Primary market research and expert interviews – a today’s must

Surviving and thriving in today’s fiercely competitive and fast-changing business market with primary market research and expert interviews.

When it comes to developing new business strategies, positioning in the market or having a general understanding of how your company performs in comparison with your direct competitors, primary market research can have a large impact on the success of your business.
Experience shows that the assessment and knowledge of an experienced market participant are sometimes more valuable than number crunching.
As it will be shown in this article, a very efficient and successful qualitative research method for generating important insights about market developments, trends and threats are expert interviews. A well planned, structured and professionally conducted expert interview can help you to fully understand your customer needs, to successfully adapt to upcoming market trends and developments, as well as to develop a sustainable and promising business strategy.

What is Primary Market Research?

Research, in general, is a scientific methodical search for relevant information and data applicable to various industries and topics. Therefore, market research is the process of gathering, investigating and interpreting information about a market, a product or a service. It can be either primary or secondary, according to the different ways of obtaining and collecting data and information. Primary Research is generally quite difficult to conduct since it is basically research from the scratch. A successful Primary Research requires time, resources, prior information about the topic and a basic understanding of the macro-economic industrial environment of the studied industry as well as one-to-one communication skills.

Expert Interviews – A Real Opportunity to Gain Unique Market Insights

A very efficient and successful way to get first-hand information and evaluations on market
developments, trends and threats in B2B market research is expert interviewing. Especially in niche markets and lesser observed and analyzed industries expert interviews can give you deep insights into upcoming market changes and new trends. Expert interviews help you to get detailed information on pricing structures, technical developments and product requirements as well as the performance and popularity of your direct competitors in your market. Taken altogether: the knowledge and assessment of an experienced market expert is a very useful source to adjust your market activities, establish new and better products or services, understand your competitive landscape and to develop future business strategies.

An Expert Knows All the Answers – If You Ask the Right Questions.

Conducting an expert interview is generally not an easy job. It needs a lot of expertise, training and knowledge on the researcher side. Some projects in which primary expert interviews can be useful might be so specific that you only have a very limited number of target experts, who in addition are hard to find and address.
Common problems that you might face when it comes to conducting expert interviews are for example:

– A limited number of experts
– Difficulties in finding the right contact
– Experts are usually very busy
– Experts have no reason to talk to you – why should they?
– You need to know the experts’ business and professional environment
– You must interpret the experts’ estimations in the right business context

Every primary research project is a custom and individual business case. “The key is knowing how to identify decision-makers and access them with or without prior relationships.”
This limitation requires you to choose them wisely, and to precisely know how to approach them. To access the right target group, it is inevitable to gain in-depth market knowledge beforehand and fully understand the whole industry, business model and market dynamics. Sometimes the right expert might be the CEO of a company, easy to identify, however difficult to approach. But sometimes the key expert to get the required information could be a specialized technician in a department you might have never heard of before. Additionally, it is vital to show your expert that you have professional knowledge about their business and are an expert in that industry yourself.

Experts have no reason and time to talk to you. Since there are generally no incentives in B2B interviews, you need to offer something different in exchange for their valuable time. This can either be excerpts of the study/survey you are conducting, insights from the analysis or customized data sets for the expert himself.

One of the most crucial and essential features to guarantee the success and benefit of an expert interview is interpreting the interview in the right business context. Expert opinion, expert market assessment or any other information can only help you when the interviewer/market researcher sufficiently knows the client’s business case, its competitive environment as well as previous market developments and trends.

Increase the Long-Term Success Of Your Business

In almost every phase of business development, professionally conducted B2B primary market research can have a huge positive impact on the long-term success of your business or project. Especially expert interviews can serve as a useful tool to fully understand your target market, new business developments, the competitor´s landscape and upcoming trends and challenges.

However, a successful Primary Research requires time, resources and a basic understanding of the macroeconomic environment of the studied industry. To avoid possible problems and obstacles, that could prevent you from getting the needed expert information, an entrenched and experienced market research company is the key. A B2B market research company not only has the right research skill set, professional knowledge and distinct communication skills, it can also advice you on how to interpret the interview and information in the right business context and support you in developing new business strategies.

by Tobias Thomas

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