Marketing Research for Entrepreneurs explained by Shubhesh Pandey

Launching a new product is a big challenge. But do you have an idea for an amazing product? Or a service that isn’t being offered by anyone yet? This is a great opportunity for you to launch your own startup. But before you hop on the wagon, you must ascertain whether there really is a market for your product or service. To get the answer to this question, you must conduct market research.

In the Founder’s Meet organized by StartupLanes, Shubhesh Pandey talks about just that. He is the Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Business Consultants. He says when we talk about research, our actual focus should be on ‘Hypothesis Building’. A questionnaire or data is the tool, but a hypothesis is the heart of the research process. Research process is when we identify a problem and are looking for solutions scientifically and systematically (to keep our biases and errors in check).

It is not always necessary to do a very exhaustive research. The effort put into research should purely depend on the complexity and consequences of the problem. If you are in the process of launching a product, the research can be quite exhaustive. But if you are deciding on the packaging of a product, then the research might not be as exhaustive. However, if there is a problem and there is something to explore, there has to be a research.

To develop a research mindset, you should have the ability to build a hypothesis, keep questioning what is established, gather information from the available sources like conversing with channel partners and customers, look for patterns, and have the ability to see a gap.

In the research process, there are hints of multiple soft skills and competencies. It is an exercise of analytical skills. Pandey says that many entrepreneurs have developed some prejudices against doing a research.

While conducting a research, it is not the research that goes wrong most of the time, but the clarity of objective behind conducting it. A research goes wrong when good knowledge of related parameters is not acquired.

When you are questioning the respondents for your research, how you are framing your questions is very crucial. This is because the confirmation bias and outcome bias affect not only the research but also our decision-making process. These two biases result in the improper framing of questions.

This eventually leads to you blaming the research process or the researcher. These biases and errors of judgment are definitely very costly for entrepreneurs. “I believe very strongly that not conducting an appropriate number of researches and moving on with our hunch can be even costlier,” says Pandey.