Blog: The timely tracking of a global launch

Rebecca Davies, October 2019

A key challenge faced by our clients running global tracking studies is when to track. For a product yet to launch, commercialisation can vary by market by months or years. Typically, data is collected at 3 key stages - a time point prior to launch, a couple of months post launch and then at regular intervals. The issue is - how can ATU projects be managed when a product is due to be commercialised at different time points across markets?

shutterstock_1127213852
shutterstock_1127213852

A key challenge faced by our clients running global tracking studies is when to track. For a product yet to launch, commercialisation can vary by market by months or years. Typically, data is collected at 3 key stages - a time point prior to launch, a couple of months post launch and then at regular intervals. The issue is - how can ATU projects be managed when a product is due to be commercialised at different time points across markets?

There are two options: 

  1. Collect the data at different time points for each market to reflect the launch date in that market.
  2. Collect data for each market at the same pre-specified time. 

At Research Partnership we conduct around 50 ad hoc trackers a year, with each one covering an average of 7-10 markets. While the majority of our ongoing trackers are for post-launch products, we typically design trackers at the pre-launch stage.

Here is how we would approach the challenge... 

While tailoring the data collection timeframe to each market sounds like the ideal solution, it often causes the tracker to become fragmented and unwieldy.  Impact - brand teams are unable to keep up with the number of outputs provided at different times. There is a way round this as fieldwork can be staggered, with outputs for all markets delivered at regular intervals. This enables data delivery to be timed to fit with key brand planning milestones. The drawback, however, is that delivering the data story can be tricky as charts will not show a single point in time, but a snapshot at different times for each market. 

Alternatively, the cleanest and easiest way to manage the project is to sample all markets at the same point in time, regardless of the varied launch dates. The tracker will probably start small with only a handful of markets (where early launch is anticipated), but more markets can be added during subsequent waves as launches happen. Conducting fieldwork like this provides a clear data story for the global brand team as they get a snapshot of the current market place. Consequently, they can react quickly to findings and make positive changes if needed. 

We believe that clean and easily interpreted deliverables are crucial, regardless of whether fieldwork is fixed or staggered by time of launch. With all of our ATU projects, we can provide global and local brand teams with a bespoke designed online dashboard to deliver all the ATU data. This solution allows the user to select the market(s) or region(s) and the key performance indicators of interest. The benefit is that information is uploaded and disseminated widely and quickly, with the data story presented in a way that is most valuable to the user. 

Managing ATUs with staggered launches across multiple markets can be tricky, but with a bit of know-how, some elbow grease and the right MR partner, you can make a huge success of it.

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