Nov 032010
 
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Don’t rely too heavily on “secondary” (that generated by a third party) market research in your quest to understand your market as well as possible.  To the extent you do employ secondary market research, be sure that it is up-to-date, and don’t make too many inferences across market segments.  It’s far better to speak directly to companies in the market, if you want to learn what’s going on right now, “from the horse’s mouth”.  Japanese firms, for example, have long been known for effectively using formal and informal focus groups to stay on top of current and emerging market trends.  They know that trying to make inferences from secondary research in order to ascertain these trends, is much more challenging and quite risky.  You should certainly stay on top of any secondary research which is available, but be sure to cross-check this data with what you gather from primary research. If you’re forced by resource constraints to focus on one form of research, lean toward that you gather directly from the customers and other relevant players in the market.

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