How to Boost Your Speed to Market with CCM Software

Gina Armada and Ira Brooker    January 4th, 2024

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Being the first to market has always been a competitive advantage in business, and in the fast-paced world of modern commerce it’s become more crucial than ever. That’s why more businesses have begun attempting to enhance their speed to market by streamlining processes and investing in automation solutions such as customer communication management (CCM) software. Read on to learn more about the importance of managing your time to market and using CCM solutions to give your customers the exceptional experience they demand.

What Is Speed to Market and Why Is It Important?

In business terms, speed to market (STM) refers to the time it takes a company to move from having an idea to making a product or service available to consumers. Also referred to as time to market (TTM), it is used to estimate how quickly a business can foster a product or service from inception to being ready to launch. Many businesses and industry observers use speed to market as an indicator of how effective their strategies and processes are.

The steps considered in evaluating speed to market will vary depending on the business and the product, but should encompass the entire life cycle of a product, including:

  • Generating an idea
  • Product design
  • Creating a prototype
  • Product development
  • Launch or release

A faster speed to market comes with many benefits for businesses, including establishing an advantage over competitors, building a reputation within the industry, and creating stronger brand recognition among consumers.

Why Is Speed to Market Crucial for Customer Communication Management?

Speed-to-market has a major impact on customer communication management, both for businesses and for customers. After all, being first to market doesn’t make nearly as much difference if your customers don’t know about it. There are four key areas of customer communications where time-to-market merits particular consideration.

Technology isn’t just for the tech-savvy these days. News spreads faster than ever, and customers are eager to have access to the latest and greatest. A business that can provide them with the latest innovations and advancements can earn repeat business and goodwill, while one that lags behind risks looking sluggish and outdated.

2. Competitive Advantage

The faster your business can implement new communication channels, functionalities, and customer-facing tools, the bigger the advantage you can establish over your competitors. Being first-to-market positions your brand as a leader and attracts early adopters who can drive a brand’s wider popularity.

A speedy, streamlined communication process allows your business to distribute personalized messages at a higher volume and a faster speed. That helps to boost customer engagement by reducing friction and providing communications that make them feel seen and heard. Conversely, a slow CCM process turns customers off quickly, and often permanently.

A speedy, automated CCM system makes it simple to integrate new tools, channels, and functionalities. For a customer base hungry for the latest, being able to adapt quickly to changing trends and tech keeps your business feeling relevant. As a bonus, the greater efficiency of automated CCM processes takes manual tasks off of your communication team’s plate, freeing them to focus on more engaging projects.

“  If your organization has multiple checks and balances regarding who should approve things, review and approval workflow capabilities are key. You can make sure that before your product actually gets distributed, it passes all reviews and approvals. You can track that with a history of those approvals, and better yet, you have version control. That lets you very easily see your communications and always see what was distributed when, and what was included.

Gina Armada, CEO of MHC

Why Speed to Market Should Not Come Above Quality

In business as in most walks of life, trying to move too quickly is often a recipe for avoidable errors. As important a consideration as speed to market is, it should never come at the expense of product quality, customer experience, or data security.

Implementing and integrating a new CCM system takes some time and strategy. Going too fast puts your business at risk of human error, compliance issues, and strained relationships with important customers. Before taking your new CCM solution to market, here are four key questions to consider.

An organization with a broad customer base, a high volume of communications, and/or a wide variety of products and services will likely require more planning and strategy than a business with less complicated needs.

If your business requires highly personalized messages for specific customers, specialized methods of delivery, or other unique communications needs, you should look for a solution that allows for maximum customization.

Does your business have the budget and IT expertise to implement, maintain, and make adjustments to your new CCM system? If not, a solution with a dedicated support system is likely your best option.

Protecting data privacy and customer information is an important consideration for every business, but organizations in fields that deal in sensitive or highly regulated data need to take extra caution to stay compliant.

“  Change is constant in the world of compliance and regulations. Some industries are impacted more than others, but that constant change requires focus and attention to make sure organizations can stay on top of what they need to do.

Gina Armada, CEO of MHC

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8 Speed to Market Best Practices to Consider

As the examples above demonstrate, a speed to market strategy can be a delicate thing to balance. Businesses looking to get their goods and services in front of customers faster should consider these best practices before finalizing a time to market plan.

Before you can begin developing a speed to market plan, it’s essential to understand who your target market is and what business objectives can best help you communicate with them. Create a roadmap of the designs, materials, and workflows that will get your product or service to market most quickly.

Undertaking a time-sensitive project sometimes means that not all features and functions will be ready straight out of the box. Prioritizing your target customers’ core needs as you plan what to implement at launch will pay bigger dividends than attempting to get everything functioning right from the start.

Partnering up with the right providers can boost your time to market significantly, especially when it comes to customer communications (CCM). An automated CCM software solution like Engage CX from MHC can speed up development while ensuring that your message reaches the right audience at the right time.

Not only does automation make the process of testing and deploying your new solution move much faster than a manual testing system, it also eliminates much of the risk of human error, bottlenecks, and slowdowns that can get in the way of a successful launch.

Being first to market isn’t worth much if your customers don’t have a positive experience with your products or services. Letting user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) drive your launch efforts is a good way to ensure that you’re not just the first business to market, but also the best.

Your internal testing process is hugely important, but so is receiving feedback from the customers who will be purchasing products and using services. Make sure to not only solicit feedback from test audiences, but also to make plans to implement the suggestions and recommendations you get from them.

Agile development strategies make it easier to incorporate testing, feedback, and adaptive strategies into your process. These iterative approaches to development allows you to address product quality as you work, facilitating a faster and more efficient development cycle.

Being first to market only counts if people know how to find your products and services. Make customer communications and marketing strategies an integral part of your development process to ensure that your potential target market is informed and ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Boost Your Speed to Market with MHC and Engage CX

MHC specializes in software solutions that make your workflows and development processes as efficient and accurate as possible. That makes us an ideal partner for any business looking to improve speed to market. Our Engage CX software allows businesses to cut valuable time from their product development without sacrificing compliance or compromising quality. Contact us today to schedule a demonstration of our industry-leading workflow management solutions.

“  One of our business services clients was dealing with a lot of data sources to pull in and quickly share information. The pace of change was extremely high. They needed a systematic solution to manage, scale, and flex with the type and volume of changes coming in. With MHC, they were able to empower business users to drive results without relying on IT, to manage all of their inbound sources of compliance and regulation information, and to move their support to the cloud, which had additional benefits for them.

Gina Armada, CEO of MHC

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Gina Armada

Gina Armada is the Chief Executive Officer for MHC, offering over 24 years of experience leveraging technology to deliver business solutions and generate value for customers. Gina leads MHC in consistently delivering intelligent workflow and content automation solutions that organizations can rely upon to streamline their operations, optimize productivity, and increase engagement with customers. Gina worked at Accenture until she joined MHC in 2008, serving in multiple roles until she was named CEO in 2019. When Gina isn’t piloting the growth of MHC’s solutions and services, she is active in coaching youth sports and loves spending free time with family and friends.

Ira Brooker

Ira Brooker is a freelance writer and editor based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been writing blogs and copy about software-as-a-service solutions for most of the past decade. Before exploring accounts payable and workflow solutions with MHC, he wrote about fields including cybersecurity, workforce management, online accessibility, audiology, retail sales, and much more. When he’s not doing business writing, he also indulges in writing fiction, journalism, arts criticism, and bar trivia.

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