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The Ultimate and Practical Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research

In Brief

After taming the main principles and fundamentals about lean market research, it’s time now to tackle the funny part. This is The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

It’s an invaluable and evergreen skill because the lean market research toolbox is a cornerstone for conducting insightful and professional lean market research.

When mastered properly, the toolbox of lean market research can provide you with a clear advantage regarding the market intelligence that you are gathering.

This is true from both qualitative and quantitative points of view.

Indeed, the lean market research toolbox is a bunch of different digital tools and online resources that provides all the power and efficiency of lean market research.

You will see, this part is much more fun since it’s highly oriented towards application and putting hands on it.

I think that you got it, we have a lot of cool and highly valuable stuff to learn.

Map of Lean Market Research Toolbox

As you can see, the lean market research toolbox is pretty rich and versatile.

All these tools are digital tools.

They are often free or can be accessed for little budgets.

These tools are deeply inspired by classic market research tools but they do the job in way less time and cost.

The graph shows main categories among the lean market research toolbox.

Each category can contain up to dozens of tools like online platforms, data resources, SaaS etc.

Through this module, you will be introduced to numerous tools among each category.

Each tool will be presented in detail and linked to each typical usage among a lean market research in a practical way..

Let’s name some of these categories.

Among these categories, one can cite:

  • Generic resources
  • Marketplaces for mobile apps
  • Open Data
  • Paid data
  • platforms for talking to expert
  • financial data platforms
  • Online survey solutions

Just to name a few.

Let’s take a brief look first at each of these categories while sketching the big picture around the lean market research toolbox. 

Detailed list of lean market research toolbox

Generic resources

This first category among The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research may seem very obvious and it’s the case.

On the other hand, it should not be neglected by any means given the high richness of data that it provides.

However, the lean market researcher should pay high attention to the quality and credibility of the used generic resources.

Indeed, quality and credibility of the used resources have a direct impact on the quality and credibility of the final market research product.

In this first category, one can cite:

  • Google search: Which is the most popular search engine of the world
  • Google news: That is The news part of google
  • Google maps: Which is an invaluable and powerful tool especially for physical or non digital businesses
  • That is an open market intelligence resource provided by one of the top strategy consultant agencies of the world that is McKinsey.
  • That is an online platform simplifying the research of information among the most popular social media platforms grouped in one place.
  • An online hub containing reports and papers mostly scientific.
  • An online US governmental data source mainly targeting small businesses
  • A US based data resource containing data of different types and forms covering employment, city information etc
  • Foursquare: A world leading platform containing various geographic information covering the majority of the strategic venues of the planet.

As you may have already noticed it, many of the provided data sources are from the US and provide data about the US.

Even if it’s the case and even if your final research is not targeting the US primarily, this data is still highly valuable and useful.

Indeed, the US is a huge country in which the trends are generally several months and sometimes years in advance wrt to other countries.

Hence, the studied US trends are generally still valid for other countries.

In addition, with some data analysis techniques, the insights gathered from US data can be extended after adequate transformation to other countries.

This kind of data inference is by the way one of the major added values that a market researcher in general and a lean market researcher in particular can provide to his audience.

Let’s move forward with generic data then !

  • ebay: One of the e-commerce leading platforms
  • Facebook: The worldwide leading social media is a real gold mine of information
  • Reddit: A less known social media but it’s structure and user friendliness makes it an inevitable data resource for any lean market researcher
  • Quora: Same as Reddit, a natural mine of information that is available for free
  • Yahoo: The historical Web search engine with a high quality news feature
  • Twitter: Another world leading social media, the natural quality of its audience and users makes it a highly interesting resource of information for lean market research
  • Slidesshare: A LinkedIn hub that contains slides shared by the community that tackle often technical subjects
  • Youtube: The world leading video streaming platform
  • LinkedIn: One of the top leading platforms for employment and professional careers. It’s advanced research features make it highly valuable for any lean market researcher
  • Wikipedia: The open encyclopedia that is enriched on daily basis and that can be an interesting resource of information at early stages of the conducted study.
  • Amazon: The world leading e-commerce marketplace provides qualitative and quantitative data of high importance and for free
  • Pinterest: A rising social media that provides highly valuable information gathered and provided by its users.
  • An online platform for marketers that provides in a user friendly way the main questions that internet users are asking about a given topic.
  • A hub containing reports and articles of good quality about different subjects and matters.

