Pet ownership is growing in the U.S., creating an ever-increasing demand for animal health products. In 2018, 68% of American households owned a pet, and pet owners spent just over $16 billion on supplies and over-the-counter medication for their pets.
That means, if you’re thinking about launching a product in the animal health market, now’s a good time to start.
But where to begin? There are a lot of moving parts to launching a product, from funding and product development to regulations and logistics to marketing and distribution.
A successful commercialization strategy, though, can start simple.
Hit the Books
It may not sound exciting, but your journey starts with market research. When conducted in a thorough, strategic manner, this can be a key strategic step and help you accomplish five essential things:
1. Convince stakeholders. Once you’ve learned the landscape of the animal health market, you’ll be equipped to recruit devotees within your organization or other key opinion leaders to support your product. An understanding of the current state and what your competitors are doing will enable you to quantify the benefits of your product — and strategize how you’ll make yours different. Subscribe to industry publications and cram state-of-the-industry news like your final exam is tomorrow. (Here are a few good resources.)
2. Give the people what they want. Use your research as a blueprint for your product development. Establish your target markets and develop personas for your customers — distributors, vets, and pet owners. Learn what they’re talking about and what they might be looking for. Become a social media stalker and own it. (It’s for work!) Apply your knowledge of what potential customers like and don’t like about your competitors’ products and set those as markers.
3. Find a problem, then solve it. Compare what you have (or what you’re planning) with the existing animal health market leader. Trawl manufacturer sites for the details. Product features and benefits are your new best friend. Do your plans share strengths and weaknesses with those products? Are other manufacturers missing something you think you could offer?
4. Do something new. You can’t know what’s out there until you know what’s out there. Once you do, you’ll know whether your product is truly innovative — and have the language you need to market what you’re doing as new and crucial.
5. Spread the word. About marketing. This should go hand in hand with your product development. Luckily, you already know your audiences and your differentiators. Now you just have to help them connect the dots. (That means back to social media.)
Call in the Experts
If all that research is bringing back nightmares of your sixth-period high school study hall, know that there are people who make this kind of research their job. (People like us.)
EPiQ leads the industry in market research and digital marketing. As a master distributor, EPiQ conducts animal health market research and brings their findings to their manufacturer partners, helping them to craft a robust and laser-focused marketing strategy and shake up the animal health space with innovative new products.
Contact EPiQ Animal Health to discuss launching your product.