We have developed a process to ensure business leaders select attractive market opportunities to pursue and minimize time wasted commercializing solutions that miss the mark.
Borrowing from the agile movement in software, this diagram presents the necessary steps involved with successfully devising a new solution that satisfies unmet needs. We help our clients through this process.
Step 1 - Frame the business challenge In this first step, the company’s desired direction and strategy is uncovered to ensure that the market needs revealed in subsequent steps helps the business leader to make progress toward their goal. This step also includes getting a handle on which markets to target, competitors, current market trends, and any other market research that has already been gathered.
Step 2 - Gather customer needs The second step involves using the jobs-to-be-done approach to gather and understand what it is customers are trying to get done in the context of interest. This step is conducted using primary market research methods such as direct customer interviews as well as literature reviews.
Step 3 - Pinpoint customer value drivers Once the market needs have been gathered, they are prioritized using quantitative market research techniques. Further insight about why a need is an opportunity must also be identified. What problems are there with current solutions or in how customers are trying to get the job done? Additional customer interviews as well as market segmentation, competitor mapping, and statistical modeling tools are used to identify the drivers of customer value.
Step 4 - Iterate as needed The final step involves determining what additional insight, if any, is needed to help the management team select a market entry point. Additional iterations can include going “deeper” on a job of interest to gain more insight into the market opportunity or going “wider” to uncover other related jobs that may present complementary opportunities.
With traditional market research, additional iterations are both costly and time consuming. As a result, companies have to ensure they frame the effort correctly the first time, without the benefit of insight from the market research to guide them. With an agile approach, additional iterations are highly cost-effective since they are easy to do and allow you to build on learning from previous studies.