Written by kyliedicksondeakin.
Straight2voicemail is a new digital service that sends a pre-recorded voicemail message to a mobile phone without it ringing. It can be used to communicate with an individual or thousands of people all at once.
A new product
Firstly, we should start by acknowledging there is a full process behind getting a product to market. By following a detailed plan, that includes consultation with customers, an organisation can increase the likelihood of launching a successful product. An ideal product development process usually involves generating and refining an idea, consulting with consumers; for example in the form of focus groups or surveys, testing, further design development, beta testing and then finally the new product can be launched (Iacobucci 2013, p. 92). Although this process describes a lineal order, it is sensible and beneficial for an organisation to revisit previous stages of the development process as the product creation progresses.
Overview of the New Product Development Process
The idea of Straight2voicemail was generated from a Bottom-Up approach.
Nick Black, a telecommunications engineer and developer of Straight2voicemail said he ‘came up with the idea after speaking with friends in Real Estate’ (mUmBRELLA 2016, para. 7).
Findings from Woojung and Taylor (2016, p. 60) show that ‘Customer participation in the ideation and launch stages improves new product financial performance’.
So how does Straight2voicemail work?
According to the Straight2voicemail website, it all seems quite simply.
Basically you set up an online account, record your voice message, upload your database of selected recipients, create the campaign and click send.
Mr. black explains, Straight2voicemail “works on an algorithm in the back end”, bypassing a phone’s alert to place messages directly into a recipient’s inbox where they can replay it “at a time convenient to them” (mUmBRELLA 2016, para. 2).
The Product Lifecycle
Straight2voicemail is currently in the ‘Market Introduction’ stage of its product lifecycle.
This stage is all about sharing information, introductory promotions and persuading the marketing place. The service is currently offering customers a free account including 20 free voicemails in an attempt to encourage them to sign up.
The product lifecycle in technology-based industries is constantly influenced by penetrating global competition and the constant pressure to respond to technology changes and consumer wants (Giachetti & Marchi 2010, p.1123).
Straight2voicemail seems to be the only Australian provider of direct to voicemail messages at present, however new entrances and new technology will remain a threat, and could dramatically affect the market growth, maturity and decline stages of the project lifecycle.
Who are the likely early adopters of Straight2voicemail?
As mentioned, the idea behind Straight2voicemail was generated from the developers Real Estate friends, but who else could benefit from such a service?
How about sales professionals, such as car sales people, travel agents or wholesale and retail sales consultants?
It could also appeal to service providers that want to communicate with their customers about new products, promotions, service offerings and payment reminders such as Telecommunications and Insurance companies.
And perhaps just a small segment, however the service could also appeal to individuals who just want to avoid awkward individual conversations and just leave a message.
Why use Straight2voicemail?
Besides the obvious time saving efficiencies, the attraction is also in the personalisation of the message. The service is ‘more personalised than SMS, email and social media. Less intrusive than telemarketing or cold calling’ (Straight 2 Voicemail).
This is an appealing statement, considering that the average click rate on emails that aren’t highly personalised (sent to over 35 people) have an average open rate of only 22% (Constant Contact® 2015).
While based on a survey of executives, 62% would respond to a voicemail message before an email (‘Voice vs. virtual’ 1997, p. 26).
So how effective do you see this service being? Do you see this service as an innovative personalised marketing tool or a modern version of telemarketing? How would you feel receiving a mass voicemail message?
Canning, S 2016, Aussie develops program that sends direct marketing calls straight to voicemail, mUmBRELLA, date retrieved 22nd March 2016, http://mumbrella.com.au/aussie-develops-straight-to-voicemail-program-352136
Constant Contact®, I 2015, Subscriber Email Domain and Industry are Major Factors in Email Open Rates, According to New Constant Contact Study, Article, <http://ezproxy.deakin.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=bizwire.c63738980&site=eds-live&scope=site%3E.
Giachetti, C & Marchi, G 2010, Evolution of firms’ product strategy over the life cycle of technology-based industries: A case study of the global mobile phone industry, 1980-2009, Business History, December 2010, Vol. 52 Issue 7, p.1123
Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, Mason, Ohio : South-Western ; Andover : Cengage Learning [distributor],  Student edition with package.
‘Voice vs. virtual’, 1997, Executive Female (0199-2880), vol. 20, no. 1, p. 26.
Woojung, C & Taylor, SA 2016, ‘The Effectiveness of Customer Participation in New Product Development: A Meta-Analysis’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 47-64.