The market analysis

Strategic market analysis: Methods of a strategic market analysis

Strategic market analyzes represent the basis for decision-making for market development strategies. They provide strategically relevant information in a systematized and prepared form that is used in a variety of applications, including assessing the market situation for a company (cf. Part 1 of the series of articles).

A contribution by Matthias Meyer

Purpose and aim of the methodical design of a strategic market analysis

This individual adaptation extends to the fields of content, methods and resources. The present part of the series of articles deals with the methodical design of a strategic market analysis; the fields content and resources are dealt with in article parts 2 and 4.

The aim of the methodical design of a strategic market analysis is to determine the method set that is necessary to be able to generate all the data and information necessary for a market analysis.

This step presupposes that it has been precisely analyzed in advance which information and data are required in order to be able to work out the content of the market analysis that has already been defined. A comparison with any existing databases can be helpful in this context.

In the following, the methods for generating data for strategic market analyzes are systematized and explained.

Methods of primary and secondary market research

The data generation methods are divided into primary research methods and secondary research methods.

Primary market research methods are used to collect new data that is specifically tailored to the purpose of the study. In most cases, existing data cannot or only insufficiently cover the information requirement in these cases. In principle, information can be gathered in primary market research through surveys, observation and experiments.

In the context of data generation for strategic market analyzes, however, only the survey makes sense, as this is specifically geared towards obtaining relevant information in an effective way. Survey methods can be further subdivided into qualitative and quantitative methods and are based on the stock of methods of empirical social research.

Secondary market research methods use already existing data material (both qualitative and quantitative) that was collected at an earlier point in time for a different, possibly similar, investigation purpose and can be adapted to the current object of investigation. Information in secondary market research is mostly collected using analytical methods. The databases to be analyzed can be of internal or external origin.

The individual method fields are presented and explained below. Furthermore, possible areas of application are shown.

  • Primary market research

In the context of primary market research, new data are obtained through qualitative or quantitative surveys.

  • Qualitative survey

The qualitative survey generates the necessary information via qualitative interviews. These interviews can be designed differently depending on the subject of the investigation and the prior knowledge of the interviewer.

In the context of qualitative market analyzes, however, the guideline-based expert interview is almost always used, in which experts are asked about their assessment of the object of investigation.

For this purpose, a guide is first provided that serves as the basis for the interview and contains all the essential points that should be discussed in the interview. The guide can either contain a collection of key words or contain specifically formulated open questions.

It is important to ensure that the questions are designed in such a way that they are as congruent as possible with the information requirements required.

Depending on the course of the conversation and the expert’s level of knowledge, the guidelines can be worked through precisely in the interview or flexibly adapted to the course of the conversation or the expert’s level of knowledge.

Expert interviews are usually carried out over the phone, and occasionally face-to-face. The guidelines are rarely sent by email. The duration of an interview is influenced both by the complexity of the subject under investigation and by the willingness of the expert to provide information, but is usually between 30 and 45 minutes.

The identification of experts usually takes place via internet research or subject specific specialist literature. In both cases, people are identified who have excellent knowledge or expertise with regard to the subject matter or the market examined.

This can be, for example, authors of specialist articles (experts for a certain technology), market research officers in a company (experts for products available on the market) or employees of associations (Experts on the market situation). When selecting experts, it must always be ensured that the interests of the expert in his market role do not conflict with the objective of the market study to be prepared.

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