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Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday


Innovate Africa With Dotun Adeoye Every Sunday

Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday

User Research Dotun Adeoye

Understanding the role of research and analysis in product innovation

Product innovation is a process that involves many stakeholders, from the marketing team to the finance department. While everyone is focused on getting the product to market, it’s important to remember that research and analysis are critical. Research and analysis teams can help you get closer to your customers by gathering valuable information about their needs, wants, and desires. The right combination of research techniques can tell us what products or services consumers need—and how much they’re willing to pay for them—allowing us to design products that people want instead of just what we think will sell best given moment in time.

The benefits of research

Research and analysis can help you make better decisions. Before making a decision, research and analyse the situation to understand your options.

User or Market Research will help you identify gaps in the market. The more customers who have a need that you can fill with your product or service, the better chance of success you have.

Conducting research will help you identify potential customers by understanding their needs and wants as they relate to your business model, vision and mission statement, as well as what needs there might be currently unmet within this overall context that may require some innovation on your part before addressing these new opportunities themselves through either market research or perhaps even marketing strategies such as segmentation analysis (to determine which groups of consumers would benefit most from access/discovering about our products/services).

Types of research

Traditionally, research and analysis have been divided into user research and market research. User research focuses on understanding the needs of your target audience (usually consumers) by observing their behaviour in the real world. Market research is a strategy focused on understanding the dynamics of an industry or sector—including competitors and market trends—to create value for your product or service.

User Research

User research is essential because it helps you get insight into how people interact with products in their everyday lives; this informs decisions about what features should be built, who should use them (and why), etc. For example, suppose you’re building a new app for smartphones. In that case, user testing will help you determine whether users understand how to use it without prior knowledge about the topic (e.g., learning about nutrition). If they don’t know how it works right away, then maybe there’s something wrong with your design!

Market Research

Market research is an essential element of any successful product launch. It involves collecting data on customer behaviour and preferences, understanding market trends, analysing competitor performance, and conducting user testing to evaluate the product’s or service’s effectiveness. Market research can be achieved through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and other methods to provide valuable insight into customer needs and expectations. This information can then create effective marketing strategies to help launch a successful product or service.

 Start the process with a hypothesis.

Beginning a product innovation project without a clear goal is like driving with your eyes closed: it will only lead to wasted time and effort. Of course, it would help if you defined what success looks like for you, so make sure your goal is realistic (but maybe even slightly ambitious!). Examples can include making customers’ lives easier or bringing happiness through using products – because who wouldn’t want everyone feeling better after using their product? Establishing this objective from the get-go ensures there won’t be any detours along the road; stay focused on how best to achieve that predetermined outcome!

The power of synthesis

Synthesis is the process of combining separate parts into a whole. It’s often used in research and analysis to create new products or services, but it can also be applied to existing processes or technologies. In the context of product innovation, synthesis is used by organisations in a variety of ways:

  • To create a new product or service that solves multiple problems for customers
  • To improve an existing product based on customer feedback
  • To develop complementary offerings (products and services) that work together seamlessly as part of an overall solution
  • To create a new and better way to fulfil a customer’s need or solve a problem

Types of analysis

There are two types of analysis: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research is based on human interpretation of data, whereas quantitative analysis is based on numbers and statistics.

Qualitative research is ideal for understanding users’ needs and motivations, while quantitative analysis is better for understanding markets.

Qualitative research is ideal for understanding users’ needs and motivations, while quantitative analysis is better for understanding markets. 

Qualitative research is a process of discovery in which we use conversations with users to understand their issues, needs and desires. Qualitative research helps us understand the why behind user behaviours and attitudes, providing insights into what drives them to take action.

 Lean on your stakeholders for research

It’s tempting to think that understanding your customer’s needs is all on you and your team. But unfortunately, you may not have a dedicated research team, so finding answers becomes an exercise in talking with customers directly or relying on just one person’s experience or expertise. But this can be a dangerous way to make decisions.

Your customer base is diverse, so there will always be some semblance of consensus among them—but no two customers are identical, and the agreement is not a universal opinion. It’s essential to understand that opinions vary widely even within groups of people with similar characteristics (e.g., age). You must get input from multiple stakeholders inside and outside your organisation before making any final decision about what product features or modifications need to be based on feedback from the market research process—and make sure those individuals’ voices are heard!

Leveraging your research and analysis teams in product innovation will help you get to market faster.

Understanding your customers, competitors, and the market environment is critical in product innovation. Research and analysis teams are essential because they can help you to get to market faster. They can also provide valuable insights into what customers want, why they make certain decisions, and how those decisions relate to other factors like culture, geography or age.

Researching competitors before launching a new product will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses to create a better final product that meets customer needs.

Bottom Line

We hope this post has helped dispel some myths about research and analysis in product innovation. By leveraging your research and analysis teams, you can ensure that your product development process is as efficient, effective, and successful as possible. By starting with a hypothesis rather than diving into data without a clear direction or objective, you’ll be able to find out what matters most when developing new products. And by synthesising all of the valuable information from different sources (including stakeholders), you will have an even better understanding of what needs fixing—or improving—in your current offering before going through costly redesigns.

Who am I?

I am Dotun Adeoye, a Business Growth Strategist & Author of the 5 Pillars of Business Growth.

I’ve built up my experience via serial entrepreneurship, consulting leadership roles in business growth, business development and product innovation in large companies worldwide in the last 30 years.

Today, I consult with large businesses on how to sustainably grow their businesses, sustain infinite growth, and ensure business continuity irrespective of the business climate.

Hire Dotun Adeoye to Speak Virtually or In – Person at your company’s event to cover this or other topics. You can also get in touch via +44 203 097 1718 or dotun at dotunadeoye.com.


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Innovate Africa

With Dotun Adeoye

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 Teaching business leaders how to grow their businesses & leave their legacy.