Although no single variable holds the key to new product performance, many of the widely recognized success factors share a common thread: the processing of market information. Understanding customer wants and needs ultimately comes down to a company's capabilities for gathering and using market information. And another well‐acknowledged success factor the integration of marketing, R&D, and manufacturing focuses on the sharing of information. In other words, a firm's effectiveness in market information processing—the gathering, sharing, and use of market information—plays a pivotal role in determining the success or failure of its new products. Brian D. Ottum and William L. Moore describe the results of a study that examines the relationship between market information processing and new product success. They also explore the organizational factors that facilitate successful processing of market information, and thus offer ideas for better managing the development of new products. The respondents—marketing, R&D, and manufacturing managers from Utah‐based computer and medical device manufacturers—provided information about 58 new products, including equal numbers of successes and failures. The survey responses reveal strong relationships between product success and market information processing, with success most closely linked to information use. In other words, the gathering and sharing of information are important, but only if the information is used effectively. In 80 percent of the product successes studied, the respondents ultimately possessed and used a greater than average amount of market information. And in 75 percent of the failures, the respondents knew less than average about the market at project inception, and gathered or used less than the average amount of market information during the project. For the projects in this study, the integration of marketing, R&D, and manufacturing contributed not only to the sharing and use of information, but also to overall project success. However, the results of the study suggest that the way in which a project is organized plays only an indirect role in determining new product success—most likely by improving the processing of market information. From a managerial perspective, the most important variables identified in the study are market information shared, market information used, and financial success.
The Journal of Product Innovation Management – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1997
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