How to turn market analysis into an innovation tool

Marketers and researchers alike are obsessed with market insights to help them understand consumers better.

At a time when innovation is growing in strategic importance, a deep understanding of people holds the key to unlock a treasure chest of ideas. Hence, it is not surprising market analysis and marketing research are major business functions.

What makes an effective marketing research project

Like a good mountaineer or Sherpa, an appreciation of the surroundings is critical in marketing research. Hidden in the surroundings are clues beyond the obvious. A well thought through marketing research project will increase the chances of discovering them.

However, all too often, in mountain climbing or trekking, the tendency is to keep going. The equivalent in marketing research is to overwhelm research participants with question after question, or a series of research projects. It can be an unproductive exercise.

In this article, we highlight 3 fundamental principles of how to look at insights in depth and transform them into an innovation tool.

1. Contextualize

To borrow from the world of social and digital marketing, insights, like content, is king. But unless it is given a kingdom or context, it is nothing more than a label.

Depth of insights comes when we are able to put a context to the insights mined. It is the “Aha” moment in marketing research both marketers and researchers look for in a project.

2. Apply design principles

Design of the study is critical. It helps to crystallize the role of insights in the innovation process.

When applying design principles, it is imperative to start by looking at these:

a. Defining the target audience

b. Defining the problem

This research-within-research makes for effective application of design principles in marketing research. It is an application increasingly advocated by both designers and market researchers.

3. Avoid analysis paralysis

The jugular act of questions and analysis is a trap marketing research projects get into. It occurs when they are poorly thought through and designed.

To avoid this trap, always have the marketing and business goal in full view. Marketing research should never be divorced from them.