Because introducing new products on a consistent basis is necessary to the future success of many organizations, marketers in charge of product decisions often follow set procedures for bringing products to market. In the scientific area, this may mean the establishment of ongoing laboratory research programs for discovering new products (e.g., medicines), while less scientific companies may pull together resources for product development on a less structured timetable.
In this section, we present a 7-step process comprising the key elements of new product development. While some companies may not follow a deliberate step-by-step approach, the steps are useful in showing the information input and decision making that must be done in order to successfully develop new products. The process also shows the importance marketing research plays in developing products.
We should note that while the 7-step process works for most industries, it is less effective in developing radically new products. The main reason lies in the inability of the target market to provide sufficient feedback on advanced product concepts since they often find it difficult to understand radically different ideas. So while many of these steps are used to research breakthrough ideas, the marketer should exercise caution when interpreting the results.
Additionally, the new product development process may also be challenging in less-developed markets. This is due to difficulties marketers may face in obtaining significant marketing research information in less-developed markets (e.g., underdeveloped countries) compared to what can be obtained in more-developed markets. Often this is due to the lack of a reliable communication infrastructure. Though it may not be possible to gain the same level of market analysis in less developed markets, some level of marketing research should still be considered as even a small amount of research may prove to be useful.