Conducting market research and identifying customer needs

The role of a product manager is constantly evolving, filled with challenges, and requires going beyond the surface. One of the fundamental responsibilities of a product manager is to ensure that the product fulfils its intended purpose. This involves conducting extensive market research that covers customer behaviour, diverse perspectives, personality types, insights, expectations, problem statements, assumptions, and the latest trends in the relevant segments of the product. Gathering concentrated and diverse feedback from customers is also crucial. Market research is not just limited to the pre-launch phase but is an ongoing process that continues to evolve and provide fascinating insights. Just like the role of a product manager, market research is a continuous and challenging journey that goes hand in hand.


To conduct effective market research, a product manager should determine the purpose and potential uses of the research results, decide on the desired format of the final report, identify the necessary types of data and information required for the analysis, collect the relevant data, continuously validate the collected data for accuracy and relevance, and compile the findings and write the report in the desired format. 


It is the combination of many subjective answers/research and objective answers that help us draw an insightful arc of identifying the customers’ needs. 


Subjective research involves uncovering new opportunities, analysing trends and feedback, and bottomless monitoring how a product meets market demand. Neglecting or improperly conducting this research can result in opportunity costs, since it may prevent the discovery of alternatives or valuable insights. This type of research typically involves open-ended questions such as “Why are the immediate problems areas getting faced by the users of the product?”


Objective research involves seeking a solution to a specific problem, often by eliminating options and finding a definitive answer. This type of research usually involves closed-ended questions such as “Is option A or option B, correct?” or “How much will market share increase if a new feature gets introduced?”


Let us dive into the steps to cost-effective research:

1) Understanding and deconstructing user Personas

Creating user personas is an effective way to understand your customers on a deeper level. User personas help you to put a face to your customers and understand their motivations, problems, preferences, and economic situations. 


2) A discerning plunge into user surveys

Online surveys are a popular and cost-effective method for gathering information about your target market. There are numerous tools available to suit all budgets, and they are easy to set up. Surveys are particularly useful in the beginning stages of development when your budget may be limited. Include yes or no and open-ended questions in your survey to balance qualitative and quantitative data. This method can also entail interviewing people in person for deeper insights and cascades of insights that come through follow-up questions intuitively. 


3) Fancy leveraging inputs from focus groups? Here you go!

Focus groups are an effective way to observe your potential customer’s reaction to your product in real-time. They can provide valuable insights into your product-market fit and allow you to pivot if necessary. 


I hope the blog helped you with a productive and promising starting note with your upcoming market research. 🙂

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