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Mastering Market Research: From Classic to Lean Approach

In Brief

Market Research plays the role of a flashlight in a dark forest for businesses and corporations. On the other hand, the classic way of conducting Market Intelligence is costly, cumbersome and outdated. This is The Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Intelligence.

This fact is especially true for digital businesses as well as small and medium businesses of all types. Indeed, Classic Market Intelligence is very expensive for these kinds of structures. More importantly, Classic Market Intelligence is rigid and lacks reactivity and flexibility to face today’s business pace.

This is where Lean Market Research comes into play.

Lean Market Research inherits the main strengths of Classic Market Research and adds flexibility and agility to it. Lean Market Research reduces the costs of Classic Market Intelligence by 10 at least. This cost reduction impacts both the financial and timing aspects.

This is possible thanks to a massive and wise usage of new technologies, online tools and almost infinite high quality data of the Web.

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You can’t miss this key ingredient during your business conquest !

Why market Intelligence

Before launching a new product or service, before building a new venture, before making any marketing action, what do you think is the most important weapon that you have or should have ?

Is it budget ? Sure, money is key, but nobody goes that far with money as a unique tool !

Is it the team ? Certainly, a right team is vital, but even if you have the right team and you don’t tell them where to go, then you will not go that far !

Is it the idea ? There is no doubt that the initial idea is a major initiator of many businesses, but it’s amazing how many successful businesses changed numerous times their initial ideas on the go !

I will not make it any longer, but you got the point: All the above components are key ingredients for any business to succeed but the most important one is rather: Market Research !

And This is The Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Intelligence !

Usage of Market Intelligence

Indeed, Market Research allows you to build a strong strategy and a solid road map. It also allows you to assess beforehand your initial idea both qualitatively and quantitatively before engaging any considerable resources.

Market Intelligence allows you as well to fine tune your initial idea and be aware of what happened, is happening and would happen in the market. Hence, Market Intelligence gives you the intelligence and flexibility to shoot right at first or to correct your initial shoot efficiently and reliably !

In addition, Market Research equips you with the right decision making tools for building the right team and having a suitable Human Resources strategy for transforming your vision into reality.

All right, now concretely, what is Market Intelligence ?

Kinds of information that Market Intelligence brings

Market research stands for gathering intelligence, or in other words information, by businesses and organizations aiming at surviving and growing.

Consequently, Market Intelligence is mainly a decision making tool that businesses and organizations can use for collecting enough information for taking the best decisions and reducing as much as possible the risks.

Market Intelligence gathers different kinds of information like:

  • Customer needs and pains: What are the typical pain points that the customers are encountering and expressing today. Such information can be the initiator of new products. It also prepares and fine tunes the roadmap of an existing product or service in order to better match the real customer needs.
  • Customer preferences: This kind of Market Intelligence aims at leveraging the continuous feedback of customers during the development of new products or services.
  • Competition: This is a key component of Market Intelligence. Indeed, it’s vital for any business to know its own positioning in the market as well as the positioning of its main competitors. 
  • It’s also highly important to keep an eye on the latest and upcoming moves of the competition in order to avoid any bloody confrontation. Market Research is very efficient for that.
  • Social / market trends: Market Intelligence has a blurry line with Social Research. Indeed, the global social trends, preferences, mood, likes and dislikes are key to know for any business. 
  • This is the case because these kind of trends shape and explain the current and future opportunities and makes you better prepared for the next big things.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Marketing and particularly Digital Marketing is making wonders for many ventures of all sizes since a couple of decades. Digital Marketing is a Big Gun for any business. 

Market Intelligence for making things right the first time

The down side of this fact is the highly increasing competition that exists among the Digital Marketing field. This induces higher ads costs, more content marketing agencies are flourishing on the web and specializing in different fields of content marketing is becoming the new standard. 

In this framework it’s important to make it right the first time. This is where Market Intelligence plays a major role in assisting for building Marketing Effectiveness at the different stages of the Marketing cycle.

  • etc..

What Market Research is used for ?

