Well, according to the Harvard Business Journal article “Why Most Product Launches Fail“, there are actually 40 reasons your product launch will fail anywhere from the pre-launch through the launch phase. A majority of them relate to marketing. Just another reason why “Marketing is a part of Everything”
1. No market research on the product or the market has been done.
2. Most of the budget was used to create the product; little is left for launching, marketing, and selling it.
3. The product is interesting but lacks a precise market.
4. The product’s key differentiators and advantages are not easily articulated.
5. The product defines a new category, so consumers or customers will need considerable education before it can be sold.
6. The sales force doesn’t believe in the product and isn’t committed to selling it.
7. Because the target audience is unclear, the marketing campaign is unfocused.
8. Distribution takes longer than expected and lags behind the launch.
9. Sales channels are not educated about the product and thus slow to put it on shelves.
10. The product lacks formal independent testing to support claims.
11. The marketing campaign is developed in-house by the manufacturer and lacks objectivity.
12. The product is untested by consumers; only the company can assert its benefits.
13. The website is the primary place to order, but the product description is unclear and the site isn’t fully functional.
14. The product is launched too hastily and doesn’t work reliably.
15. The launch is aimed at the wrong target audience.
16. Supplies of the product are insufficient to satisfy orders.
17. The product is launched too late for its key selling season.
18. The product doesn’t fit into any key selling season.
19. The manufacturer’s claims can’t be backed up.
20. A governing body (the FTC, the FDA) pulls the product, citing false claims.
21. The product is given a limited “trial at retail” but without public relations, marketing, or promotion to “turn” it.
22. The product is launched without influencers to promote its efficacy.
23. The launch budget is insufficient to “pull” the product off the shelf.
24. The product has no trained spokesperson to educate the media.
25. Management launches the marketing campaign before distribution is complete.
26. Management has promised the board and stockholders an instant hit without considering how much time is needed to educate consumers about the product.
27. The ad campaign is untested and ineffective.
28. The launch campaign depends solely on PR to sell the product.
29. The company spends the entire marketing/advertising budget at launch, so no funds are left to sustain the campaign.
30. Company executives underestimate the value of Twitter and Facebook.
31. Retailers are given no incentives to feature the product.
32. All marketing dollars go to advertising and public relations, none to social media.
33. Line extensions aren’t test-marketed as thoroughly as the original product, so they fail.
34. The product is launched to capitalize on a fad that soon fizzles. [market trends]
35. The product design is unique but confuses consumers, who don’t understand how the product works.
36. The spokesperson is a bad fit with the product, creating a discordant message.
37. The product is priced too high for mass adoption. [market positioning]
38. Consumers are unclear about what demographic the product is geared toward.
39. The product is manufactured offshore; quality control issues result in negative consumer feedback and product returns.
40. The ad campaign is launched before the sales force is fully briefed, so customers know more than salespeople about the product.
Aside from product development and design budgets, marketing is involved. Just consider all the places and times your product touches the consumer. Each of those moments is an opportunity to market – and it better be doing a good job!