Because of the nature of the structure of the ATAR forecasting model, the marketing department will become accountable for delivering the various ATAR components if the new product is approved for development and launch.
This means, therefore, if you have indicated that the new product will generate a 25% level of awareness in the first few years, then your marketing plan (and/or product launch plan) needs to have marketing tactics in place to achieve this target. In some regards, the ATAR forecasting approach makes the marketing area more accountable for individual marketing targets, rather than overall sales revenue.
Ways to drive new product awareness
- Various forms of advertising
- Newsletters and eNews
- Product brochures
- In-store merchandising
- New product displays and demonstrations
- Free samples
- Blogger reviews
- YouTube videos
- Social media
- SEO efforts
- Own website promotion
- YouTube influencers
- Publicity stunts (media attention)
- Internal sales team efforts
- Direct marketing to existing customers
- Telemarketing efforts
- Launch event
- Increasing retailer take-up (people seeing the product in-store)
- Through sales promotion tactics (typically in-store)
- Media articles (media releases)
- Online reviews
- Word-of-mouth from friends/family
- Online comparison sites
- Retailer salesperson’s recommendations
- Seeing the product in use by other people/consumers (following trial)
- Product samples (free trials)
- Product placement (TV/movies)
- And many more
Marketers can control the awareness levels to a reasonable extent
Like all the variables in the ATAR forecasting model, marketers have a reasonable level of control over awareness levels. This is because they can influence awareness through the promotional mix and utilize the tactics of advertising, sales promotion, publicity, product placement, targeting Internet influencers, trade promotions, and so on.
Therefore, it should be very feasible for marketing launch plan to be able to deliver to awareness expectations (provided that they were initially realistic).
Awareness levels should increase over time
Awareness benefits from a cumulative effect over time. For example, when a new product first enters the market its level of awareness is quite low. This awareness will increase over time with the accumulated impact of advertising, word-of-mouth, retailer take-up, and so on.
Therefore, in your ATAR forecasts, you would generally have a relatively low level of awareness in year one (with the exception being large firms/brands) and with that level of awareness progressively growing to year five.
Align awareness estimates with the marketing program
The Excel ATAR forecast template has the capacity for you to enter different levels of awareness for each of the five years. Obviously, you should look to align your awareness estimates with underlying marketing tactics.
This means that if you have quite high levels of product/brand awareness built into your ATAR forecast, then it will be necessary to implement a significant marketing program to drive awareness (using the ideas above). Again, the exception here would be very strong brands that are able to generate high awareness through publicity and direct marketing of their existing customer base. However, for most firms/brands, generating high levels of awareness is a significant challenge and an expensive exercise (which also needs to be built into the projected promotional costs).
How the ATAR components are interrelated