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Commercialization is the process or cycle of introducing a new product or production method into the market. The actual launch of a new product is the final stage of new product development and the one where the most money will have to be spent for advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts.
- The funnel. It is essential to look at many ideas to get one or two products or businesses that can be sustained long-term.
- It is a stage-wise process, and each stage has its own key goals and milestones.
- It is vital to involve key stakeholders early, including customers.
The commercialization process
Proposed commercialization of a product can raise the following questions:
- when to launch. Factors such as potential cannibalization of the sales of a vendor's other products, any requirement for further improvement of the proposed new product, or unfavorable market conditions may operate to delay a product launch.
- where to launch. A potential vendor can start marketing in a single location, in one or several regions, or in a national or international market. Existing resources (in terms of capital, and operational capacities) and the degree of managerial confidence may strongly influence the proposed launch-mode. Smaller vendors usually launch in attractive cities or regions, while larger companies enter a national market at once.
Global roll-outs generally remain the exclusive preserve of multinational conglomerates, since they have the necessary size and make use of international distribution systems (e.g., Unilever, Procter & Gamble). Other multinationals may use the "lead-country" strategy: introducing the new product in one country/region at a time (e.g. Colgate-Palmolive).
- whom to target. Research and test marketing may identify a primary consumer group. The ideal primary consumer group should consist of innovators, early adopters, heavy users and/or opinion leaders. This will ensure adoption by other buyers in the market during the product-growth period.
- how to launch. The prospective vendor should decide on an action plan for introducing its proposed product - plan shaped by addressing the questions above. The vendor has to develop a viable marketing-mix and to structure a corresponding marketing-budget.
- Jolly, Vijay K.(1997) :Commercializing New Technologies: Getting from Mind to Market;Harvard Business School Press. [Note: a new edition was due in early 2009.]
- Clemens, F. et al. (2003): Xelibri: A Siemens Mobile Adventure; case study of WHU School of Management, Vallendar, Germany; distributed by ECCH Collection, England and USA.
- Dibb, S. et al. (2001): Marketing – Concepts and Strategies; Fourth European Edition Houghton Mifflin; Boston.
- Jobber, D. (2001): Principles & Practice of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill; London.
- Kotler, P. et al. (1996): Principles of Marketing; Fourth European Edition Prentice Hall; Harlow (UK).
- Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L. (1999): Essentials of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill; London.