When do you plan on doing market research? (Before, during, or
after product development; or never?)
What is the cumulative engineering investment by project? (Engineering + R&D + development)
What is the cumulative
marketing research investment
If your marketing research investment is less than your engineering
investment, what actions will you take to bring the market research budget and investment
for each project into parity with engineering investment? Should you change
priorities? Will you shift more funds into market research? Can you find money
for market research?
Who is going to do the market research?
What are that person’s skill levels, experience,
track record, and training in market research; especially in
Describe the segmentation of the market. Include both those
segments that you will serve, and those that you will (by plan) not serve. What,
exactly, is your market segment? How will you size the specific opportunity for your
What is the "food chain" of your market segment?
Include the steps before you as well as after you. Incorporate all the steps from
raw material to the ultimate consumer, whether or not you will be involved in all of
them. List the major players in each step.
Who is the customer? Hint: "the market" is not your
customer. Markets dont buy products; customers do.
How many customers are in the top five? How many are in the top
What are the names, titles, addresses, and phone numbers of those you
expect to be your first three customers? When do you expect each of them to enter
their first order with you? What do you expect their purchases to be for each of the
next few years?
Paint a word picture (plus real pictures and drawings, if you can) of
the way your customer does their business now. Model your customers business.
You are selling aspirin. What is the headache?
What benefits will your product or service deliver?
How will your product affect your customers business?
What payback will your product or service provide? Be exact:
translate every step of how your product or service will affect the way your customer will
do their business into a dollar savings/(loss). Sum up the savings/(loss) per year. Calculate payback and ROI.
Paint a word picture (plus diagrams, if you can) of the way your
customer justifies and purchases similar products or services, and of the way you expect
them to justify and purchase your product. In other words, what is your
customers buying model?
How and when will your market research staff provide guidance to
engineering by: growing a relationship with engineering; articulating product concepts;
defining important product benefits (specifications) that customers will spend money to
receive; identifying features that engineering need not address; developing an unfair,
defensible, decisive competitive advantage?
When and what do you plan on discussing with potential customers by
personal visit (and phone, E-mail, and FAX) to iteratively validate: the product concept
(marketing before engineering); rank and weight of customer needs (benefits that they
value); customer willingness to spend money for the benefits that you believe that your
product or service will deliver; customer payback; bottoms-up market size; your model of
their business; your grasp of their buying model?
Who (or what) is the competition? Hint: You are not allowed to
answer, "There is no competition."