Andrew Penny, November 24 2020

Market Research Reports are Overrated

As a consulting firm, we need to clearly understand who might buy our client’s products or services. Clients often point us to research firms that publish ‘Everything You Need to Know About X’ (the mining market, housing industry, power, ice cream, TV dinners - there are literally tens of thousands of research publications). These ‘off the shelf’ reports can be useful for large companies that tend to be slower and more conservative (e.g. 5% growth forecasts). They want to see how well they are doing against competitors. They want to see what the forecasts are for volatility in their segment (very large companies can do little more than rising or falling with the tide). But for smaller companies who want to grow quickly, they are almost useless.


I have interviewed well over a thousand companies and have yet to find two that are identical – their offerings are different, their visions are different, their customers are different, their value propositions are different. And therefore the information they need about prospective buyers is different. Each one is looking for a specific market gap or competitive gap that they can best fill. Not only is their approach unique, but the markets they aim at and the way they segment their markets is unique.

We have read through hundreds of commercial off-the-shelf market studies and invariably come away wanting (we haven’t even been able to ‘re-use’ our own research). This is why highly-focussed custom research is the starting point for all our strategy work.

To be useful for companies rapidly accelerating or entering new markets, research needs to dig down deep into the specific segments that you want to sell to and do so while holding your own specific point of view. Commercial off the shelf research reports will never give you that level of applicable information and your strategy will be the lesser for it.

Planing to accelerate next year? Ask me how we can help.


Written by

Andrew Penny


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