The Ultimate Challenge: Brining a New Product to Market

In 2012, the letters “BB” became inseparable in many consumers’ minds with the word “cream”. BB Cream, merges both the benefits of foundation and skincare, was the latest new cosmetic product to take the North American market by storm in 2012. At the end of 2012 BB Cream sales reached $36 million in North America, compared to $2 million dollars in 2011. Large corporations such as Revlon, MAC, and Maybelline launched their products after the arrival of the first creams in the Asian-Pacific market. As a result of its popularity more products offering combination solutions entered the market – and new category of hybrid skincare was born. The story of BB Cream is a perfect example of how proper marketing of a new product can help jump start a new product category and create a product success. Before putting a new product to market – there are key concepts marketers need to know and abide by.

My weapon of choice is Bobbi Brown BB Cream
My weapon of choice is Bobbi Brown BB Cream

New Product Categories to Watch

The research firm Nielson, in 2013 released a study on consumers and their responses to new product categories. In this study, 58 countries were surveyed online to find out what markets are the key drivers for new products. It was found that there are five key product categories that have the most success introducing a new product – food/beverage, clothing/apparel, personal hygiene, household cleaning, and oral care. Each of these market verticals had four or more new products purchased by a consumer in the last six months.  Nielson also found that consumers’ responsiveness to new products is also culturally based. For example, Asia-Pacific respondents have the highest likelihood of purchasing new products within these top categories than any other nationality but Latin America respondents are more actively seeking out new products. It was also found that certain product categories resonate more within different countries, such as in the Middle East/Africa where the number one product category by a 29% margin was in cosmetics rather than food/beverage.

Consumer Responses to Different Media

One of the most important aspects of launching a new product is getting consumers to hear about it then use it. Nielson found that 72% of new product awareness comes from the traditional method of in store discovery. Marketers can use this information to their advantage by establishing interactive displays for new products.

Another important method that still is proving affective for some products is TV ads and 59% of those surveyed found a new product through television. However, the way in which most consumers found a new product was through word of mouth, particularly via social media, mobile and the internet. Social media and mobile is becoming an increasingly more important aspect to a marketer’s campaign and for new products this step must not be ignored.

New Product Frame work

When a new product is ready to go to market, it is an exciting time but also leaves many marketers scratching their heads on how to successfully market the product. The key to marketing a new product lies in a holistic approach of multi-media campaign. The first step is to understand whether or not the product is able to fulfill an unmet need of the consumer. Products that fulfill an unmet need for a consumer are more likely to be successful at market than those that do not. Nielson recommends making campaign focus around how the product can meet the need/opportunity rather than the features of a product.

PEW Research Shows a Shift in Social Media

Like all things, social media platforms age and as these sites develop and grow – so do their users. Users that were once frequent and active participants in a social media site either leave or become in active. In replacement of those users, new users enter a social media community and implement their own ethos upon it.  It is important for marketers to be aware of the demographic shifts that occur as a social media site develops over time, to insure that the proper channels are being used to reach target audiences.

Source: entmoney.com
Source: entmoney.com

A study published by Pew Research Center in February 2013, entitled The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012, surveyed 1,802 respondents in North America ranging in age from 18 to 65+ to uncover the patterns and demographic migration on social media. The study found that respondents who are 18 to 29 years of age are 83% more likely to be involved in social media, 30 to 49 year olds made up the second largest group using social media and 84% of those who were 50+ were active on social media sites. The social media sites profiled were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. When looking at the usage of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the activity and usage surrounding these social media sites were the most interesting, they are as follows:

