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Innovation demands agility to launch products

23rd Sep 2020
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To succeed in today’s rapidly changing business environment, portfolio marketers and product managers need to be more iterative, agile and customer centric. They must establish role clarity across activities, create alignment across functions and speed time to market to commercialise offerings. By standardising and streamlining processes for delivering products, enhancements, solutions and services to the market, portfolio marketers can significantly improve decision making and increase revenue.   

Based on discussions with B2B Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), Chief Product Officers (CPOs) and portfolio marketing leaders, we recommend the following considerations that B2B leaders must take advantage of: 

Emphasise opportunity assessment for strategic investments. While beefing up current portfolios and enhancing existing solutions is almost always a given, portfolio marketing leaders must explore new opportunities to pursue. Market, competitive analyses and customer input all provide valuable information that can point to smaller or near-term opportunities as well as larger moves that create new revenue streams and expand the footprint of the organisation.  

Iterate activities and deliverables for greater agility. With the move to agile development, more and more organisations are finding the need to have a more versatile approach to developing go-to-market strategies and product definitions. Leaders must take a more iterative approach to defining the opportunity as well as defining the solution, so leaders and teams can pivot with new information and before making large investment decisions.  

Add decision points at each stage of the process for stronger alignment and adaptability. In the agile methodology, sprint reviews are conducted at the end of each sprint, allowing cross-functional teams to review progress and determine the best course of action. B2B marketers should add decision points at the end of each stage of the overall process. A final deliverable for each decision point collates the work done to date, enabling teams to review progress, assess changes in customer needs and decide how best to move forward.  

Increase focus on obtaining customer insight, input and feedback to better meet needs. While being audience-centric is critical to bringing a new product or solution to market, portfolio markets should include more activities to gain customer inputs and ensure that new innovations or enhancements are on point in solving business problems. Additionally, consider adding a lane for a Customer Success team with related responsibilities for gaining customer insights and feedback throughout the product commercialisation and lifecycle process. 

Optimise investments through portfolio balancing and growth planning. While organisations may already have a strong go-to-market or commercialization process, many firms lack the discipline in optimising their portfolio to drive the most effective and efficient growth. Once a product, solution or service is in market for a period of time, ongoing efforts to identify new growth opportunities should be conducted and portfolios should be assessed for relevancy, overlap and growth potential.   

To attend Forrester’s Summit EMEA 2020 event from 6-7 October you can register to join here.  

This post was written by VP principal analyst Beth Caplow and it appeared here.   


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