Market Research on Shoestring Budgets


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From opportunity identification to customer and user satisfaction, Market Research is a key component to the product / service development and management process and contributor to the success (or lack of) of products and services. Marketing and product teams, and their market research departments when available, are often challenged to do market research with shrinking or no budget.
This presentation to ProductCampRTP covered the following angle:
- Know your goals. Pick your battles. High risk versus low risk projects
- When and how to do Market Research on a budget: Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research
- Traditional vs new data collection methods (such as online, mobile) and sampling (online panels)
- Communities and Social Media
- International research considerations
- Where to go for more information

Known as an innovation, marketing and product management professional, Claire-Juliette Beale has extensive experience conducting quantitative and qualitative market research for companies of all sizes in both B2B and B2C industries, in the US and internationally. As a member of the founding Executive team of Global Market Insite (GMI), a leading global provider of online market research solutions and services, she contributed to the development and success of new research methods and products including Internet (online) survey research, mobile survey research, online panels, as well as qualiquant research. She is New Product Development Certified from the Product Development and Management Association.

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  • e.g. New product vs upgrades, new to company, etc.
  • A survey that has prominent branding for a survey tool rather than your organization can be off-putting to constituents and decrease your response rate. A package that allows you to update colors, font and header graphics can help you match a survey to your website or organizational branding.
    As you design more complex surveys, it’s often useful to let respondents skip a whole section of questions that don’t apply to them. Survey skip logic lets you define, for instance, that those who answer “no” to question 10 should skip to question 15.
    Piping allows you to pull answers from one part of a survey into another. For instance, if someone says in one question that they live in New York City, you can then ask them in a follow-up, “What’s the best thing about living in New York City,” filling in the name of the city from the previous question. More sophisticated packages allow you to combine skip logic and piping to customize surveys even further.
    The order of a set of questions, or the set of answers to a given question, can often affect survey responses and thus the quality of your data. Features that automatically randomize the order of particular questions or answers will help avoid this issue.
    While many packages create surveys in their own web page, some let you embed them into your existing website. This can be a particularly useful way to do quick, one-question surveys (called polls), or to gather opinions from web visitors in a longer survey.
  • Phase 1 research topics:
    Definition of category (people count / traffic pattern analysis and forecasting )
    Targeted Industries (retail, mass transit, transportation, gaming, etc.)
    Size of industry, total spending on IT solutions and equipment, total spending on people counting and traffic pattern analysis solutions
    Target applications (security, efficiency, revenue generation, policy)
    Products and services used
    Distribution channels, how purchased
    Market trends
    Major players / key competition (by type of product)
    Market share
    Other trends impacting the market
    Estimated size of total and industry-specific potential markets
    Top industry and application ranking
    Lead users, key clients and key influencers
    Phase 2 research topics:
    Customer needs
    How Smartmat is perceived vis a vis:
    Competing products
    Customer needs
    How product would be used
    User(s) needs
    Marketing requirements
    New Product requirements
    Technology constraints and opportunities
    Engineering and manufacturing issues
    Our plan was to conduct interviews (telephone and face to face) as well as observation for a qualitative, insightful understanding of user needs, environment constraints, etc. We defined a shortlist of potential users, clients and influencers including 1 to 2 providers or consultants and 2 to 3 customers in each industry, except for airport (1 each). We encountered tremendous difficulties in obtaining users and client interviews and spent considerably more time and resources than anticipated in this task. As a result we conducted all interviews by telephone.
  • Ad-hoc and on-the-spot counting and traffic monitoring for buildings; potential for higher margin due to advantage of portability
    Strengthening its potential position for licensing or OEM manufacturing with pilots in retail environments. We believe that pilots with retailers will generate more interest from potential clients than current tests at Harvard.
    Continue to monitor the market and seek potential partnerships. For example, attend retail’s industry event to be held in Chicago for closed demos and discussions that will enable better calibration of the opportunity.
    Select an established North American partner with broad industry coverage, and/or a well-connected industry consultant who will bring an “unbiased” perspective and generate visibility for the concept.
