How to create a broad plan to carry out Industry research ?
- Knowing that industries constantly change, product managers must develop a highly sensitive industry radar. Such ongoing monitoring provides a steady stream of data that you can translate and apply to potential opportunities and action plans for the product
- First, create an inventory of the data you have. You may have industry report, past research projects, and other data.
- Colleagues in marketing, other product managers or your own manager can offer some valuable and pertinent information.
- Next, what is it you want to study and what do you want to do with the information you glean?
- If you are preparing to update your product strategy document, you can limit your research to the past year.
- If you are creating a new product strategy, then you may need several years’ worth of data
- After identifying what you want to learn, you have to determine where to obtain the data and what to do with it. Here is a listing of potential resources:
- Industry trade journals
- Business periodicals
- Internal reports on trade shows or industry events attended by others in your company, from shows you attended or from analyst coverage of those events
- Trade or industry and professional associations
- Governmental agency reports and websites
- Standards groups
- Financial market analyst reports
- National, provincial and state industrial development agencies
- Syndicated research
- University-based research on regional development
- Keyword searches on the internet
- Field research and interviews
- Once you acquire data, you might want to begin filling in a table as shown below to construct a chronology of prior-year industry observations, current observations and future possibilities.
- You can also utilize PESTLE Analysis below to industry research from relevant areas and create a framework for a bigger picture.
- Political: These factors determine the extent to which a government may influence the economy or a certain industry. [For example] a government may impose a new tax or duty due to which entire revenue generating structures of organizations might change. Political factors include tax policies, Fiscal policy, trade tariffs etc. that a government may levy around the fiscal year and it may affect the business environment (economic environment) to a great extent.
- Economic: These factors are determinants of an economy’s performance that directly impacts a company and have resonating long term effects. [For example] a rise in the inflation rate of any economy would affect the way companies’ price their products and services. Adding to that, it would affect the purchasing power of a consumer and change demand/supply models for that economy. Economic factors include inflation rate, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, economic growth patterns etc. It also accounts for the FDI (foreign direct investment) depending on certain specific industries who’re undergoing this analysis.
- Social: These factors scrutinize the social environment of the market, and gauge determinants like cultural trends, demographics, population analytics etc. An example for this can be buying trends for Western countries like the US where there is high demand during the Holiday season.
- Technological: These factors pertain to innovations in technology that may affect the operations of the industry and the market favorably or unfavorably. This refers to automation, research and development and the amount of technological awareness that a market possesses.
- Legal: These factors have both external and internal sides. There are certain laws that affect the business environment in a certain country while there are certain policies that companies maintain for themselves. Legal analysis takes into account both of these angles and then charts out the strategies in light of these legislations. For example, consumer laws, safety standards, labor laws etc.
- Environmental: These factors include all those that influence or are determined by the surrounding environment. This aspect of the PESTLE is crucial for certain industries particularly for example tourism, farming, agriculture etc. Factors of a business environmental analysis include but are not limited to climate, weather, geographical location, global changes in climate, environmental offsets etc.
The above technique will help develop a unique macroscopic view of a given market area and help categorize data for synthesis of relevant insights and understanding for product decisions.
Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.