Market Research: 3 Learnings from a Startup’s Perspective
Market research is crucial when shaping a new product. As a startup we started from scratch. In this month’s post we are taking you alongside our journey and share some Infinity Insights about the evaluation of the first target audience: Students.
A startup is an experiment [...]. Successful new products require constant, disciplined, experimentation – in the scientific sense – in order to discover new sources of profitable growth. This is true for the tiniest startup as well as for the most established company.
Identifying customer segments
Even before the company was officially founded and the software launched, there was an ongoing debate about possible customer segments. Throughout fall 2020, CEO Johannes Grenzemann and I, Student Market Researcher Oliver Juan, brainstormed relevant customer segments to further investigate. We agreed to focus on three main segments for the first year of business activity, starting with: Students. Our hypothesis was that students are a good fit for our software as they are by definition interested in collecting and managing information – either to remember (for an upcoming exam) or to produce a deliverable (e.g. term paper or presentation).
Even though I was responsible for conceptualizing and conducting the analysis, I frequently met up with other team members to discuss objectives or report tentative results. I started the process by drafting an interview guideline for students which was discussed with the Product and Marketing team. Carrying out the analysis took three months and over 110 hours of work. The problem interviews I conducted were scheduled for 45 minutes. They included both qualitative and quantitative insights.
Top 3 Learnings
Students lack a clear methodology to link reading papers and writing the final text of a deliverable (PowerPoints, Reports, Master Thesis, Seminar Papers etc.). Although the use of citation software is becoming more common, there is a shortcoming in working with them effectively. Infinity Maps could solve their problem as it creates a smooth link between reading, structuring, and writing.
Infinity Maps is an easy-to-use software and is most relevant for long term group projects (1 to 6 months). It can be used either by:
- Single users who are sharing information to a designated group after working on something by themselves
- Teams working on group projects wanting to keep an overview of what has been done (research + deliverables) for their own purpose
The best added value of Infinity Maps for students is to have a clear picture of the most relevant study content they should focus on, on a day-to-day basis. This mainly encompasses:
- Howemork: writing papers, reading paper, adding annotations
- Collaborations: sharing papers and presentations or seminar insights
- Studying for exams: ability to distinguish between done and todos efficiently
- Orientation: having an overview of topics learned and being able to deep dive in one topic thoughtfully
It’s such a flood of information. The deeper you dig, the more you find and then the next flood of information follows. It's hard to take a pause and sort your way through, deciding what should be used and what shouldn't. You end up missing a lot of good points and in turn picking up ones that aren't as valuable.
Startups Are Team Efforts
The results were presented to the entire Infini-Team as transparent internal communication is vital for a newly founded organization. Buidling a startup is a team effort, thus everybody needs to be on the same page. In addition, positive feedback from an objective study can only spread passion and excitement across recently hired employees.