MARKET RESEARCH AND INNOVATION ROADMAP VALIDATION
What is an Innovation Roadmap?
An innovation road map is a critical navigation tool in the innovation process. It is a ‘plan-on-a-page’ for any kind of strategies or goals represented over time. The map itself helps to provide focus, orientation, pathways to success and provides an effective communication tool, to keep everyone on the same page.
Innovation road maps are also known as a product roadmap, designed to encapsulate a new product development pipeline over time with a plan of action for how a product or solution will evolve over time right up to launch. Time may be represented as different horizons or steps in the launch plan. The following diagram is a very simple plan sketch.
What is the goal of Innovation Road Mapping?
The goal of innovation road mapping is to develop your innovation strategy. We all know that change is the only constant, so it is important for businesses to start doing things differently to find new opportunities and generate new opportunities. Road mapping can help you connect technology, R&D, marketing and operations to customer needs. It can provide your business with a portfolio development strategy but also a common, shared language to not only map but also understand the opportunity pathways available to your business and to gather business reality around these. The overall idea is to get people aligned and working together on future business outcomes. A strong road map will help you:
- Develop a culture of innovation and identify focus areas in the business
- Generate breakthrough solutions
- Identify the most profitable opportunities for your business
- Clarify current and new customer targets
- Create strong launch strategies and consider ROI
- Validate a roadmap at leadership level
- Test and validate ideas to increase success rate
- Lower risk and create business cases
How do I build an Innovation roadmaps?
The development of a roadmap for your business will depend on who is driving this and the culture of the business. An NPD (new product development) pipeline will provide you with a product roadmap. This could also apply to the development and rollout of new services or technology. Innovation Roadmaps are designed to support strategic planning in innovation management in any sector of the business. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on product innovation roadmaps. These may contain the following elements:
- Trends and foresight
- Product concepts or ideas
- Technology and materials available
- Market information
- Measures such as e.g., market research, KPIs and success factors
Validating Innovation Road Maps with Market Research
What is Validation?
Validation is an endorsement of our thinking so that we can make faster, more informed decisions. We validate ideas by gathering evidence to clarify the gap that the idea fills and reduce the risk. We gather evidence through market research using consumers or other stakeholders to help us corroborate the need for business and product ideas, or to help us with user testing of ideas.
There are 3 simple steps to validation.
- Define your focus: where are we at in the innovation funnel (problem space, solution space etc,), what is your specific challenge. Who do we need to verify our ideas (customers, government, suppliers, senior stakeholders) and what type of research do we need for validation?
- Create hypothesis for testing: what are your assumptions? Some are simple to validate, some are much harder. Prioritise assumptions into what the customer can help you with, and what business, or other stakeholders can help you with.
- Choose a research design to test your assumptions: what are the most suitable research methods to test your assumptions? Do you need primary research – qualitative focus groups or consumer co creation to help you build on your ideas, or do you need robust quantitative research to help size the prize or problem you have estimated? Will secondary research be enough?
- It is also a good idea to conduct some historical analysis – as innovation is cyclical. Try to understand if these pathways been tried before and how could technology and modern options improve on that thinking?
Market research agencies can assist with a range of innovation and roadmapping needs. From ideation and planning through to scenario planning and validation of ideas and roadmaps.
Want to know more?
Get in touch with our team of market research and innovation experts here at Ruby Cha Cha. We are happy to answer your questions and help you make the right agile market research decisions.