March 21, 2017
Maria Schuld, Group Executive – Financial Services Group
You’ve justified your business case for developing or acquiring a new product solution. You’ve tested the solution and everything works as anticipated. Now, it’s time to launch your new product. But you won’t cross the finish line unless sufficient resources and coordination are brought to bear during your product rollout. To guarantee success, financial institutions must work to understand how a product could fail, proactively address those risks and fully consider the needs of the customers for whom the product should have been designed.
Often, technology meets product development goals, but the product still fails in the marketplace. In some cases, product creators become enamored with technologies that aren’t relevant to consumers, they push forward technologies that they don’t understand or they simply want a technology developed so they push for it even when the product it supports doesn’t fit. Other times, they may fail to obtain critical user input and feedback. In the end, the problem is the same: they didn’t put the consumer at the center of the product development process.
Some failures can be attributed to lack of clear definition of the target market and how to sell the product. Simply lobbing products over the wall to sales and marketing risks a rollout failure. The business case needs to include budget for marketing and sales to have a seat at the table early on.
Finally, solution providers have limited control over product rollouts when the solution is passed onto customers. Marketing support for end-user adoption may be lacking on the customer side.
Other times, the timing for introducing new technologies is ahead of the market or the product isn’t quite ready for launch, but pressures to get something to market prevail. Here are two examples of premature products:
I challenge bankers and issuers to revisit your own inventory of products that initially failed to meet success hurdles. Ask yourself: Were you too early in launching to your market? Did you optimize your launch? Revisiting products in which you’re already made significant investment can reap immediate revenue given a rollout plan that maximizes opportunity.
To make sure problems like this don’t happen, it’s important to ask the following questions in order to reduce your risks:
With so many new competitors in the financial industry – many who don’t play by the same rules – it’s imperative that your product rollout be at its best if you are to succeed. My final tips are to always:
Group Executive – Financial Services Group
With over 20 years of experience in the financial and payments industry, Maria is the Group Executive for debit, credit, fraud operations and business management. Previously, she was a senior management team member for Metavante before its 2009 acquisition by FIS. Other areas of expertise include implementation management, account management, and professional services management.