Market research = marketing?

I have lately noticed that many companies understand market research as a mean to inform their marketing strategy. Wrong.

Market research is the mean to understand your possible users/buyers and inform the decisions made during the design process.

In simple terms:
Great idea + development = Good outcome + no demand = waste of time
Great idea + market research = redesign + development = Better outcome + demand = Business

The point of doing market research is to understand the market and your possible users in advance.
Market research is aimed at answering questions such as:
– Is there something similar in the market already?
– Which are our competitors Unique Selling Points (USPs)?
– What are they doing wrong? What are their customers unhappy with?
– Can we do it better or contribute with something new?
– What is the demand for our product/service?
– Who are those that will engage with our product? Why would they pick us and not our competitors? Can we improve their experience?

I wouldn’t start putting money and time into a project, until I have all of those answered. It would be then when I would start thinking about marketing strategy, and make sure I have answer for the next set of questions:
– Where are our customers?
– How can we better reach them?
– What do our competitors do to engage with them?

So as a quick summary, market research can also inform your marketing strategy, but it won’t magically sell your product or service unless it satisfies the first set of questions.

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