Marketplace for mobile apps

Comes then the category of marketplaces for mobile apps in The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

The name of this category is self explanatory.

It’s highly valuable for market research aiming at evaluating an app opportunity, gathering information about an already existing app for imporving it, gathering competitive intelligence among an app category etc.

Among this category, one can cite:

  • Apple app store
  • Android store
  • Windows store
  • Amazon appstore

Open data

Comes then the very important category of open data in The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

This is the sort of data that can be accessed and used openly.

It’s produced and provided generally by governments, corporations and organizations.

Open data is gaining increasing importance since the years 2000s.

Among open data one can cite:

  • World bank open data
  • Euromonitor database
  • Trading economics
  • Google public data

Among open data, come as well the open data portals of governments.

This kind of data is generally about employment, demographics, economic trends, households, city information, education etc

It’s a gold opportunity for any ean market researcher especially if it’s used to be transformed by mixing it with other data sources and extract new insights out of it or generate new data based on it.

Among this category, one can cite:

  • US Open Data Portal
  • UK Open Data Portal
  • European Open Data Portal
  • German Open Data Portal
  • Asian Open data Portal

Paid data

Comes then paid data in The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

Even if it’s paid data, generally it costs several tens to hundreds of dollars yearly.

If you plan to go pro with lean market research and build high quality and differentiated market research, then don’t hesitate to go for it.

Indeed, it provides good quality data with accurate traceability.

Among this category, one can cite:

  • Statista
  • Quandl

Trends and volumes

Let’s start in this second part with the trends & volumes category in The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

Trends and volumes category is important in any market research because it provides quantitative assessments of facts.

Quantitative assessment of facts is a highly awaited deliverable by lean market research customers.

Indeed, quantitative assessment of facts provides objective and powerful decision making tools for the consumers of lean market research.

In this category, the following tools can be cited:

  • Google keyword planner: A free tool by google assessing the popularity of keywords used online
  • Ubersuggest: A similar tool to Google keyword planner but goes more into the details, it’s a freemium tool mainly dedicated for SEO or Search Engine Optimization
  • SImilar to the 2 above, used mainly for SEO as well but can be an invaluable tool for market research as well when used used properly.
  • Keywords everywhere: A user friendly plugin and tool for assessing online keywords popularity.
  • Google trends: A free tool by google assessing the evolution through time of keywords popularity
  • A free online platform ranking social media profiles based on their quality and popularity
  • Which is An online paid platform for SEO agencies and digital marketing professionals. It can be a highly powerful market intelligence tool when used properly.
  • SimilarWeb: which is one of the main competitors of semrush
  • Which is an online platform acquired by amazon that proves information of the same kind then Semrush and SimilarWeb.
  • Twitter trends tools: Which corresponds to various online tools that analyze the Tweets content and trends worldwide
  • An online tool aiming at providing an exhaustive list of competitive sites that are similar to a given studied site 

Affiliate marketplaces

Comes then the category of affiliate marketplaces.

This category contains sites and marketplaces where digital marketers can find products to be promoted.

The affiliate products can be both physical and digital.

They are mostly digital products.

Among these marketplaces one can cite:

  • Clickbank: One of the leading marketplaces proposing mainly digital products belonging to different categories
  • ShareAsale: Another leading marketplace proposing digital and services products of relatively well known brands by comparison to clickbank
  • Commission junction: It’s similar to Clickbank in its products and usage
  • OfferVault: WHich is of the same kind than Clickback and Commission junction
  • Flippa: Which is a leading marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, mainly websites of different kinds: blogs, e-commerce, affiliate sites etc

The affiliate marketplace category is highly valuable for conducting market research regarding the supply and demand around a digital product or service.

