed. Finally, RSR showed how the Client needed to modify its current market image and how it needed to position its new products in order to succeed.

 

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