    Should it decide not to pursue this opportunity, reach out to other industries for other potential needs and applications for the Smartmat IP via the licensing services of an organization such as
  • Issues: timing, budget, European scope
    Phase 1
    1236 interviews
    Five countries: France, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway
    Sequential monadic test
    Phase 2
    110 interviews in France
    Monadic test of the use of the concept product at home with two visits
    A drop off visit using the same questionnaire as on the Internet
    A follow-up visit after a 10-day period of use
    Sampling by quotas (age, gender, profession) representative of the French population
  • Answers to open ended questions are richer on Internet than in individual interviews: responses are more sincere, personal and complex
    Colors, aesthetics, and the impression of quality are better communicated in face to face situations
    Internet cannot replace touching: when they can hold Teapot in their hands, the overwhelming majority of the comments made by the interviewees revolve around its functionality, its stability, its solidity, its weight and robustness
    Consumers have common sense: as long as they do not have an idea of the product that is clear enough, they do not commit on purchase intent (much higher proportion of « Do not know yet » on Internet than face to face
    The product usage test is very convincing for Teapot: purchase intention is as strong after use than before trial
    Even better, the usage test confirms the ergonomy of Teapot and increases attachment to the product.
  • Market Research on Shoestring Budgets

    1. 1. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20141© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Market Research on Shoestrings - A Product Management and Development Perspective
    2. 2. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20142 CLAIRE-JULIETTE BEALE, 貝心潔 Marketing: research, strategy and execution Innovation management and new product development New business strategy and development B.A English and cultural studies Master Business Management, ICT, e-marketing and e-commerce New Product Development Professional (NPDP) certified 1991 McKinsey & Company 1999 Global Market Insite (GMI), Director EMEA, VP Business Development 2004 Bresslergroup, Director Strategy and Business Development 2006 Touch360, co-founder, President and Director, Market and User Research 1994 Business Development International, Founder, President 1993 KPMG Peat Marwick, Analyst © Innovate |2| market, All Rights Reserved. 2008 Innovate l2l market, Chief Consultant 2011 Innovate l2l market, Chief Consultant 2010 Bank of America, SVP Insight & Design
    3. 3. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20143 Warm up © Innovate |2| market, All Rights Reserved.
    4. 4. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20144
    5. 5. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20145 Market research: definitions © Innovate |2| market, All Rights Reserved. Information about the firm's customers, competitors, or markets. Information may be from secondary sources (already published and publicly available) or primary sources (from customers themselves). Market research may be qualitative in nature, or quantitative. Source: The PDMA Glossary for New Product Development
    6. 6. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20146 My definition Market research is the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of information and data needed to inform product development and management decisions. Information may be from secondary sources (already published and publicly available) or primary sources (directly gained from individuals). Market research may be qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of both. Market research is often backed by statistical and analytical methods and techniques from applied sciences to gain insights and predict customer or user actions or behaviors.
    7. 7. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20147 Surveys, focus groups, lead users, panels… NPD Process: Insight Methods © Innovate |2| market, All Rights Reserved.
    8. 8. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20148 You need to plan ahead! © Innovate |2| market, All Rights Reserved. Include / budget your market research in annual or mid year planning! Pick your battles!
    9. 9. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 20149 Secondary sources • Start with Google; set Google alerts; look up Google trends • Build list of favorite web sites • Analysts / consulting firms • Government • Industry / associations (Gale Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Associations) • Job function • Journals • Blogs, communities, etc. • Track down leads Brand metrics HowSociable? Blog Search Google Blog Search Technorati Discussion Board Search Omgili BoardTracker Twitter Search TweetBeep Twilert
    10. 10. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201410 More secondary resources: On
    11. 11. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201411 Primary sources Affordable Expensive Customers and users* Sample vendors (low incidence samples) Your partners’ customers Sample vendors (high incidence sample) Panels and custom panels External online communities Your communities / forums and social media groups (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+) Experts (consultants) Intercept (conference, store, event, etc.) Experts (associations, reporters…) Target and sample size must be based on research objective! Ensure representativeness; avoid bias! * In some cases this could include you, your social circle, your fellow employees
    12. 12. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201412 Primary data collection methods Traditional Newer Interviews → Web conferencing Ethnography → Observation → Observation Pocket-cam diaries In person focus groups → Online focus groups, bulletin boards Full service survey platforms → Online survey tools Research panels → Online communities Note: traditional research is often but not always more expensive!
