::: Market Research ~ knowing your target :::


While any company should absolutely know their current customers, they should also know and study who they want to target as customers in the future.  This is done by a commonly known process known as Market Research.  Each company carries out their research differently; although I was never directly involved with these interactions with my company, I was frequently provided with insight to my client’s desired market target.

As a Project Manager for a single client, I was lucky enough to be involved with several of my client’s innovation projects throughout my tenure with my company. Webster defines “Innovation” as “the introduction of something new.”  Innovation is a sector of their business that can either succeed or flop; with the economical recession in full effect, the client’s goal was to use innovation projects to increase consumption of their products.  One particular project involved plenty of market research and market testing. Throughout the weekly project calls,  I was clued in on the trial market location and then of course, was tasked with the responsibility of developing a design for a new flavor variant that consumer testers thought should be included.  Being involved with this and getting a peak of what companies do to garner new business was really quite intriguing to me.

While the project for which market testing was a success and new flavors were being introduced prior to the roll out of the actual product, I was also privy to several products that involved a large amount of work from the graphics end of things, however they never materialized into actual salable products and they were scrapped.  This was most probably determined by research that there was not a high desire for the product in question and additionally, that it would be cheaper to discard all work done to date rather than proceed with a product that would ultimately bomb.

”]The Marketing Research Process [Kotler & Keller - Marketing Management 12e]In addition to using focus groups and consumer market trials for research, companies closely study their competition.  It is especially helpful with the company has a highly valued brand and is knowledgeable of a competitors successful product concept.  Each step of the Market Research Process is followed by a company looking to successfully acquire new business or to launch a new product.  By using sales success information on presently in-market items, my client could absolutely outsell their competition by adding their highly valuable and well recognized brand to their packaging.

Of course, I was only privy to a limited amount of the work that goes into the entire process of a company’s market research.  The graphic to the right gives a nice lay out of some of the steps used in the very detailed process.   I do find it quite interesting that a company would go so far as to develop the graphics and packaging prior to making the official decision about whether or not to proceed with the product; often times, my client’s financial sector had trouble with accepting this as well.  At the same time it absolutely make sense; the graphics work that was done by my company really helps to sell the product into my client’s stakeholders.


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