Test and improve your idea before the market researchPublished on 7 March 2018
Episode #2/9 – Once you have put your ideas into writing (see Episode 1: Define your project before carrying out market research), it is now time to define the problems that you want to solve and the responses that you want to bring to them. This will allow you to choose the right market research methods for you.
Step A: Define the problems
At this stage, an initial synthesis is required. You must write down the lessons learned and conclusions drawn from the first phases. We recommend that you prepare a “one-pager” (an A4 page summary document) that you can take everywhere and which summarises the following elements:
Your business idea in one sentence
Defining the idea may seem simple to you, but explaining it in one sentence that everyone can understand is an exercise that is more difficult than it appears.
Among other things, it will get you thinking about your future “pitch”, the exercise which consists of presenting your idea orally to get banks, investors… on-board
Your future market and its problems
It is useful to briefly describe your market (its players, its dynamics, your competitors, your customers), in order to force your mind to create an initial mental mapping of the universe in which you want to project yourself.
Writing things down forces you to materialise and objectify thoughts that would otherwise remain abstract and incomplete.
The key questions that will guide your market research
Key questions for the success of your future business have undoubtedly resulted from the points discussed during the Design Thinking exercise, fuzzy areas that it will be absolutely necessary for you to clarify or confirm within the framework of your market research. Now is the time to put these questions in writing and thereby define the research perimeter. This research will in turn influence the choice of which market research methods you will use.
Some aspects of your future market may turn out to be non-relevant and there will be no need to “reinvent the wheel” or invest time in activities that will not offer you added value.
Step B: Develop a prototype
Now that the initial formalisation has been carried out, it is time to move to a practical phase: the development of a prototype. Whether your idea involves a product, an innovative mobile application, a revolutionary website, a new brand… believe it or not, a prototype can always be developed.
The development of this prototype is essential: it allow you to face reality (your product might not be as easy to create as you thought, your application is not as innovative as you imagined, your website not as easy to navigate as you anticipated, etc.).
The development of a prototype is therefore a powerful mirror for your thought process, a foundation step in our method for better market research. In fact, why carry out market research into an idea, a concept, a product or a service that is not yet complete when you have the opportunity to optimise your efforts by waiting a little longer.
In the end, as is often the case in marketing research, it all comes down to doing things over and over until you get them right. There is no need to rush.
Step C: Test your prototype
In the same way that you asked your friends and family for their opinion during the definition of the project, testing your prototype is crucial in order to turn your idea into something real and move on from the abstract stage.
Demonstrating the prototype of a mobile application (known as a mock-up) and testing it will, for example, make you aware of problems of ergonomics that you had not detected (we have had the opportunity to test and have tested dozens of prototypes of mobile applications: even those developed by specialised agencies revealed obvious errors during the test phase; don’t believe that you will be immune to such things).
This step is therefore important in our method for your market research. It involves gathering initial feedback about your prototype in order to detect the major problems. There is no need to waste time during the qualitative interviews detecting problems that could have been corrected upstream. The qualitative interviews are a vital step, so you don’t want to spend time concentrating on anything other than the most important aspects, the ones that require more thorough analysis.