Objectives of Market Research

Market Research can be used for accomplishing different sorts of objectives like:

  • Understanding markets: The trends and movements among markets change substantially through time. Market Intelligence is the senses of corporations serving for gaining a deep understanding of what is happening in the markets and why.
  • Understanding customers: Customers have needs and pain points. They also have point of views and feedback regarding the already existing products and services of the market. Market Intelligence allows building a sharp understanding about customers and preparing efficient strategies and plans accordingly.
  • Understanding and developing the offer: Go to Market strategy is vital in today’s business pace, especially the digital one. Given the high competition and difficult economic circumstances, this Go to Market strategy should be fast and efficient and has little room for bad mistakes. 

Market Research as an agile weapon for your business

It is there for this specific goal of understanding the market need and preparing the accurate offer to it. Market Intelligence helps adopt an Agile and Lean approach by providing continuous data and insights for adapting and fine tuning the action plan on the go.

  • Optimizing the brand: Being a market reference in the eyes of your customers for a given product or service is simply a money printing machine. It’s not just about money but it’s about money and the satisfaction of having that high credibility in the eyes of your customers. 

This high credibility makes things way easier during your business journey. All this comes by following up closely your brand image and its evolution in the market through time. You got it well, this is another usage of Market Intelligence.

  • Optimizing the communication: Communication is not just about preparing some slides and fine tuning public speaking skills. Of course the latter are very important components of a successful communication, but communication is about the content. 

In this framework, Market Intelligence is a gold mine tool for preparing that content for that product or service under those particular circumstances and for that particular goal.

Let’s now go deeper inside the Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Intelligence !

Typical tools used for conducting a Market Research

Types of Market Research

Now that we went briefly through what Market Intelligence is and what its typical usage is, let’s tackle now the How.

Indeed, Market Intelligence uses typically the following tools:

  • Qualitative Research: This is the kind of research dealing with non quantitative information like text data, images, videos etc.

Concrete examples of Qualitative data are:  Depth interviews, focus groups, open ended  questions etc

  • Quantitative Research: This is the kind of research dealing with data that can be measured and quantified. Generally, statistics and charts are derived from this kind of research.

Concrete examples of Quantitative Research are: Surveys, Databases whether open data or paid data, closed questions, telephone interviews etc.

  • Primary Research: It’s the part of Market Intelligence that contains all the data and information that the researcher generates by himself. 

In other words, primary data is the content that does not exist in the literature until conducting that research. Examples of primary data are the results of the conducted survey, the summary of the in depth interview performed with the asked expert etc.

Primary data can be both qualitative or quantitative.

  • Secondary Research (Desk Research): After Primary Research comes naturally Secondary Research. It’s also called Desk Research. 

This is the kind of research that is gathered from already existing resources, for example through literature review.

Secondary Research is a low cost yet highly valuable resource of information that allows taking good decisions for further investigations. 

Data analytics, statistics and reporting

Generally, before conducting any Primary Research, a Secondary Research is conducted in order to identify what are the most relevant questions to ask, the profiling of the respondents, the already existing insights and how to invest wisely in the Primary Research etc.

  • Data analytics & statistics: This part is the ultimate deliverable of a Market Research. Indeed, Market Intelligence is mainly used for gathering the needed information for making optimal decisions. 

In this framework, data analytics and statistics play the key role of providing those insights in a highly digestible way, hence facilitating as much as possible the decision making process.

  • Reporting: Performing Market Intelligence, without delivering it the right way, is just useless. Reporting is the part of Market Research that deals with delivering the conducted research in an attractive, impactful and insightful way. 

Reporting is certainly about the content but it’s also about the appearance and aesthetics. 

In this framework, it’s very important to provide the final report with the right doses of smart and insightful infographics, colors and elegance.

The Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Research should now focus on the cost !

How much does Market Research cost ?

When speaking about the costs, businesses are not only interested in the financial cost. They are indeed interested in the time cost as well.

When speaking about the cost of Market Research, the typical time cost is assessed in terms of week. Typically, 10 weeks for conducting classic Market Intelligence from end to end.

From a financial point of view, a classic Market Intelligence service costs something between $30k and $200k, typically $50k. On the other hand, a Market Research report costs something between $3k and $10k.

The Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Intelligence outlines next a direct comparison between the classic and the lean ways of conducting market research.

What about the Pros and Cons of Classic Market Research ?

Let’s summarize then briefly the pros and cons of Classic Market Intelligence :

  • Pros:
    • Classic Market Research has existed since centuries and uses very mature tools and workflows.
    • It has a high level of credibility in the market.
    • It’s already very well expanded in the US and Europe that occupy more than 80% of the global market share.
  • Cons
    • Classic Market Research is Cumbersome to conduct.
    • It’s costly especially for small and individual businesses.
    • Outdated / does not leverage optimally new technologies.

Now, The Ultimate Guide To Lean Market Intelligence outlines the main value proposition of lean market research !

This is where Lean Market Research comes into play !

Lean Market Intelligence in a nutshell is the Lean version of Market Intelligence .

This sole introduction implies the following statements about Lean Market Intelligence:

  • Lean Market Research is Market Intelligence , but done more efficiently by avoiding any waste during its execution.
  • Lean Market Research aims primarily, like Market Intelligence, at gathering the needed information for businesses and corporations for taking the most optimal decisions.
  • Lean Market Intelligence inherits all the objectives, tools and research types of Classic Market Research. Hence, all what was presented above regarding these aspects related to Market Intelligence are still valid for Lean Market Research.
  • The Lean part of Lean Market Intelligence corresponds obviously to a set of tools and principles that differentiates Lean Market Intelligence from Classic Market Intelligence and makes it more efficient than it.

Now, what are these main differentiators that make Lean Market Research so disruptive ?

Lean Market Intelligence is mainly based on using new technologies and the leveraging of all the data that exists on the web. Lean market Intelligence optimizes as well different building blocks among the Classic Market Intelligence workflow in order to make it smoother and less costly by keeping the same standards of research quality.

Let’s make it more concrete: For example Classic Market Intelligence recommends face to face interviews and physical focus groups. Obviously, if the interviewee and interviewer are not in the same geographic area, or if all the interviewees are constrained to be there at the same time and place, this way both the time and financial costs go very high.

For this same framework, online focus groups and cyber interviews of experts provide a clear advantage regarding the classic way of doing market research.

Let’s quantify now the gain when using Lean Market Research

The typical duration of a Lean Market Intelligence endeavor is around 20 hours. This is up to 20 times less lengthy than Classic Market Research.

Now regarding the financial cost, a Lean Market Intelligence service is billed between $500 and $20k, typically $3k. This is 10 to 20 times less expensive than Classic Market Research.

In a report format, a Lean Market Intelligence report starts at $50 and can go up to $1k. It’s typically billed $500. This is up to 100 times less expensive than Classic Market Research reports.

What about the Pros and Cons of Lean Market Research ?

The major Pros and Cons of Lean Market Intelligence can be summarized as the following:

  • Pros
    • Lean Market Research is highly efficient.
    • It can be performed in sole wolf mode.
    • It leverages all the power of new technologies.
  • Cons
    • Lean Market Research is new, hence should be well promoted to potential customers.
    • It’s challenging because it needs versatile skills to be conducted, especially when it’s performed in sole wolf mode.
    • It requires hard work to be performed optimally.

Main takeaways about Lean Market Research

With its low cost and obsession for delivering a high quality Market Intelligence at reduced costs, Lean Market Research is a true opportunity for business and entrepreneurs in general. 

It’s particularly a gold mine of insightful and low cost information for making optimal decisions in a continuously changing world. This is especially true in the case of small and medium digital businesses.

Lean Market Research inherits all the strengths of Classic Market Intelligence and provides additional tools and workflows for reducing drastically the classic costs by keeping high data quality standards. On the other hand, because of its relative youth, Lean Market Intelligence should be promoted correctly in order to gain the needed credibility for a wider deployment and adoption by the market.


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