How To Gather Great Market Research (And Save $$$)

Mar 15, 2016

As a market researcher, I am absolutely dumbfounded when I see the time and resources of (some) Startups wasted when trying to get their hands on a traditional “market research report”. Here’s a pro tip many don’t know; much of the information they need is free to access within seconds!  Last week I had a client who wanted a third-party report on customer adoption of mobile devices and the roles these devices play in the customer journey.  Normally, a third party report covering those topics would cost at least $3000 USD. On top of that, an annual subscription will run upwards of $15K to $30K. My immediate response to their question was:

“Have you heard of think with Google”?

Nope” was their answer.

Think with Google is a set of free tools by Google that covers all of that, check it out! I said.

Here’s an even better story: Recently, I had a client looking for a specific Gartner Magic Quadrant report. Getting that particular report from Gartner would have cost the client thousands of dollars.   Instead, I told her to search the keywords “Gartner Magic Quadrant [..whatever the term] pdf”. Immediately she got indirect, yet free, access to the document via the website of one of the companies included in the magic quadrant. Companies included in publications such as Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave will usually purchase the publication rights for those reports and make them accessible in exchange for contact information (they do that to raise their profile).  A sales call from this firm may be the price you pay, however, tons of time and money will be saved.

It doesn’t end there, some market research and consulting firms make their data available for free (free reports are more like bait, there may be an upsell for their consulting services, which is where firms make the big bucks). But if you are a startup applying for a government fund, grant, or putting up a slide deck for an investor pitch, access to free reports is a helpful resource.

For example, McKinsey and Company, a global consulting and research firm headquartered in New York which has free publications, surveys and reports on more than 20 industries. It literally took me five minutes to get a subscription for free and then get my hands on a report that included revenue projections for E-SIM (again a request from another client).

Nielsen is another one. They survey consumers in more than 100 countries and publish the insights in the form of free reports, blogs and webinars. For instance, if you want info and stats on topics such a smartphone ownership by ethnic background, generational views on saving vs. spending or break down of millennials in Canada by income then this is your go-to source (these were just examples, you can access much more via Nielsen).

Bottom line:  there is an abundance of good data and insights out there. A good deal of it can be accessed for free; all you need to do is a bit of research and talk to the right people. At Invest Ottawa, we help our Startup clients get the insights they need to formulate a more effective marketing strategy and access potential clients. We also help optimize their chances of securing funds, grants or VC investment. Our Market Insights team works closely with top global research firms to bring the latest on technology and innovation to our knowledge-driven community. Here are some of the ways we can help your business: Please reach out anytime.

vahid2Vahid is a Market Analyst for Invest Ottawa. In his role on the Business Analysis team, he is responsible for (and assists) portfolio clients in their commercialization effort through: technology validation, opportunity analysis, market analysis, competitor analysis and business intelligence support. Contact him at [email protected]
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