Market Research – Part 5

This is the 5th in the line of Market Research related posts and I shall attempt to cover market research methods used. (Note: These are based on personal experiences and learnings, so if I’m missing anything, kindly feel free to add comments)

So here we go:

Market research in my view happens in two distinct stages pre-product definition and post prototype stage (before mass production/final go-live).  Though, there are some industries which follow – create ‘em and they’ll come approach, but we will focus on industries where it is a necessity and a differentiator to do market research to understand the customers. I would also like to divide them up broadly as secondary and primary methods as below:

1. Secondary Market Research – When a company starts a market research project, first is mostly (mostly because some people like to start with a preliminary easily accessible primary sources of information and we will cover this in the next point below) a secondary research phase. Anything about the market, competition, customers, ecosystem, trends about the industry available online -articles, magazines, conference presentations, published research material, discussion forums, free/paid market reserach reports are used in this phase. The information is organized and presented, in the process forming/validating a few theses for market research work.

2. Primary Market Research – As I mentioned above, some marketeers prefer to do a preliminary primary phase first to focus and give direction to the secondary research process (believe me, there is a lot of information out there and one can get drowned in the process…and hence, this is a valid viewpoint). Initially, primary research candidates could include experts within the company/outside that one might get access to. There are perfectly valid reasons to start with one vs. the other depending on how prepared one is to ensure that the time of the expert is well utilized. The various forms of primary market research include personal interviews, focus groups, conjoint analysis, online surveys, forums/collaboration tools, alpha/beta product testing etc. These are then followed by detailed analysis of the collected data to provide insights on which features are important vs. nice-to-have, what will customers pay for, what kind of product roadmap should the company be investing in and what kind of channels to push the product through, even price point indicators can be obtained through the right mix of tools.

In the next post I shall cover some ground with a real-life example to wrap up this series on market research.


1 Response to “Market Research – Part 5”

  1. 1 Palak September 3, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Nice post.I would say that Market research is the first thing one would have to do before even commencing a business or before launching a new product/service.It minimizes the chances of failure and reduces the risk of uncertainty.There are few good online survey platforms available with which we can conduct online MR:
    One is Survey monkey:
    and the other one is survs:

    However there is only one drawback of conducting research which cant be nulled,Human factor, human bias and perspective.

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