Whether an innovation is incremental (building on another technology) or disruptive (a technology which will redefine market), understanding the market landscape and how the market works is crucial to overcoming barriers that prevent a successful product launch. The market landscape includes, among other things, increasing or decreasing trends, competition, distributors and distribution channels, conferences, key opinion leaders, and new technologies.
Marketing is communication to raise awareness about the product/service among potential customers. This is different from Market Research, which is about collecting data to analyze market need, market size, and competition informing a project’s viability.
Market Research is comprised of two categories of activities:
Primary Market Research – which involves information gathered personally (Customer Discovery interviews, surveys, and focus groups)
Secondary Market Research – which utilizes data that has previously been collected and compiled.
Both categories are required to gain an understanding of the market and opportunity. The focus of this section is on Secondary Market Research. Sources that fall into this category include existing reports, journal articles, studies by government agencies, trade associations, web portals, and other businesses within the same industry. The innovator should search each category as appropriate for the specific subject of their innovation. Look for trends, market size, who key opinion leaders (KOLs) are and popular distribution methods.
Market research should be recorded in enough detail to segment the information into meaningful groups of data. The actual segments will be unique to the market; some categories might be consumers, businesses, countries, common needs, interests, and priorities. The advantage of having this level of detail is the ability to identify and estimate the value of a given market segment, for example, which customer group has the greatest need, who has the highest sales
potential, and who may be the easiest to reach.