Well before a company can even think of creating a business or marketing plan for its product or service, a clear assessment of market needs should be performed. At infoAnalytica this ranges from studying the need for a customer's product in the marketplace, studying the need for a customer's product in the marketplace, studying competitors, performing a quick sizing of the proposed market, an analysis of market trends, and some primary research into propensity to purchase a product that fulfills those needs.
The main goals of a market needs analysis are to identify the best-fit market for the idea, gain early and sustainable competitive advantage prior to concept development and product build-out and to estimate the market size and ascertain the earnings potential of the product.
infoAnalytica then determines whether the product concept possesses strong competitive, sphere of influence OR brand advantages over existing solutions to meet a market need. This is where one should ideally calculate the potential market share that the company could capture. Doing this can further define strategies for eventual product research and development, and the budgets involved for funding build-out and go-to-market strategies.
infoAnalytica helps answer many of the questions that need to be answered during this phase such as:
- What exactly does the buyer need from the offering?
- What challenges will the solution help the buyer overcome?
- Who are the key direct and indirect competitors for the solution? Ignoring indirect competitors can significantly reduce eventual market share.
- Are there existing channels in the market that are currently served to fulfil the market need
- Are competitors able to fulfil this need/what is the level of market saturation for the need. This can be performed by sizing the market and ascertaining how many untapped buyers exist. This can be done by totalling the revenues for all indirect and direct competitors, with close attention to only the revenue earned from the particular solution, and not the revenue earned by competitors for other non-allied solutions that do not meet the need being studied.
- What are the key customer requirements for the solution, what are the must have needs and what are the 'nice to haves'
- How much money is the customer losing (either through increased costs or lowered revenues) through lack of an available solution
- Identify barriers to entry (these could range from competitors, market consolidation, legislation, compliance requirements and other political or environmental factors)
- Identify market distribution channels
- Finally, identification of product pricing, placement and promotion criteria