Can the RACE theory capture a product’s success?
So let’s get straight into it, when wanting to find the success of a product there are so many factors to explore. Can the four elements from the RACE theory define the success of a product? We think so.
RACE is a common method used within digital marketing using metrics to define the success of a campaign. It’s assumed that anybody can take these four elements and provide evidence to demonstrate if the product has been successful or not.
Let’s say we have a product we want to release, we can only do so much research beforehand to define its success. Gut instinct can make us believe it will all work out. But we would require data to show whether or not it has. So how do we achieve this? Let’s look at the four elements, starting with reach.
With any sort of marketing it is important to think about how you would build awareness. The audience you are trying to reach may be on various platforms or only on one. It’s not as simple as just tweeting or posting a TikTok video. Do enough people know about the product or are you an industry disrupter? In a society where technology changes all the time, there will be multiple steps to interact with consumers. And they may need to see how the product is adding value to their lives through:
Communicating with them via social media, online advertising and newsletters can make a difference to how people view your product.
Rather than just looking at how many people have found the product online, reach encourages reviewing KPIs like the difference between new and returning visitors. Using tools like Google Analytics, these metrics show us whether the product is capturing loyal customers and how much of the marketing activity is reaching a new audience.
Launching a product can feel both stressful and exciting, marketing campaigns are ready to go, you visual the outcome and sometimes hope for the best. Within product, you can conduct as much research beforehand but in order to define its success, we need to look at the evidence. This involves the number of people who have bought the product, shown interest-based on the promotion material and whether or not it is actually reaching the relevant audience. So what do we need to focus on next?
Once we have captured the audience, we want to understand the user journey:
How well are they interacting?
Did they stumble across any issues to engage with the product?
How long did it take for them to make a decision?
We’ve all been there when we visit a website and somehow lose the shopping cart, return to the homepage and then a random video begins to load. We live in a fast paced world where it doesn’t take long for a search to begin elsewhere. Attention spans are as little as 3 seconds and In this day and age, we can’t afford to lose customers because they couldn’t find their way around a website. It’s like walking around a retail park and not having any shop labels, people no longer make time or effort roaming around. With companies like Amazon allowing 1-click buy you can’t afford to lose a market because a business failed to adapt.
So when looking at the product pipeline we often have to work our way backwards. Say a user finds their way through social media:
Were they directed from the correct page?
How many posts did it take for them to engage with before reaching the product?
What was the most popular content?
With so much choice, products can become saturated easily. So it’s key to find ways to nurture potential customers. Now looking at the purchasing power, performance indicators can show how long it takes someone to make a purchase. It’s easier to assess which form of marketing an advert captured them. If a potential customer can’t make a simple transaction where did they drop off?
Each product's interest will vary depending on it’s audience, some may find a product revolutionary others may take a lot longer to warm to. So when looking at the ‘act’ stage we need to factor in how well users are interacting with promotional campaigns to reach the product. And once we’ve identified the pipeline for the decision making we move on to conversions.
Conversions are a key factor, if your product is not converting then you know there is a part of the funnel that needs to be fixed. Conversions can mean different things like:
Number of sign-ups to a newsletter
The amount of sales enquiries
The number of blog post visits
Race allows us to optimize and as the world adapts we need to as well. Seasonal trends can have an impact on how many consumers make a purchase. But also keeping up with competitors who may or may not have an advantage over your product.
So what's next?
You have the audience converting, but are they returning? There will be products people can’t wait to rave about online and others who make a purchase and call it a day. The good news is if you have supporters on social media they can act as your brand ambassadors. This is something we should appreciate in a world where influencers are paid daily to promote products. Customer voices tend to be authentic, when we know a customer has been genuine about a product it makes the experience more believable.
So the next time you are wanting to define the success of a product, use the RACE theory to provide evidence of how successful the product was.