Posted by: Madhavi CN | May 25, 2010

Market Research & Intelligence: Methodology (Part 2)

Research is conducted by consulting published reports from trusted sources in order to find out answers for questions like:

  • Who makes up the target market
  • What are the market needs
  • Size of the potential market
  • Competitive landscape
  • In research terminology this is termed as secondary research.  The sources for secondary research are more readily available and the process is also less expensive.

    A draft research brief that defines the task may need to be prepared in the case of multiple objectives, to give clarity to the research team. The precision with which the objectives are defined helps in getting a constructive and appropriate response. So the draft should contain:

  • a summary of the background to the research
  • an outline of the opportunities or problems that need to be explored and, in particular, details of what we want to do with the information we get
  • an outline of the questions that seem, at this early stage, to need answering
  • suggestions on how the data might be collected
  • a description of what we are expecting to get: what are the ‘deliverables’ – advice only, data, a full report etc.
  • the timing – when, being realistic, will the work be able to start, and when is the information needed by. 
  • The next task is to find the information and capture and refine the content based on business requirements after evaluating the quality of the information. 

    It is very unlikely that we will be able to satisfy our need for information and fill in all of the blanks in our first cycle of strategic planning. It is essential, however, that we collect enough information to form an impression of our marketplace and our position in it – so we can make some useful decisions, formulate strategy and initiate an implementation plan that will move us forward. 

    A quick scan of a typical entry into a database reveals such facts as company location, Web site, approximate sales revenue, number of employees, listing of products and services, SIC code(s), company officers. An experienced analyst would be able to develop practical hypothetical models that can then be used to structure the databases and rationalize them.

    Market Research & Intelligence: Information Sources (Part 3)

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