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Product and Market Research.

From our series of webinars, we bring you the product and market research. Which is moving forward from the previous topic we looked at and that is the business plan, business proposal, concept, discipline of idea generation among others. Product and market research comes a time when one has grown and incubated his ideas to maturity and now it’s time to see the relationship of the product or service being offered to the population or call them consumers, the target market as per the business plan/ strategy. This stage in one’s business is very important because its where the question of am I solving the problem that I wanted to solve on the beginning, is answered or not depending on the responses one gets. In this particular webinar we are joined by an expert in market research Dr. Etyang and Isaac Ssekatawa who over the years have been involved in this activity of market / product research. they shall help guide us through the questions that we have in order to see how best we can appreciate this concept in business.


“Salus populi suprema lex” literally meaning the welfare of the people is the supreme law. The statement was made by a roman member of the senate who after the romans had won the city where deliberating on how best to govern them.  I welcome you all to this discussion and a recap of our weekly webinars that are held every Friday. This time round we have a product at hand we are not sure whether it shall be accepted in the population or not, we want to know what situation is in the market before we introduce our product. what do the people want, does my product solve the problems at hand? Among other questions. Thus we shall make a market research to answer all these and other questions.

This time round, as it has been our culture, we have on board a Principal Consultant at FEM MARKETING AND RESEACRH AGENCY, Mr. Fredrick Etyang and Mr. SSEKATAWA ISAAC, a Chief Marketing Officer at TRAAC.

What is market research?

Market research is the effort or ability of a business player to understand his target market and the target clients of his product. You literally struggle to understand who is going to consume my product, where that person is located, and how do I ensure that the product is delivered to the target client safely. Market research is all about understanding the dynamics of the market I relation to your product.

What is the relevance of product and market research?

Market research is actually a fundamental element of our business. So much so that it may not perform to your expectations without market research. It may not reach its optimal production in case you missed out product and market research, this is because of some of the importance’s that am going to share with you.

  • It enables you understand the different opportunities around your business. You may not have known without moving out to make a survey. For example, you can get to know the new markets within the already existing markets.
  • It enables you to reduce or rather it reduces the risks that your business is bound to face. Things to do with competition and co-existence in the same eco system.
  • It enables one to improve on the promotion materials, that’s incase what was in use what not going to impact allot to the target clients or consumers.
  • It enables the business player to out compete his competitors, question is How? by identifying unsatisfied customers or clients and therefore attract him.
  • It’s a very important tool in decision making. In getting to understand your clients, your decisions are informed and based on available data.

How do you start a market research? As a startup how best can I start or do a market research?

 For any startup to begin a market research we shall still refer to the main reason as to why you thought you would enter the same business, a problem. There must be an existing problem that you are look forward to solve in the existing market. There must be a practical existing problem such as a decline in the market share like running a business at a normal market share of 20% but keeps reducing to even below 10%. Therefore, there are things to consider as you establish your business and you want to do a market research.

  • First develop a research plan. The research plan should generally answer the question like, how do I intend to carry out/ conduct my market research. This question should get you thinking on the methods to use while carrying out a market research.
  • Make a decision about the methods that you would use in making research. These include; interviewing, questionnaire, sampling observation, among others. It’s very important to choose the best method as it can easily affect your raw data from market research thus leading to wrong decisions that would cost your business.
  • Then identify the target area. Location where you intend to make market research should be clear in your research plan. Otherwise its wrong data for your business. Knowing the area location is not enough but also knowing the products in circulation in that very area in relation to your intended product.

What are the types of methods of market research?

Like we pointed out earlier there are very many methods of market research that entirely depend on the type of product and the area in question.

  • Interviewing is one method where the researcher comes up with an interview guide for the respondents to answer. The interviewee is then guided through what the researcher wants to find out.
  • Questionnaire, the method where the researcher develops a number of questions drafted on a paper and the respondent simply has to answer the different questions usually ticking boxes.
  • Observation; this is where the researcher uses his eyes or senses (6major) to collect raw data from the field. The business researcher goes physically to collect data by literally just seeing and looking out for what he wants.
  • Sampling. The method where you select a given portion of the population in an area to have your questions answered. Sampling has various other kinds like, random sampling, convenient sampling and the cluster sampling.

How do I select the target population for my research?

Mr. Fredrick Etyang emphasizes that you must know your target population. However, to make research more practical then you may consider using sampling methods to zone out what kinds of people, in which age group, and where is, also very key in efficient research. Thus applying sampling could help you. For example, if your research is based in Kampala, you could use the divisions as simpler clusters from which you can make clear data research.

Is the venture of doing research and market research in particular very costly especially for startups?

Research in itself is a very costly venture, it is very expensive, however it is good to keep optimistic that the expenses of research depend on the business interests one has. Of course the cost of research for a startup that is operating locally around Ntinda may not be equally proportional to the cost of a business that has nationwide coverage.

Therefore, for startups there is a cost effective method of carrying out business research, that may not so much affect the startup but still provide good quality results.

It is always important to hire experts to carry out research, because they know which best method can be used to achieve what results, while minimizing costs. If you want to collect the right data then you must need an expert to help you collect data, using the right methods and thus have you make informed decisions for the future of your business.

Entrepreneurs should know that research involves expertise both human and virtual experts.

Lack of the best experts can mean that there is wrong data analysis, thus leading to wrong and uninformed decisions thus business collapse before even their birthday year’s celebration.

How do you analyze and interpret market findings and data?

You do this by comparing and review existing literature of the people and how they react to new products. All information possible.

After collecting data, you’d cross referencing, where you look your findings in respect with the existing one

Thanks so much for the time you have taken to read this blog out. Endeavor to follow other interesting topics that are coming right after this very one. stay blessed and catch up next time.