How to conduct secondary market research
  2. Market Segmentation (Step 1)
  3. How to conduct secondary market research

2. Your market research “shopping list”

6 Types of intelligence you should pursue with your secondary market research

What types of intelligence should you gather in your secondary research? If your intent is to develop a new product or service for a target market segment, you want to know how attractive the market is and how to pursue it. Consider these six items:

  1. Size: How large is the total addressable market (TAM)? This is the maximum annual sales of your type of product if you had 100% market share. Of course, you don’t know what form your new product might take yet, so make this the upper limit of what you could conceivably create.
  2. Growth: At this point, don’t worry about your penetration rate… how fast you can capture market share. Instead, get estimates on the overall market segment growth rate… sometimes called the compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
  3. Structure: Create a value chain, showing who would buy from you, who buys from them, who would be a co-supplier or influencer, etc. Your key question will be, “Who is the main driver of decisions in this value chain?”
  4. Trends: What trends and issues will impact demand in this market? Consider globalization, changing demographics, new technologies, environmental concerns, evolving consumer tastes, new regulations, etc. Also look for market discontinuities… events that will reset the basis of competition and impact demand in new ways.
  5. Customers: Look for three things: 1) Which companies should we put on our list to interview? 2) What can we learn about these companies before we meet with them, to make the interviews as impactful as possible? 3) What can we begin learning about their likely desired needs now, even before our interviews?
  6. Competitors: Learn about your potential competitors and the level of competition you’ll face. A classic model for understanding competition in an industry is Porter’s Five Forces: industry rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, barriers to competition, and threat of substitution.

As discussed in the last BlueHelp article, Sources of secondary research, you can find many sources of secondary research at > BlueTools > Market Research/Segmentation > Market Research Tips Sheet.


Keywords: secondary market research, research shopping list, size, growth, structure, trends, customers, competitors, total addressable market, TAM, market penetration, porter's five forces, market intelligence