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Building a Market Research Machinery for Indian Market

December 20, 2011

If you are a company planning to come up with new products consistently you have to setup a strong machinery for Market Research. Market Research enables two things-> validates & improves the idea and create a strong sales funnel.

 Market Research can be categorized into the following ways:
– Email forms
– Landing page/Polls
– Cold calling
– Cold visits
B2B – Email, Calling & visits
B2C – Email, Polls, Landing Page
Email Forms/Polls

Probably the easiest to do but also the least effective. All you need is to create a form using the online tools like google form/ surveymonkey and other umpteen tools. Mail it across to email ids you personally collected/ bought from a website/ post it in a Linkedin/Facebook/other on line communities. Collect the feedback, collate it and infer results.
Landing Page
Setup a landing page with a poll or form. Do SEO/viral marketing for your page, get people to come to your page and make them fill a form/ vote on a poll or sign up for a newsletter/beta/update. A little difficult considering that you have to pull users than push a form. But if people sign up for your beta/release update that is a good sign.
Cold Calling
First thing you have to do prepare a script. You need to get the person’s attention in first 30 seconds. So have a very well scripted pitch. Customize it for different segments if required. Also script the desired outcome because this will ensure a better outcome for the call especially if you are going to delegate it to someone else. While product managers should design and validate the market research plan and tools it will be a good idea to make a pool of employees, one from each team (sales, development & operations) to take up phone MR. One should also undertake a brief pre-call research of the client. This is effective and also saves on time and traveling cost especially when you cant be sure whether you will get a hearing during your cold visit.
Cold Visits/Interviews

A cold visit or interview is the most effective market research tool. Not only it helps you ask more spontaneous questions and more engagement from user, it helps in getting a real commitment from a potential client. Most of the things which are required for cold calling are also true for cold visits. Carry a printout or a tablet which has the product presentation. If a demo is available skip the presentation and do the demo and let your client talk. Don’t forget to carry your visiting card. Do your homework which includes all the things I have mentioned above. Think of it more as a conversation than you trying to ask them a list of questions – you will get more information (sometimes unexpected surprising insights, if you listen). Also if the interview is boring you it’s probably boring the other person: you are not learning anything and they are unlikely to agree to another one. If the primary outcome from the interview is that you have a much better understanding of a prospect’s operating reality-and you have been a good listener-this certainly opens the door to a follow on conversation. Consider interview not as a transaction but as the start of an ongoing dialog.
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