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    The pre-launch paradigm: a new data perspective for marketers

    Data is becoming more sophisticated than ever before. For brands and advertisers, this is opening up new opportunities to listen and understand consumers, target customers and drive business growth. 

    In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, data is crucial when it comes to improving business marketing and advertising strategies. The abundance of data available is helping marketers to rapidly gain insights into what works and what doesn’t, and make changes accordingly.

    In response, many businesses are moving to a much more agile, iterative way of working that involves constantly testing new ideas. There’s just one problem: pre-launch, marketers have very little access to data, which can make it very difficult for them to know how their product or advertisement will land in the marketplace.

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    Maximizing the impact of pre-launch campaigns 

    Despite the abundance of data available to marketers, the failure rate for new products and advertisements is still high. According to research from Harvard Business Review, more than 30,000 new products are launched every year, and 28,500 of them (95%) fail. HubSpot research results reveal similarly alarming numbers — that 63% of U.S. consumers believe that most ads don’t look professional, and 56% think they insult their intelligence.

    “They’re not failing because they haven’t been tweaked properly in the market,” argues Steve Phillips, the CEO of consumer insights platform Zappi. “They’re failing because they’re not effectively managed pre-market. It’s the pre-launch that matters.”

    While gathering data post-launch is easy, gathering data pre-launch is still a significant challenge for marketers. Up until now, businesses have mostly relied on traditional market research to steer their pre-launch campaigns. However, this is time-consuming, expensive and analog: traditional market research agencies can typically take four to six weeks to perform a single test, which can cost up to $30,000, with the data provided not being actionable enough. This means that for most businesses, testing an idea more than once or twice is out of the question. 

    Phillips created Zappi to help enterprises inspire and validate their advertisements and new product ideas with confidence before launch, powering them to test more ideas and maximizing their impact by digitizing their insight streams. Zappi cuts the average test down to an average of 6 hours and cuts the cost down to $2,000 to $3,000. This allows businesses to adopt a more agile approach to consumer insights while making smarter, more data-informed decisions. 

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    However, over the past few years, we have witnessed a rapid increase in privacy regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the upcoming demise of third-party cookies. In light of these increased regulations, first-party data collection has become a big area of focus for brands. Merkle’s 2021 Customer Engagement Report revealed that 88% of respondents identified the collection and storage of first-party data as a high priority. 

    Zappi is aiming to help companies to drastically reduce their reliance on third-party data. “Through pre-launch digital data sets, marketers can now get more reliable consumer insights and actually own the data, meaning they don’t need third-party ad tech companies to understand their audiences” states Phillips.

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    Staying ahead of the innovation curve

    It’s no secret that becoming more data-driven increases business performance. A 2019 McKinsey survey found that 21% of high-performing organizations identified setting a data and analytics strategy as their number one key to success.

    After a product or advertisement has been launched, marketers are flooded with multiple data streams that they can continually analyze in real time. This includes social media data, sales data, CRM data, and clickstream data designed to link together the actions a single user has taken within a session. But to be useful, these data streams need to be integrated. 

    Data integration, which refers to the process of bringing data from disparate sources together to provide users with a unified view, is designed to make data more freely available, and easier to consume and process. 

    “Probably the biggest trend that’s going to impact us all over the next five years is data integration,” says Phillips. “Data in the ether is of no use to anyone. It has to be integrated to provide a holistic view of either the brand, the consumer, the product, or the campaign. And it has to enable you to make better decisions with confidence.”

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    Fusing pre-launch and post-launch data streams

    Launch day only comes around every so often. So when it does, marketers and advertisers must use their data to make the most of the opportunity. “You can’t change a product or an advertising campaign significantly once it’s in the wild,” says Phillips. “You have to optimize it before it goes out.”

    Responsibly fusing pre-launch and post-launch data streams will provide marketers with a new perspective that helps them understand what consumers really want from their products, ads and shopping experiences. Ultimately, it will allow them to successfully optimize their campaigns before they have even launched them, reducing failure rates and increasing their chances of in-market success. 

     

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