Primary research is defined as research in which investigators collect data directly, instead of relying on data from previous research.

Ideba does a significant amount of primary research for clients, but I always wonder why more clients don’t rely on it. Of course, such research is invaluable in new or emerging markets. The data we collect provides organizations with an overview of where the new market stands, where it’s going, the principal drivers, the main obstacles, and which competitors are diving in and how.

However, even established market sectors benefit from primary research, especially since market landscapes are ever-changing. Netflix seemed to have cornered the video streaming market, but then mergers created catalog behemoths and everyone from Paramount to Apple started their own streaming services. Some will survive; some will not. You can bet all the smart players are constantly researching competitors and the market to identify how they can come out on top.

Another benefit of this research is that, frankly, most companies are really, really bad at pulling their heads out of their own… behinds. Employees are so immersed in their corporate language, cultural shibboleths and tribal knowledge that they view the entire market landscape through their own deeply distorted lens. They tend to assume that other organizations share their outlook, which distorts their view. It’s particularly immobilizing when you’re trying to identify disrupters who, by definition, are looking at the market differently from you.

Such research can also help guide and unify an organization. One client had been having a years-long controversy between the executive suite, who wanted to market their product as a strategic tool adept at guiding an organization’s high-level thinking, and the sales staff who saw a hunger not for a strategic tool, but a functional one. One side wanted a C-suite planning tool, and another saw an administrative workhorse. Direct client research showed that the desire for a functional tool far outweighed the need for a strategic one. With this evidence, the whole organization was able to get on the same page and realize that the strategic market was limited.

The same can happen with competitive market research. It can provide the proof that helps all facets of an organization cohere around a single direction or strategy. That kind of unity, with all oars pulling in unison, is the first prerequisite to success.

Research can help get you there. Want to learn more about our research capabilities? Send a note to Davids@idebamarketing.com

-Leonce Gaiter, VP of Content & Strategy