You will only know if there is a need for your product in a market if you have certain information on customers, socio-graphics, the industry (including trends and competition) in that market. Both qualitative and quantitative data regarding those factors as well as any barriers to entry to that market will give you the answers you need to the important question of how your product will fare.
You should prepare your own buyer persona first. Already having a buyer or customer persona will enable you to zoom in on the availability of demographics that will support your buyer persona. Having identified your customer within the market, you will discover if there are sufficient numbers of past and present customers and the potential of future customers for your product. Additionally, you will refine their characteristics, their needs and concerns . In fact, there might be several (and not just one) segments of customers that could fit your buyer persona and analysing whether they are identifiable and substantial enough for your purposes will be crucial. More than that, you will want to make sure that there sufficient numbers of stable and actionable buyers. After characterizing them into segments, you will eventually choose a segment that will give you the maximum profitability in the long term.
How will you go about obtaining this crucial information on whom your target buyer will be? You can obtain statistical data from industry and government websites, conduct surveys, obtain existing data on a similar product in the same market or purchase or commission market reports. If your have the means and resources, go to the ground and observe ie do basic research yourself.
Once you have determined that the numbers will support your product in the intended market, it is wise to find out more about the socio-graphics of your buyer. What are their beliefs, attitudes, interest, lifestyle features and where do they hang-out? This will help you position your products later. In this aspect, insights via data analytics and keyword analysis can be very useful. You could also tailor a survey specifically for the identified buyer segment asking them these very questions.
At this stage, you might also simultaneously research how to position your product for the intended buyer segment. Before jumping in, you can test the market by conducting a survey, using focus groups and actual concept testing the product ideas with the public.
Industry, Trends & Competition
You will need to discover the business regulations, the marketing and distribution channels, consumer trends and competing products operating in that market. Identify your competition or other products that have similar value propositions and do a competitor analysis. Pricing of similar products is also crucial to your own pricing strategy. Similarly, you would turn to official statistical data, online directories of organizations, associations and governmental departments to uncover these information. To find out more about who your potential competitors are, use search engines entering the keywords that would denote your product, use social media and online customer reviews for insight into what customers say about the competitor. If you still don’t know who your competitors are yet, try the local yellow pages too.
Barriers to Entry
Do not forget to include a sensitivity analysis and identify if there are any barriers to entry. Check out trade barriers and tariffs. You wouldn’t want to find out at the last minute that regulations of both your country or that other country does not permit you to enter the market.
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