Understanding market research for founders

Market research is a cornerstone of business planning and strategy, providing founders with the insights necessary to make informed decisions about their products, target markets and competitive strategies. It encompasses the study of market demographics, customer needs and the latest trends affecting industries and consumer behaviour. To support founders in mastering market research, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of resources ranging from groundbreaking books to insightful articles and authoritative research reports.

Key Books

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – This book introduces a methodology for developing businesses and products, emphasising the importance of actionable metrics, rapid prototyping and customer feedback in understanding market needs.
  2. Competitive Strategy by Michael E. Porter – Although not exclusively about market research, this book provides essential frameworks for analysing industries, competitors and market positions, offering a deeper understanding of the market landscape.

Articles from Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) is a treasure trove of articles on various aspects of market research, offering insights into customer behaviour, market segmentation and trend analysis. Here are a few recommended reads:

  1. Know Your Customers /’Jobs to Be Done’ – A deep dive into understanding customer motivations and needs beyond surface-level demographics.
  2. The Elements of Value– This article explores how understanding different customer values can inform and guide market research efforts.

Gartner Reports

Gartner provides cutting-edge research on market trends, forecasts and consumer insights. While access to full reports may require a subscription, Gartner’s insights can significantly enhance your market research efforts with up-to-date and in-depth analysis. Here are a couple of areas to explore:

  1. Market Trends – Understanding emerging trends can help anticipate shifts in consumer behaviour and market demands.
  2. Technology Forecasts – For tech-focused startups, Gartner’s technology forecasts are invaluable for staying ahead of the curve.

By leveraging these resources, founders can gain a robust understanding of market research, equipping them with the knowledge to navigate their industries successfully and make data-driven decisions that drive growth and innovation.