While I prefer the fee-based analyst databases for their search capability, Smarter Analyst (https://www.smarteranalyst.com/) is a great free substitute. The analyst commentaries focus on listed U.S. companies, so the value of this resource is limited somewhat. The plus is that you can see what is happening in this market and how it could translate to where you are. These analysts often have the contacts and intimate knowledge of a market, which means you get the context to fast-forward your understanding of what's going on.
In this final episode of my DIY market validation series, I’d like to talk about how to pull all the information you have collected together.
First, read through it all, and then take notes from what you have found. I find it helps to arrange it into sections. Depending on what you are researching, these sections might include market statistics, consumer preferences, regulatory, competitor strategies and substitutes, technology etc.
Filter out all the irrelevant or dated info, but be mindful about any vibes about the context in which your product or service operates in. Big picture stuff often dictates individual consumer preferences.
Don’t forget to include visuals. The size of a competitor factory might be 20,000sqm, but a photo of the factory instantly conveys the size, shape, flexibility of operations and type of environment that your competitor has.
Now you can see what market validation info you have.
What themes or ideas keep repeating themselves? Draw the dots and see what emerges.
Is the information that you have up-to-date and future-oriented?
Do you trust what you are reading? Be honest, especially if it goes against assumptions that you’ve made. It could be the difference between success or failure.
Does the information you have come from a variety of sources? Be aware of bias.
What info gaps do you have? How can you fill them?
The above gives you a taste of how to use information to make a sound decision based on trends, facts, and context. Sometimes numbers won't match up or information won't be conclusive, or you just can't find that magic market size number that you desperately need. If you get stuck, just phone (027 4393795) or email Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll give you a hand.