  • Twitter had the heaviest users within the 18 to 29 age bracket with 16% using the site. This is a 10% decline from a previous study by Pew Research, conducted in 2011 where 26% of people in this demographic were active users.  Another Pew Research found in a study on teenagers’ (12 to 17) uses of social media and privacy that 24% of young teens use Twitter, which is an increase of 16% from 2011 in this age group. Marketers should be aware of this shift in young users on social media platforms such as Twitter, since much of the marketing on Twitter currently geared towards the 18-29 demographic.
  • Instagram is most popular with those who are under 50 years of age and its users are more likely to be women. Reinforcing the findings by Pew Research Center, a recent Nielson study, found that Instagram is the top photo sharing site for teens with over one million users in the 12 to 17 age demographic. With Instagram combining with Facebook, there is now an increase in teenagers using Facebook more than ever before (approximately 94%).
  • Facebook not only has new teen users but Pew Research had also found that two thirds of adults have and use Facebook, and that 92% of those adults surveyed are 50 or older. This is a huge demographic switch for a site founded and projected in the media a very “college based” audience. Older users in social media sites could allow for more opportunities to push e-commerce based marketing campaigns as these are the demographics with heavy spending power.

The demographics of social media seem to be switching to two main age groups the very young (12 to 17) and the more mature (50+). While those in the 18-29 demographic are still active on social media sites, they are removing themselves from them more frequently than any other demographic. Another study completed by Pew Research released in 2013, wrote about something called “Facebook Fatigue”, in which it was found that 61% of adult Facebook users would take a break from using the social media site. It is expected that in 2013, 38% of Facebook’s former core demographic, 18 to 29 year olds, would spend less time or remove themselves completely from the site. This extreme shift in Facebook user demographics is a clear example of how marketers need to be ready and be able to adapt to new demographics when using social media as a marketing tool.

Marketers must be mindful what their target demographic is using before spending large amounts of capital to reach out to an audience that is assumed to be using a social media site. It is also important to take advantage of the tools provided by social media sites to help marketers. For example, Facebook has an age feature that allows for ads to be pushed to specific age groups.  Most recently – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all taken steps to better cater to their younger demographic users by increasing their video capabilities and the ability for marketers to use video to reach video centric audiences. Remaining informed on who is using a social media site and using tools provided by  the social media sites to help you reach your target demographic – guarantees you won’t fall victim to a social media demographic shift or fatigue.

Goodbye Facebook

Today, I woke up and did my usual morning routine. Roll out of bed, feed cat, roll back into bed, grab smart phone, and check Facebook. Except for today when I logged onto Facebook I had sudden realization – Facebook is not for me. I’m tired of getting ads because somehow Facebook’s back end has determined what I like or the constant changing of UI without any user testing or choice. And as it turns out I am not the only one feeling the Facebook fatigue.f_logo

According to a “recent Pew Research Center project found that 42 per cent of young adults between 18 and 29 reported spending less time on Facebook in a typical day last year than in 2011. Their age group was also the most likely to anticipate decreased use this year” (Mills par 7). Facebook is a company built on this demographic – what happens now when it’s core set of users is depleting? Is Facebook the next MySpace? (I know MySpace made a “come back” but ask yourself – do you use it?)

Many of those surveyed many said they were too busy, weren’t interested or waste of time/bad content (Van Grove par 3). The key to a good site is rich content and Facebook’s changes have caused that content quality to go down. Even busy people will check a website filled with rich content. Granted we can’t change someone who posts all about what they have been eating but Facebook can change the kinds of ads we see and how our content is received. Quality is what Facebook seems to be forgetting. If the content of Facebook doesn’t improve how can things like Facebook Home truly be successful?

The Pew study also said that many users do end up going back to Facebook after a time. As one student put it, “They’re on Facebook, you sort of have to be. But there’s a subtle guilt associated with it, or a realization that it’s not a choice. Something that’s not a choice isn’t necessarily as cool as it used to be” (Mills par 10).  Let’s hope I don’t start feeling guilty to soon.

References:

Mills, Carys. “‘Facebook fatigue’ and the aging social network | Toronto Star.” thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada’s largest daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Van Grove, Jennifer. “Study: Facebook fatigue — it’s real | Internet & Media – CNET News.” Technology News – CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.