One of the most common phrases that you will hear when you're planning the development of a new product is Time To Market. This is something that is a vitally important consideration, and something that you will need to address and factor into your planning.
So, what does Time to Market mean and why is it important for your business?
In commercial terms, Time To Market (TTM) is the time it takes for a company to create a product, up to the moment that it's ready to be put up for sale.
For companies that spot an opportunity, Time To Market is very important because if it isn't timed correctly, demand for their product will dissipate and the opportunity will be lost. This is why TTM is a KPI for many brands because if it isn't planned and achieved, a product might well lose its value to customers, and end up being a major waste of time and money.
In industries where products quickly become outdated, such as mobile phones, wearable tech and gaming, Time To Market is of the utmost importance.
Here are some of the main benefits of improving your Time To Market:
Margin Revenue Boost: Improving your Time To Market is extremely important to look after your margins, and ensure that you can keep your business financially afloat. By shortening your development time, this will keep costs down given that this can be a very expensive period. At this stage, your business will have lots of expenditure but very little income, apart from the funding that you've previously received. This is why it's essential to shorten the Time To Market so that you can get your product on the market and drive revenue as soon as possible.
Higher Market Shares: If your Time To Market is too long, then you might miss the opportunity of taking a high market share that could be stolen up by your competitors. No business wants to enter a clustered marketplace, because this will make it difficult to find a sizable and loyal customer base. Spending too long before taking your product to market will give other businesses the opportunity to dominate the market, even with a substandard product - simply because they got there first. This is particularly important for fast-paced industries like iGaming and FinTech - if you've got a great idea, the chances are that someone somewhere has had a similar one, and will be in competition with you to release it and steal a large share of the market.
Predictable Launch Dates: By setting and sticking to an accelerated Time To Market, you will help to give your whole team timeframes to get their work done. If your team members can visualise the timeline from initial stages to the product hitting the market, they will be able to prioritise certain important tasks and will have more structure to their work processes. Plus, if you're launching the product to existing and new customers who are expectantly waiting for the product's release, laying down your Time To Market will give them a firm date to get excited for.
Leaves the Competition Behind: A lengthened Time To Market will give your competition the advantage when it comes to innovation because they'll have the 'Wow Factor' amongst customers when they release their product. By reducing your time to market, you have the opportunity to steal a march on your competition, and develop a reputation as being a leader rather than a follower within the industry. If you and your competitors have similar products, customers will only be amazed once - make sure that this amazement is caused by your product by beating your competitors in your race to break into the market.
Maintains Your Momentum: When you first come up with your idea that you think will take the market by storm, excitement and momentum will be at their highest. If you then back this up with an overly lengthy development process, your Time To Market will be much too long and your enthusiasm will begin to falter. Your whole project could run out of steam and end up not getting off the ground. By improving your Time To Market you can keep your team motivated, and keep your end goal in sight, which is essential in the lifetime of a project.