What is market research?

3 minutes read

“Evaluating the potential of a market, the status of the offering and the demand for a given product” is the general definition of market research. Out in the field, more subtle realities coexist. UMI sheds light on the methods used and purposes for carrying out market research for innovative projects.

Let’s begin with a definition

In common parlance, market research is a study of the characteristics of a market in which a company hopes to establish itself. It looks at two different angles:

      • The offering, by analyzing the competition (direct and indirect) and existing offerings

      • The demand, seeking to understand consumer needs and define the size of the target market

    The term is often used from a B2C standpoint, from the point of view of a company wanting to test a new product or service with target consumers.

    The multiple objectives of market research

    Many companies use market research when launching a new product or developing new technology. It aims to help them better understand:


        • Their market: size, organization, maturity, trends and developments, legal and fiscal context, etc.

        • Their potential clientele: their needs, behaviors, consumption habits, expectations, taste. It allows companies to stay abreast of changes in consumer demand.

        • Their competitors: How many are there? What do they offer? How do they operate? What is their customer catchment area? Are there any indirect competitors?
          Together, this knowledge helps limit the commercial and financial risks when launching a product or service onto the market.

      Using market research, the entrepreneur can better define the scope of their activities, their product or service catalogue, their pricing policy, or make changes to their offering and strategies. To another extent, market research can also be used to find distributors, suppliers and customers.

      This is the commonly accepted interpretation of market research. It is, however, important to realize that it can also focus on specific areas such as:


          • Analyzing suppliers, regulations, brand perception

          • The potential of a new point of sale, an innovation, a new feature, rather than a consumer product

          • Surveying professionals and decision makers to test the relevance of an innovation

        The market research offered by UMI enables companies to test the potential of an innovation in an expert (B2B) market. Instead of consumers, UMI surveys experts in a given market.

        How exactly is market research carried out?

        Definition of a UMI market study

        Once the objectives of the market research have been clearly established, the company chooses a service, usually a market research agency.

        With classic market research, the agency chosen asks the company to provide information such as the company’s legal information (company registration details, etc.) and qualitative data such as websites, semantic analyses, big data, etc.

        A panel of targeted individuals is then gathered, often drawn from the company’s network, followed by interviews, questionnaires, and surveys.

        Once the panel has provided feedback, the results are aggregated, analyzed, and then interpreted. The agency then submits a report summarizing the figures and results obtained to the company, and the conclusions drawn from these.

        Together, the stages normally take an average of 4 months.

        UMI intervenes at the point where a panel is established (see illustration) and centers on the collection and analysis of qualitative data.
        Able to quickly mobilize qualified experts in a given market, UMI can produce a detailed analysis of the potential of an innovation or technology in less than 3 weeks.

        Another feature of UMI’s market research is lead generation. The experts contacted by UMI can express their desire to find out more about the innovation being tested, and to be contacted later by the company behind the innovation

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