|FHWA > Engineering > Pavements > Concrete > FHWA-HIF-09-020 > Chapter 2|
Advanced Concrete Pavement Technology (ACPT) Program-ACPT Products Marketing Plan
Chapter 2-ACPT Product Marketing Strategies
The success of any new innovation lies in its successful implementation. In the commercial arena, implementation in the marketplace of new innovation is driven by the profit motive. That is typically not the case in the public arena, where many innovations are funded by public money and there is no direct monetary incentive to drive implementation of innovative products. As a result, implementation of new products or technologies by public agencies can take many years. In recent years, FHWA has tried to overcome this limitation by showcasing promising advanced technologies, supporting the concept of lead-states groups, and supporting funding for construction that incorporates innovative products. An example of a successful campaign for implementing new products is the CPTP, which has resulted in numerous ACPT products. Many of these products have been implemented by highway agencies and construction organizations as standard or best practices. The successful product marketing strategies from the CPTP and other related programs have been reviewed to develop the ACPT product marketing plan presented in this report.
As discussed previously, the promising ACPT products have been categorized by focus area in the ACPT Status Report. The advantage of this categorization is that the products can be marketed more effectively by targeting specific stakeholder groups that would benefit from implementing products within each focus area. This concept was used successfully in marketing the CPTP products.
The ACPT products are expected to be available in one or more of the following formats:
The marketing strategy for each product will be formulated based on the target audience and its level of experience and education as well as its need for information.
Target Recipients of ACPT Products
New product implementation requires interaction with decision makers and implementation groups. Decision makers are the key parties, as the leadership for championing innovative products is derived from them. Decision makers are also responsible for allocating funding and setting priorities and schedules. Therefore, the marketing strategies for each promising ACPT product must address securing early buy-in by decision makers.
The target recipients of information related to ACPT products include the following:
Successful implementation of ACPT products will require partnerships between FHWA and State departments of transportation (DOTs), local highway agencies, academia, and industry groups (contractors, suppliers, and trade associations). The creation of "Lead Highway Agencies" to champion specific product deployments and to monitor progress and performance will greatly facilitate adoption of ACPT products. Building a network of "product champions" is very important to any new-product implementation program.
Proposed Marketing Strategies
It is proposed to develop an Implementation Package for each ACPT product that has been authorized by FHWA for implementation. The Implementation Package will incorporate the following items:
The Implementation Package will be a document about 10 to 15 pages long, but a one- to two-page executive summary will be prepared for each selected product to help facilitate the implementation process.
A number of methods can be considered for effective implementation of the ACPT products, including the following:
Collaborative Efforts and Stakeholder Involvement
Publications (Print and Electronic Media)
Trainings and Other Educational Venues (Direct and Electronic)
In the current economic environment, most State DOTs have administered severe travel restrictions and have cut back on training and technology transfer activities. Therefore, this marketing plan incorporates various mechanisms for personalized technology transfer activities. We will explore the use of innovative approaches such as distance learning or Web-based courses (Webinars). We have experience in these areas, including the use of interactive CD-ROMs that have self-contained programs that walk the user through a lesson and often contain active links to industry or State Web pages on a particular topic.
Distance learning formats include asynchronous Web-based training, synchronous Web conference training, and blended approaches of these methodologies. The benefits of distance learning include convenience, flexibility, effectiveness, affordability, multi-sensory learning, and interactivity. However, the implementation of distance learning requires careful planning. The process begins with the conduct of a needs assessment that not only looks at the desired content of the training, but also assesses the target audience, including their background, knowledge, and capabilities. This is followed by the development of an outline on the instructional goals and objectives, which leads to the preparation of the instructional materials in the format and delivery mode determined to be most effective. We plan to make use of FHWA's National Highway Institute's enterprise-wide Web conferencing system to host ACPT product-specific Webinars that allow users to meet virtually via the Internet and a teleconference line.
Overall Approach for the Marketing Plan
The proposed approach for marketing the deployment and delivery of the ACPT products is summarized below:
This approach should afford the maximum overall benefit from the marketing program, while also allowing significant stakeholder input.
No single strategy will be used in marketing all of the ACPT products that are selected for implementation; rather, tailored strategies (ones that are determined for the specific product and selected for the target audience) will be employed. A number of different marketing efforts are available for this effort, ranging from the development of technical documents, specifications, and standards to the presentation of workshops, formal training courses, and Webinars. An implementation package will be prepared for each product that clearly identifies the plan for moving the product into mainstream practice. Throughout the process, key stakeholders will play a critical role in providing input to help guide the marketing effort.