Competition and company data

Comes then a key category among the lean market research toolset.

That is Competition and Company data.

Competition and company data stands for gathering facts and insights about the already established players regarding a product or a service.

This is for instance a key step for any business at different stages.

This is particularly true at early stages of founding the business as well as during its development and maturity.

Indeed, it’s vital to know what is existing and how to differentiate from it in order to build a sustainable and robust business in the long run.

Among this category, one can find:

  • Crunchbase: That is A leading online platform providing qualitative and quantitative data mainly focussing on tech and digital startups and businesses
  • This one is Very similar to Crunchbase with a particular focus on the modernity and user friendliness of the platform
  • D&B Hoovers: Which is A leading market research agency that provides highly interesting reports and data about corporations worldwide
  • Owler: Which is A disruptive business database providing metadata about companies worldwide
  • That is An extensive paid database about companies, founders and investors
  • Glassdoor: A leading online hub about employment and companies
  • Official data of companies: Which stands simply for going seeking the searched data directly from the source of the target company.
  • LinkedIn: Which is a leading international social media for professional networking
  • Which is a reference website providing extensive data about companies of all sizes and types
  • Business of Apps: That is an online market intelligence resource focusing on the mobile apps business
  • TechCrunch: WHich is an exhaustive blog about tech and startups news
  • SensorTower: That is a data provider focussing on the mobile app business
  • The Hustle : Which is an additional news website focussing on tech and startups ecosystem
  • Which is a data source portal by the financial times providing mainly financial data about different sorts of corporations
  • Another market intelligence online hub that is mainly differentiated by the fact that it’s focussing on the emerging markets
  • That provides qualitative and quantitative data and facts about businesses worldwide
  • Which is the financial news part of yahoo
  • An online market intelligence platform specializing on mergers and acquisitions
  • Provides both data and analytics tools for different purposes and particularly for performing competitive intelligence
  • Which is a standalone platform for accessing to data and performing analysis
  • Which is a platform specializing in valuing companies and businesses
  • WHich is a market intelligence platform specializing on S&P companies
  • Which is the US security and exchange commission providing open data mainly on US corporations
  • Online interviews: Which is a category by itself and will be covered independently but it’s reminded here since it’s also a very powerful tool for performing competitive intelligence
  • Being where your customer is: Which is more about a mindset more than a ready to use tool. It stands for going and exploring where your typical customers are, what they are saying, what they are looking for, what are their pain points etc
  • Store checks: Very similar to the previous point excepting that this one is focussing on online and physical stores
  • Mystery shopping: It stands for living the complete experience of your potential customers when they go purchase elsewhere
  • Success hacking the competition: Which stands for gathering the information about the main reasons why and where the competition is doing better and how to reproduce it in an even better way

Using customer review

Since we start speaking about customers, let’s dive now into a fully dedicated category to them, that is: Using customer Review.

This category is so important because it’s focussing on the most vital component of any business which is naturally its customers

Indeed, without customers there is no business and even further, even if there are customers and if they are not happy enough, then there is no sustainable business either.

That’s why many businesses build the main focus of their strategy around customers and that’s very often and rewarding mindset

Using customer review of the category among lean market research toolbox that focuses on creating and maintaining that continuous monitoring of a given business with its customers.