    13. 13. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201413 Online surveys 2013 data: survey-tools Source:; January 31, 2012 Key considerations. Do you need? •Flexible survey look and feel. •Skip logic. •Piping. •Randomization. •Conjoint.
    14. 14. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201414 Data analysis and reporting But will you need quantitative analysis techniques, such as ANOVA, regression analysis, factor analysis, and cluster analysis?
    15. 15. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201415 International research •Culture codes vary. Some of your questions may not be allowed / legal or perceived well in other countries. Similarly, answers and expressions may differ from what you would expect in the US. •Market research standards and regulations vary. •Most countries have at least one marketing research organization that can help guide you. Search them via the ESOMAR directory: • associations.php •You can / should also look into ESOMAR, the leading world organization for market research professionals: If you need research abroad, plan your US research accordingly!
    16. 16. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201416 Competitive intelligence On
    17. 17. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201417© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Case study: Artis, B2B, technology Context: Guidance to the commercialization of Smartmat™, a system for “knowing where people are and knowing traffic patterns”. Artis was looking at a number of options ranging from licensing to the spin off of Smartmat to a new business entity. Targeted industries included (but not limited to): retail, mass transit, transportation, and gaming   Product development steps completed included: •Patent research and filing of a utility patent. •Online research into existing products. •Research of security markets. •Development and testing of one beta prototype Scope: market research and early exploration of manufacturing and production issues Objective: Verify / articulate the opportunity for Smarmat Issues: Budget, scope
    18. 18. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201418© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Artis: Research plan
    19. 19. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201419© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Artis: results 1. Opportunity identified • Potential for higher margin than competitors due to unique product feature. • Technology and pricing challenges. 2. Report Appendix included • Transit Market Estimates • City Transit Authority RFP and acceptance Test Procedure and Results • Primary research contact list: 38 companies and influencers, including potential partners
    20. 20. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201420© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Case study: 3M, B2C, multi-country The context: •NPD •Strategy: have the consumer move from a purely functional purchase to an emotional purchase: oDoes an object like the Teapot allow 3M to reach this objective? oWhat is the impact of such an approach on the image of the Scotch® brand? Objective: •Verify the acceptance of the design of the new dispenser and validate the new strategic approach in this category of products • Estimate the business potential of this type of product prior to starting to invest in the casts Issues: •Timing, budget, European scope Source: “Global marketing: use of the Internet in multilingual and « multi country » market studies The Teapot case » - Tuesday 12 December 2000, SEMO, Paris - Annie Lexcellent, European Marketing Director of 3M; Van Terradot, Managing Director of NovaTest; Claire-Juliette Beale, Vice-President, Business Development, Global Market Insite
    21. 21. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201421© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved 3M: The approach
    22. 22. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201422© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved 3M: results Teapot • Seduced the vast majority of interviewees • Gives more modernity, innovation and proximity to the Scotch® brand • Performance about similar in all five countries • Clearly takes over the current dispenser: more than 70% prefer Teapot to the existing C 38. Perception was even better after trial
    23. 23. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201423© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved • Marketing Research Association: • Council of American Survey Research Organizations: • Qualitative Research Council of America: • American Marketing Association: • ESOMAR: • SCIP: • American Marketing Association: • Quirks (portal and magazine): • LinkedIn groups: Future Trends; Consumer Insights Interest Group; Next Gen Market Research; Online Qualitative Research: The Next Evolution; Market Research Online Communities Resources
    24. 24. ProductCampRTP, April 12, 201424© Innovate |2| market, All rights reserved Let’s discuss and share needs, expertise and tips!
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