Sizing a Market – This type of market research is designed to create an estimate of the market size (measured by units or dollar volume) that a new product is expected to garner in the marketplace. In general this is usually done for entirely new product category or anticipating the introduction of a new product that substantially changes the competitive landscape in which customers are already familiar (for example research topic, I would suspect that the new premium chewing-gum category that has emerged in the last 18 months might have upset the conventional wisdom of analysts in that industry). Conducting this type of market research can be expensive, so the best place to start is usually by evaluating the off-the-shelf syndicated market research reports that are available for any market of a reasonable size. Sizing a market is almost always a quantitative market research study, although depending on the market specifics it’s possible that there might be a qualitative lead-in activity or even a qualitative follow-up to get more details on a specific portion of the market.
Product Concept Development – Product concept market research is typically designed to provide customer input to help product-marketing managers develop products that more directly meet the needs of the target customer. Typically there are tradeoffs involving ease of use, price, industrial design decisions and bundling options. For the product marketing manager, conducting market research allows them an opportunity to get feedback from the group who is actually going to decide whether they’ll pay the bills or not, the customer. Product concept market research can be done either qualitatively or quantitatively. Generally the direction hinges on the customers familiarity with the product or changes being considered, and a terminology that is well enough understood by the potential respondents to ensure that clear communication is taking place without significant uncertainty that their definitions match what we believe them to mean. If the product category is understood, and the terminology is well enough defined, quantitative research is probably the best bet. Otherwise it’s likely to fall to qualitative methods to ensure a complete understanding of the concepts and to the respective reactions.
Customer Profiling – The intent of customer profiling market research is to create a profile of a typical customer who purchases a certain product or service. Having a complete profile of a customer can be very helpful when defining a design center to develop the next generation of a product category and to ensure that the engineers and marketers have the right person in mind as they make those decisions. Creating a customer profile often includes collecting the following: