The goal of market research is to better understand what
is actually going on. It is not uncommon for "internal" views of what
customers/clients want and need to diverge significantly from what is actually
going on. Periodic market research projects, if widely socialized in your firm,
can help to keep your team on the same page about what's important with your
customers or clients.
- Confirm or correct "conventional wisdom";
create a shared vision for your team on what customers think is most
- Discover untapped opportunities and unknown risks
- Avoid costly mistakes in launching new
products/services or entering new markets
Software as a Service: Drivers, Barriers and
- A large-scale primary study to understand Web-based
"software as a service". Questions examined included : Who's
credible as a provider? What are the spending plans? What criteria will be
used to make the decisions? What distinguishes those ready to spend vs.
those who aren't?
- A small-scale qualitative study of leading-edge
adopters of knowledge management (KM). Questions examined included: What
does it take to make KM successful? What would you have done differently?
What products and services did you use? How much was done internally vs.
outsourced? Who is the key KM person in your organization and how do they
perceive their job?
- This moderate-scale study examined the market for
outsourcing of e-mail to better understand who is doing it, how they feel
about it, what drives some to keep e-mail internal and others to outsource.
Impact of Cost Savings
- A product feature was identified for possible
elimination. A "back-of-the-envelope" analysis indicated that the
millions of cost savings would not result in significant client defections.
But, given the importance of the decision, further research was felt to be
needed. A survey was crafted that did not telegraph the possible feature
elimination, but allowed the firm to see the likely impact. The likely
negative impact on revenue was far greater than what had been expected and
the product feature was not eliminated.