Secondary Research…Feels Like College?
Recently I have been working on a unique project here at PortMA. Whereas most of our programs entail measuring an experiential campaign, this one actually intends to define a new product for a local beverage manufacturer through market research, qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Step one was to research what their competitors are doing as well as where the industry is going as a whole. Sounds easy right? Well trying to research all new product developments in the US beverage industry is a rather large feat. Then add in the fact that our client is open to new products outside of their industry and we’re left with the task of researching all new products…something that could employ our whole team year round.
I’m reminded of my capstone project from college where we had to design a full business plan and market entry strategy for a new company. The only criteria we were given was that the assets and investments required to start said company must be readily available (so primarily traditional businesses like pizza shops or a restaurant).
I sat down trying to start the proposal for this project too many times to count. Every time I wanted to shoot for the stars and be innovative but got lost in a sea of conflicting reports and spotty data. At some point I decided to compromise, I would focus on an emerging industry (green energy) while using a simple retailer business model with predictable start-up costs.
It’s this feeling of finally being able to put your research into a box, finally choosing a direction and jumping in head first, that reminds me of my college days. That initial sense of being overwhelmed followed seemingly instantaneously with a sense of clarity.
Thankfully in working with the team we were able to find direction in our research. This will outline our discussion guide for our focus group which will give us real world interpretation of to state of the industry. The quantitative analysis will then back up these findings. But it all starts with that same feeling, it can be intimidating, but it could very well be one of my favorite parts of the job.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scubasteveo/296747958/