How to conduct market research?

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

"My product is unique, the service I want to offer will please, I have no competitors, the market is growing, etc." These certainties are often subsequently dismissed.  Market research can ultimately question an entire project : so better to know before than after ! Remember that the 5-year business survival rate is 50% and that market research would prevent 60% of bankruptcies !

Why conduct a market study?

The market study meets a dual challenge for the future entrepreneur:

a ) to turn a vision of the project into the reality of the market

  • to assess the viability of the project before starting
  • to take a step back regarding the idea, your impressions
  • to put yourself in the customer's shoes

b) to position the company project in time and space

  • to achieve confirmation of the idea, concept, and choice of activity
  • to get to know and understand how the relevant market works
  • to evaluate the potential market and determine distribution and sales habits, etc.

It is certainly a good idea to carry out a market study when you are planning to create a new company: it is an essential part of the business plan.

Market research is also required in the context of an existing company, before launching a new product or a new service on the market. And finally, a market study is also recommended to launch a research, development, or innovation project or a large investment. This is to avoid mobilizing significant financial and human resources and risking not being able to attract sufficient customers to at least recover the investment made.

What does a marketing study consist of?

A market analysis can be a measuring stick you use over time to see how far you've come, and it allows you to make projections based on data rather than guesswork. It helps potential entrepreneurs to overcome their biases and accept the truth of things.

The launch or development of a product or a company involves setting out:

  • The needs or requirements of the market

  • The existence of a trade area

  • The impact of the competition

Carrying out market research is a voluntary stage which consists of asking the "right" questions which must yield constructive responses to help the entrepreneur with his decisions. The right question yields rational, objective, and non-emotional information. It also leads to other questions, so that they are linked in a logical sequence.

Which market research method to choose?

A market analysis includes:

  • first, collecting reliable information and objectives concerning the market;
  • then, processing this and analyzing it methodically;
  • in order to make the right decisions.

A 7-phase market research method is proposed below that will allow you to carry out your study in a progressive way. This method is accessible to all.

The 7 phases are progressive, can be used independently, and are adapted to almost any situation:

  1. Formalisation and small-scale testing of the idea

  2. "Prototyping" and improvement of the basic idea

  3. Choosing the right market research methods

  4. Trend analysis, PESTEL analysis and competition analysis

  5. Qualitative study

  6. Quantitative study

  7. Finalisation and transition to the business plan

To help you find your way, and make the best choices, an infographic is proposed below that covers all these different phases.

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