Among this category, one can cite the following tools:

  • An online platform gathering feedback of mobile app users regarding mobile apps of different sorts
  • Which is a review database collecting feedback from customers about different sorts of software solutions
  • Which is an online database working as a recommender system for entrepreneurs and executives helping them out for finding the best software for a given need
  • A world leading platform for gathering feedback and information about mobile apps
  • A market intelligence provider focusing on the mobile apps market and providing an extensive portfolio of solutions for tech companies for making insightful  strategic choices during the development and deployment of their tech products
  • It collects feedback from, startup and company founders about different sorts of software solutions
  • It provides a complete solution for reviewing and rating mobile apps
  • Which is the world leading e-commerce platform. It’s huge success and usage worldwide make it a natural hub containing billions of reviews regarding almost any type of physical products
  • Which is the first physical retailer in the US and that has a successful online version as well that contains numerous feedbacks and reviews regarding all types and sorts of products
  • A disruptive tech solution that collect and provides feedback about physical and digital products and services of almost all types worldwide
  • A world leading online platform for traveling and accommodation. It contains billions of reviews about hotels, restaurants, tourist activities etc
  • Similar to tripadvisor accepting that it’s more focussing on hotels
  • A disruptive technology for accomodation that represents a highly interesting resources for customer feedback as well
  • Same thing than previously but more specialized on restaurants
  • An e-commerce site specializing in tech products
  • Which is An online platform connecting workers or taskers with others seeking for help
  • That is The world reference for movies rating and evaluation
  • Which is a doctors’ rating platform
  • An online intermediate site between wellness providers and customers. It contains a highly valuable database of customer reviews
  • Which is a sort of e-commerce site containing an interesting database for customers reviews as well
  • That is a customer review platform gathering and publishing customer reviews for different sorts of products and services

Talking to experts

Let’s start with the Talking to Experts category.

This category is very important as well since it provides accurate insights and facts that can constitute a game changer regarding the value and quality of the conducted research.

Indeed, experts of the studied industry often have the essence of the knowledge regarding the studied subject.

On the other hand, at the start of the research, the lean market researcher has often less knowledge about the tackled subject.

Filling this gap and transforming the lean market researcher from an outsider to an insider is the main goal of this category.

In this purpose, the following resources can be cited:

  • Dialectica
  • LinkedIn
  • GLG – Gerson Lehrman Group
  • Third Bridge/Cognolink
  • Guidepoint
  • Athenerm Partners
  • Pochmak
  • Alphasights
  • Innoscape
  • Coleman Research

Online survey panels and polls

Comes then the category of Online Surveys and Polls.

As discovered during the Lean Market Research Fundamentals, online surveys is a game changer in the framework of market research.

Consequently, this tool should be mastered conveniently by modern lean market researchers.

Among this category, one can cite:

  • An online platform that recruits respondents of different profiles beforehand and makes the link between the adequate profiles among these respondents and the survey seeker. It’s a paid solution but the user experience and the ratio between quality and cos is largely worth it.
  • A world leading company for conducting online surveys. It provides a complete suite of solutions ranging from preparing the surveys to collecting the results and analyzing them.
  • A complete solution for performing surveys that is focusing mainly on customers and employees
  • A market intelligence agency that can perform surveys for you
  • Tha is a provider of complete solutions regarding market intelligence
  • Alchemer
  • zoho survey

The DIY online survey solutions do not provide pre-hired respondents but they do provide all the needed tools for preparing the forms, submitting them and gathering the results.

With the DIY surveys, the researcher should provide the respondents information.

Come then miscellaneous tools among the Online Survey Panels and Polls category like for example:

  • surveyAnalytics
  • typeform
  • sogosurvey
  • formstack
  • snapSurvey
  • surveySparrow

These miscellaneous tools among this category can present one or several tools among the online surveying ecosystem like: Preparing the forms, sending the forms to respondents, gathering the results, analyzing the results, visualizing the data and editing the final reports.

Classic media

Finally, let’s close this big picture section with the classic media category in The Ultimate Guide to the Toolbox of Lean Market Research.

The classic media category is certainly last but not least.

Indeed, it’s the historical resource for conducting market research hence it should not be neglected by any means.

It’s an invaluable source of information that is often of very good quality.

One can cite among this final category the following tools:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Blog articles
  • Books
  • Encyclopedia

After sketching this big picture around the main categories of lean market research toolbox, let’s dive now in more details among each of these tools.

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