By ADRIENNE TAN
But what do these words really mean? What is a market-driven product?
Here’s two different ways of describing it:
I like these definitions because they illustrate the two key parts of what makes up a market-driven product:
The definition of market-driven is dependent on both these points.
If your company doesn’t believe in customer-centred design, then it’s unlikely to invest in understanding the market and your customers.
Similarly, even if being market-driven is part of your corporate strategy, you’re not market-driven if you don’t take the time to gain an in-depth understanding of the market and your customers, more specifically your customers’ problems.
Let’s focus on the second point – understanding market trends and your customer.
It’s easy to say that a market-driven product is a result of market research – but market research does not really get to the heart of truly understanding the customer.
It may give you a broad and important understanding of the changes in the consumer, technology and or business environment, but it doesn’t offer sufficient insights into your customers’ lives and the problems they experience.
When conducting market-driven research, here’s some questions to include:
If we keep these questions in mind when we build our research programs, we can direct our customer research to include personal elements that will provide a better idea of who our customers are and what they really need.
The customer is only half of what needs to be understood. You also need to understand the market as a whole.
I like to think of a market as the sum of the interactions of all participants within that market (including your competitors).
Understanding those interactions enables us to get a wholistic perspective of what is going on and helps us make important product decisions like:
There are a number of different tools you can use to analyse this but one I like is the PESTEL analysis. It’s not a new one, but I like how big-picture and comprehensive it is. You can quickly identify which factors are relevant to you and then analyse those in more depth. You can also identify strengths and weaknesses and go further with a SWOT analysis.
If you translate your market research into desired customer and business outcomes, and then meet these with product outcomes you can be certain your end-product has truly been created by the target customers and the market.
If you do this well, now all you need to do to make your millions is build a great product!