Every market works around some general guidelines, and research is prominent among these. It is the first task that decides any business’s future goals and aspirations. Regarding product management, the managers can not solely rely on product manager interview questions to crack their interviews; instead, they must devise more sustainable, inclusive, and diverse strategies. But how to decide the first step?
Market Research—An Important Product Management Skill
The first step to building any product begins with research. Before you make any idea or plan, you must thoroughly research the market trends. And product managers need to look at market research as an instrument to win a competitive edge for their products in today’s highly dynamic market landscape. Several factors shape the market trends, such as public policies, consumer behavior, political events, economic situation, war, conflict, etc. These factors either contribute to a progressive market trend or may result in a complete halt.
The role of product managers becomes conducive here for the better development of products. If you are a product manager, see where your company gets the market research results. The in-house department can generate the report, or your company may outsource the market research to a firm. However, the market research task may sometimes fall under a product manager’s responsibilities. Suppose you work at a startup; every task at a startup is performed differently from any large or middle-scale company. And, if you are a product manager at any startup, then the market research task may be within your job responsibilities. But how do you cater to market research standards and ethos without prior experience?
Here, you must know a product manager may have to juggle different tasks, work with cross-functional teams, motivate the team, and analyze the product’s gains and future scope. That means the prior experience is not mandatory; you can learn several skills and tasks while doing your job. Product management involves learning from trends, insights, discussions, and even mistakes.
Nevertheless, here’s what you must know about market research!
Different Types of Market Research
Research is carried out differently, whether for academic purposes or product development. Therefore, it is essential to learn the basics types of market research and its uses.
- Exploratory research
Every product tries to solve a problem or improvise an already existing solution. When you are a Product Manager, you need a basic idea of the problem your company is trying to solve. The process starts with a properly defined problem statement. Here, exploratory research will help you find the nature of the problem and decide its scope. In other words, the problem needs to have a potential pool of customers who will benefit from it. If the number is too small, you need to put a hold on this because time and resources are crucial elements in product management, and you need to utilize them properly.
- Competitive Analysis
Have you ever seen a soldier go to war without concrete analysis of the enemy’s territory and strength? Then how can you approach product development without analyzing your competitors?
It will be a case of lost war where you will utilize resources, capital, and time with no probability of earning back on your invested elements. For example, your team is up for a podcast app and is already done with the MVP of the app. Unfortunately, the audience/consumers you wanted to target are already using another app like Spotify, which is way out of the league for you now. Here, the thing you did wrong was improper competitive market analysis. To get a way out of it, find the USP of your app and if it doesn’t have one, then improvise the app design again.
- User Insights
User insights determine the probability of success your product can achieve. Therefore, you must continuously research user insights even after the product is already on the market. Why so? Because the app is built around consumer needs and requirements, it is crucial to understand the dynamics of users to know better how your product is performing. And, if it needs improvisation, then get back on it!
- Beta testing
The idea is just the beginning, and the real process starts after the feedback of the beta version of your product. Thus, beta testing allows you to gain user feedback and understand if your product is moving up in the right direction.
Segmenting your user base into categories based on geography, behavior, or demography allows you to market the product that best resonates with your users. For example, fast food chains like Burger King sell their products slightly differently when they enter Asian markets. They do so to give users a personalized experience.
Every product manager needs to know a few basics of product market research. The next decision is to outsource this task to a market research firm or let your teams do it. Either way, the process remains the same.
Hopefully, you are well versed with the objective of market research and how it can help a product manager deliver a product market fit. For more information, check our website!